This issue of AVweb's
AVflash is brought to you by ... LightSPEED
At LightSPEED, every day is a day to be thankful for the
opportunity to model a spirit of servanthood to our customers, our
employees, our vendors, and our community. We're thankful for
the chance to improve and pursue excellence in the products we
provide. Thankful for our relationships, in which we strive to
respond with grace, generosity, compassion, and kindness exceeding
expectations. This Thanksgiving, we just want to appreciate
God's abundant blessing and wish that for each of
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
VISION REGS ATTACKED AT INQUEST OVERSEAS
Families of seven passengers who died in a 2003 plane crash in New
Zealand have attacked lax vision standards for commercial pilots
during an inquest hearing in Christchurch. Under questioning by the
family members' lawyers, Dr. Dougal Watson, the principal medical
officer for the Civil Aviation Authority, confirmed that the CAA
allows pilots to self-prescribe corrective lenses for near-vision
problems by buying off-the-shelf reading glasses from the local
drugstore. The pilot of the accident airplane, Michael Bannerman, had
been diagnosed with near-vision problems and, after picking up a pair
of glasses, passed a flight test. More...
ANOTHER AIRLINE PILOT COLLAPSES ON THE JOB
For the second time in a couple of weeks an airline pilot has
collapsed at the controls. Australia's 7News reported this week that
the pilot of a Garuda (Indonesia) Airlines Boeing 737 suffered a heart
attack just after takeoff from Pontianak, on Borneo island. The first
officer assumed control and landed the plane safely but the pilot died
while en route to the hospital from the airport. The pilot had
reportedly told other crew members that he wasn't feeling well prior
to the flight. The Indonesian incident comes 10 days after a co-pilot
suffered a seizure on flight from Washington to Los Angeles.
THE SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY CONTINUES! LOG ON TO SEE THE
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STOP AL QAEDA ATTACKS?
British authorities have thwarted 9/11-style attacks in that country,
according to a television report. Quoting unnamed government sources,
ITV reported that al Qaeda was planning to ram airliners into three
downtown London skyscrapers and Heathrow Airport but British
Intelligence got wind of the plans and was able to stop them. The
buildings targeted were at Canary Wharf, a prominent London landmark.
The report surfaced as the British government prepares to introduce
nationwide security measures to combat terrorism. More...
WHY HIJACK WHEN YOU CAN BUY?...
Of course, if hijacking an airliner is getting a little risky for
terrorists, there's no shortage of used big iron on the market, some
of it possibly selling at bargain prices. A South African auction
house is selling off a couple of (very) used airliners today. However,
Aucor, the auction company, believes (which is different than
guarantees) the DC-9 and Boeing 727-100 will go to airlines or charter
services. They are apparently airworthy and were repossessed from
local companies. More...
CROP-DUSTER OWNERS ARE PUT ON GUARD
Meanwhile, an old threat is gaining new attention in the U.S. as
federal authorities urge crop-duster owners and pilots to keep an eye
out for anything strange. A crop duster was reported
stolen in Mexico on Nov. 1, provoking a TSA advisory. Robert
Jordan, the FBI's top agent in Oregon, confirmed to the Associated
Press that al Qaeda may be taking a fresh look at the use of crop
dusters to spread biological or chemical agents in the U.S. And that
puts those who fly and maintain the aircraft on the front line of
defense ... and on the front lines of federal scrutiny. (Expect visits
from the FBI.) More...
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HOLIDAY ATC CRISIS
And in what has become a holiday tradition of sorts, the National Air
Traffic Controllers Association brass have more dire predictions about
the system's inability to cope with what could be shaping up as a
record season for air travel. President John Carr said in a news
release that controllers are dropping faster than needles from a tree
(OK, we're paraphrasing) and unless the FAA starts hiring, congestion
and delays will prevail at many airports. "It's time for the FAA to
stop talking about plans and take action," Carr said. He did note that
Congress recently passed an appropriations bill containing $9.5
million to hire more controllers but said much more needs to be done.
INITIATIVE TARGETS "PUSHY PASSENGERS"
In Alaska, where safety records are relatively atrocious, the FAA has
launched an ad campaign aimed at encouraging passengers to inspire
safety-conscious operators. Radio ads urge passengers to not pressure
pilots into overloading planes. Other campaigns recommend that
passengers fly with carriers who are registered with the "Medallion
Foundation. The Circle of
Safety program began by contacting school districts (kids from
rural areas routinely fly to basketball tournaments and the like) and
urging them to set strict safety standards. More...
