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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
Unlike a lot of "first-year" events, the just-concluded Sebring (Fla.)
U.S. Sport Aviation Expo was well-focused, well-organized and
well-run. That it wasn't well-attended is our loss. Not that it was
empty, either: All the exhibitor spaces were pre-sold, and a number of
industry heavies (Randy Schlitter, Tom Peghiny, John and Martha King,
and Tom Poberezny among them) were there. The public that did attend
had a feast of information and hardware before them. The attendees
were the beginnings of Sport Pilot's core constituency, and the
curious. Much, much More...
AND FUN, TOO...
The open feeling of the show lent a relaxed feeling, as the people
attendees really wanted to see were available. No one had an excuse
for going home with unanswered questions. No one had to go home
without a good look at, or even a ride in, representative aircraft.
Walking from one end of the show to the other took ten minutes, not an
hour and a half, and the hordes of friendly volunteers were always
willing to offer rides in their golf carts, too. Engineers and top
techs in the field were there. Sensenich's Steve Boser had the
company's new ground-adjustable composite prop; Phil Lockwood, Eric
Tucker and gang were there from Rotax; the HKS gurus had the questions
WHAT IS THIS EVENT?
As Tom Poberezny said, "This event was not targeted to be a 'mass'
event -- it's an expo." The feeling many attendees got was of being
invited into the inside of the industry, sort of like attending an
industry convention, where the public is invited. Think of it maybe as
small aircraft's NBAA Convention, with the added bonus of not having
to wear a suit. "It's a great first step," the EAA president said,
"developing a new segment -- LSA -- here it is dramatically focused."
THE PILOT INSURANCE CHALLENGE
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LONG WAY AROUND VFR ON TOP
When AVweb reader Steve Biddle asked an innocent question about
flying VFR above a cloud layer, he initiated a long and tangled quest
through the annals of the FAA, the confusion of the GA masses, and the
arcana of the U.S. airspace system. Today, almost two months after
Biddle's query was chosen as a Question Of The Week, we have an
official, certifiable, FAA answer ... that is, if you consider an
answer from an FAA staffer who signs his e-mails as "Member, Loyal
Order of the Flackosaurus Aeronauticus" to be official in the official
sense. FAA Flight Standards spokesman Les Dorr, who braved the cloudy
corridors of the FAA to get us this response, says: "Sorry for the
delay [this arrived about four weeks after our initial request]. Here
'tiz ... The main question was, 'Can a VFR-only pilot legally fly over
a cloud layer in VFR conditions, then descend and land, all
maintaining VFR visibility and cloud-separation requirements?' The
answer is yes. VFR-over-the-top is not addressed in 14 CFR Part 91, so
only the basic VFR weather requirements of Section 91.155 [Basic VFR weather minimums]
NOT FOR THOSE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH FUZZINESS...
When AVweb's Question Of The Week on Sept. 1 polled readers
about flying VFR above a cloud layer, we heard from almost 1,400 of
you, well above our average response, and received written
comments from more. The QOTW described a flight in which a pilot
took off VFR and landed VFR but flew en route above a solid layer that
hid the ground, and asked if it was legal or not. Fifty-four percent
of respondents said it was legal, but if an emergency had forced the
pilot to descend into the clouds, it would have become illegal.
Another 35 percent said it was a legal flight even if the pilot had to
descend into the clouds, as long as the pilot declared an emergency
first. Only 11 percent said the whole idea was not only dumb, but
busted regs. Our first response from the FAA said that the 11 percent
were correct -- that the flight would be illegal -- because if the
engine quit the pilot would be stuck without a VFR option.
MAYBE NOT FOR THE CAREFUL
What if that VFR pilot does end up descending into the clouds? An
oft-cited 1954 study
found that non-instrument-rated pilots then had a hard time
controlling the airplane when faced with a loss of visual cues. In
experiments conducted in real Beechcraft Bonanzas, 19 out of 20 pilots
entered a graveyard spiral within three minutes after losing visual
contact. The 20th avoided the graveyard spiral only because he was
occupied in yanking the airplane into a "whip stall." The FARs for large and turbine-powered aircraft do
specify that over-the-top operations under VFR are allowed "only if
the airplane is equipped with the instruments and equipment required
for IFR operations." In Canada, the procedure is OK for
non-instrument-rated private pilots only if they have completed a "VFR
Over The Top" rating that requires 15 hours of dual instrument
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AIRPORT, A GOLF COURSE AND $13.3 MILLION
The leaders of Ocean City, Md., will square off face-to-face with FAA
officials who want them to sell the local golf course or pay the
agency $13.3 million. As AVweb told you last spring , the FAA provided funding
to buy the land, on which the golf course was later developed, for
future airport expansion. In Ocean City's latest long-term planning
document for the airport, no expansion is envisioned and the FAA wants
the course (several holes of which are a wedge shot from the nearest
runway) removed from any entanglement with airport funds. The issue
now comes down to money, and a meeting between the city and FAA is
tentatively scheduled for later this month. More...