LOOK TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM WHEN
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PROPOSAL RILES AOPA
As AVweb told you last week, the Government
Accountability Office (yes, that's the new name) has recommended that
the FAA start charging administration fees for the private contractors
who perform about 90 percent of the pilot and aircraft certification
functions of the agency. The GAO, in a report on the FAA's management
oversight of these functions, suggests the extra fees could fund a
more comprehensive and effective system of oversight. AOPA has chimed
DELAYS REDUCED (EXCEPT YESTERDAY)
If you went to, from or through O'Hare in the past month, chances are
your flight was on time or a lot closer to it -- excepting yesterday
when storms pushed delays into the several hours long category. FAA
officials told reporters Tuesday that between Nov. 1 and Nov. 15 (when
new rules capped flights at 87 an hour) there were almost 300 fewer
daily flight delays than in the same period last year and the average
length of delays was cut from 42 minutes to 16 minutes during peak
times. But FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro also said that unusually benign
weather during the period probably had the biggest impact on the
on-time improvements and air traffic controllers said the first big
winter storm will be the acid test. More...
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BORN AGAIN ... AND AGAIN
It's the little airplane company that seems to refuse to die. For the
third time this century (the new one), new owners and new management
at Mooney are vowing to revive the legendary name and restore it to
prominence. In fact, it's like Mooney is starting all over again.
That's just fine with Gretchen Jahn, who is the latest to fill the
CEO's chair. Jahn comes to Mooney as the former president of the
Colorado-based Knotridge group, which specializes in the evaluation
and management of start-up companies. "The main thing is to be
consistent, to make promises that we can keep ... and to show evidence
of our stability and ability to compete in the market," she told the
San Antonio Business Journal. (She probably meant consistent from now
forward ...) More...
IN A PUFF OF SMOKE
Sometimes the dearly departed simply won't leave. And when you're
trying to scatter their ashes from an airplane, that can be an
embarrassing, not to mention messy, problem with a much less romantic
and symbolic outcome than planned. "The poor departed one generally
ends up inside a vacuum cleaner rather than the clean air round an
airplane," said Jim McTaggart, a British pilot who's invented a couple
of devices to tidy up the process, but not necessarily make it more
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Defense aeronautical publications no longer public...
airports scrambling to build hangars...
Air Force tanker contract
Happy Thanksgiving. Suggest you digest to today's
'Pumpkin Bombing' article. 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.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Savvy Aviator #12: Tire
Tires are the Rodney Dangerfields of aviation: They get no
respect. Proper tire care isn't rocket science, and can pay hefty
dividends in economy and safety. AVweb's Mike Busch tells you what you
need to know.
Zen And The Art Of Pumpkin
Today is Thanksgiving, and in honor of the second
harvest festival of the season, AVweb presents a first-hand account of
an event that happened after the last such festival, when some bored
Midwesterners decided to "properly dispose" of extra pumpkins. If you
won't tell the FAA, we won't.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
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IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/
BUYING OR SELLING AN
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, we want you to read below the giant "E" and tell us
how good is your vision? PLUS: Responses to last week's question on
the new Sport Pilot/LSA Rule. More...
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
As publisher Tim Cole carves up the turkey today, we at AVweb are
reminded to be thankful for our readers particularly those of
you with cameras. You never fail to bring a smile to our face and
remind us why we love flying. Since the beginning of the year, you've
submitted 2,139 pictures to our "POTW" contest just under 200
of which have been run here on the site, but 576 of which are in our
"desktop wallpaper file."
This week's winning photo from
Kent Wien of New Hampshire may surprise some of our readers, as
it is a digitally-modified (PhotoShopped) image. For the record, we do
accept PhotoShopped images for the "POTW" contest, but we would
appreciate it if you let us know that the image has been altered in
the "comments" section of your submission. And Kent your spiffy
new AVweb baseball cap is on the way! It's 100% real, with no digital
enhancements whatsoever. More...
|Sponsor News and
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by
the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your
SURE WHAT TO GIVE A PILOT? WANT SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF?|
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|MAKE THE TRANSITION FROM VORs AND NDBs TO FULL GPS
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|FLYING CARPET: THE SOUL OF AN
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HAVE IT TOGETHER?|
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UNIQUE GIFT FOR PILOTS & PROFESSIONALS THE PILOT LOGBOOK
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PERFECT GIFT FOR ALL PILOTS ON YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING
Comm1 training lets pilots experience real
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|POWER FLOW'S 200HP MOONEY SYSTEM IS FAA-APPROVED & READY
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|SPENCER LANE'S FIRST WORLD FLIGHT: THE ODYSSEY OF
Three years before Lindbergh's flight to
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|DISCOVER WHY HOMEBUILTS ARE THE HOTTEST SEGMENT IN
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YOU NEED A TOOL, YOU USUALLY NEED IT BADLY|
Rather than just
buying a bunch of wrenches, drivers, and other tools, it makes more
sense to approach tool-buying with a strategy in mind. And usually,
buying the best pays dividends later. Look for advice in the December
issue of Light Plane Maintenance. Order your
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We Welcome Your
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the
Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service.
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Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
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