SHELVED (BRIEFLY) FOR AIRPORT RADAR
Well, when it comes to a choice between a radar for the airport and a
new day-care center, there's just no contest for the people of Vail,
Colo. They'll take the radar (although that doesn't mean they won't
get the day care, too). Civic officials are considering diverting $1.5
million already budgeted for the day-care center to pay the local
share of a $6 million radar that should prevent thousands of
well-heeled tourists from missing all or part of their vacations due
to weather. And since construction on the center wasn't scheduled to
start until after ski season, city officials figure they can juggle
the budget and still break ground for the kids' facilities next
spring. It appears some miscommunication between the city and the FAA
caused the financial flap. More...
CREWS FACE COSMIC CANCER
Add cosmic radiation to the confirmed list of threats to the health of
long-haul flight crews, although we don't know where it ranks along
with deep vein thrombosis, boredom or the food. A British study has
confirmed what pilots and flight attendants (and other studies) have
been saying for decades. Spending too much time in the rarified air up
there can be hazardous to your health. The study of 411 British
Airways pilots showed increased rates of melanoma, colon and brain
cancers attributable to cosmic rays. There's also a risk to the unborn
children of pregnant crew members. More...
WEATHER" TO BLAME FOR AIRCRAFT BREAKUP?
Australian Transportation Safety Board officials have no idea why a
TasAir Aero Commander apparently broke into several pieces during a
routine flight last February in Tasmania. But the owner of the plane
suspects a "freak weather thing" caused the outboard sections of both
wings and the tailplane to separate from the rest of the aircraft
about 40 miles north of Hobart. A weather alert predicting occasional
severe turbulence had been issued. Only the pilot, 21-year-old Heather
Cochrane, was on board. TasAir owner George Ashwood said the cause of
the accident may never be known. More...
DON'T HAVE A LOW-LEVEL MONOXIDE MONITOR YET? GET ONE
Low levels of carbon monoxide can be
extremely hazardous in aircraft because the effects of CO and hypoxia
are cumulative. A small CO leak may be an early warning sign of an
impending life-threatening problem, such as cracks and holes in the
exhaust system. Don't take chances with yourself and your passengers!
With its digital readout that displays CO concentrations as low as 10
parts per million, the CO Experts Model 2004 from
Aeromedix.com is by far the most sensitive carbon monoxide
detector you can buy for less than $100. Don't procrastinate; order
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OF MISSILE-STRUCK PLANE HONORED
The prestigious Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators in Britain has
given one of its highest honors to the crew of a DHL Airbus A300
who landed the plane (stuck in the trim position for climbout)
apparently using only the thrust from the engines to control pitch,
attitude and direction. The pilots, Capt. Eric Genotte, First Officer
Steeve Michielson and Flight Engineer Mario Rofail, were presented the
Hugh Gordon-Burge Award, which is for outstanding airmanship in saving
an aircraft. As AVweb showed you earlier this year, the
Airbus made a spectacular -- and safe -- landing in Baghdad about 25
minutes after being hit by a missile while taking off.
If you're looking for votes, the most densely populated area of the
country is a good place to start. But it didn't have a happy ending
for a pair of balloonists who ended up dropping in, perhaps
unexpectedly, on New Yorkers enjoying the relative peace of Central
Park last Friday. The balloon, emblazoned with the words "Kerry" and
"Edwards" in huge letters on the side, landed beside a baseball field
about 3 p.m. WABC News said it was told by Kerry officials that the
balloon was not part of the campaign. More...
AOPA LEGAL SERVICES PLAN IS MONEY WELL
The AOPA Legal Services Plan, one of the top
services that AOPA offers exclusively to its members, has the highest
participation ever. The plan does much more than offer legal help in
the event of an FAA enforcement action. Under the plan, members can
receive reviews for aircraft rental, leaseback, hangar, and tiedown
agreements and obtain legal advice on aircraft purchases or sales. The
cost is only $26 for private and student pilots. To learn more, call
AOPA at (800) USA-AOPA (872-2672) or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopa/legal/avflash.
GAMA third quarter results showed recovery continuing...
War-era nuclear bomber for sale on Ebay...
Vomit Comet hosted last
British Airways unintentionally pushes Bush...
amputee back as Air Force pilot...
Space Junk rained over New
Last 757 rolled off the line. 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.
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IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Pilot's Lounge #80: The ILS
-- That Last 400 Feet
How fast should you fly an ILS? When
should you switch from the "stabilized" approach and configure for
landing? Instrument pilots may think they learned the answers back in
IFR training, but AVweb's Rick Durden thinks you probably should
change your procedures before you fly that ILS right into the dirt.
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
mail this week about pilot fatigue, TSA Chief comments, corporate tax
evasion and much more. More...
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While flying IFR between Indianapolis, IN and Columbia, MO my wife and
I encountered some mild turbulence at 6000. She's a nervous flier, so
I decided it would be a good idea to find some smoother air.
Cessna N12345: Center, Cessna 12345 would like to climb to 8
for smoother air.
Center: 345, climb approved.
(After reaching 8000...)
Cessna N12345: 345 level 8.
Center: 345 it looks like you've picked up 10kts.
Mooney N23456: Center, Mooney 456 would like to pick up 10kts
Center: Mooney 456, climb approved. More...
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|STOP WONDERING OR WORRYING WHERE YOUR
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|WHICH SIX-PLACE RETRACTABLE HAS THE BEST SAFETY
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GLASS COCKPITS HERE! HIGH-ADVENTURE FLYING IN UTAH'S RED ROCK
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