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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
THE NAME OF SAFETY AND SECURITY
When Heinz Johner returned to his native Switzerland after living in
the U.S. for several years, he brought something of fairly unique
value with him. Now, thanks to the Transportation Safety
Administration's new alien flight training rule, that hard-won CFI
certificate is practically useless, unless he moves back to the
States. In what appears to be case of bureaucratic logic gone wild,
Johner can't continue his part-time vocation of giving FAA-based
instruction in Europe unless both he and his students travel to the
U.S. for fingerprinting and background checks. "I'm effectively
grounded. I cannot give any more instruction," Johner told
RAFTS, VESTS NOT ALLOWED...
Michael Magnell doesn't ever have any trouble getting himself on an
airplane but his luggage is a different story. Magnell is a ferry
pilot and owns a California company that specializes in long-distance
and over-water delivery of private aircraft to far-flung destinations.
When he heads to a distant locale to pick up a plane, he has to take
his survival gear, including inflatable life vest and inflatable life
raft, with him. He says U.S. airlines refuse to allow either item in
their baggage compartments ... even though there's an inflatable vest
under every seat in the cabin. "There's just no rhyme or reason to
it," he said. "They tell me to ship it -- air freight," he
FREE EXPLOSIVES AT CHARLES DE GAULLE
And in France, there's nothing like reality training for airport
security staff (two-legged and otherwise). French authorities have now
banned the practice of security inspectors slipping real plastic
explosive into the baggage of unsuspecting passengers to test the
abilities of bomb-sniffing dogs. Last Friday, one of the dogs
apparently had a head cold or some other lapse. The allegedly
bomb-laden luggage got through and possibly onto a plane at Charles de
Gaulle Airport. We say "possibly" because as of Wednesday the
explosive still hadn't been found, which also suggests the dog may
have been up to snuff but that the explosives had been ... liberated
or otherwise misplaced ... prior to the sniff test.
LOOK TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM WHEN
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AIR ACES PLANE LOST
A Texas air-combat simulation and upset-recovery training center has
temporarily suspended operations after losing a second aircraft in
just over a year to an apparent wing separation. The Texas Air
Aces T-34 went down Tuesday about three miles from where a similar
aircraft crashed on Nov. 19, 2003. In both crashes, the two people
aboard the aircraft were killed. And in both tragedies, witnesses
reported seeing one of the wings snap off before the aircraft spiraled
into the ground near Lake Conroe. More...
IN FIVE YEARS
A similar crash in Georgia in 1999 prompted an Airworthiness Directive (AD) requiring thorough
periodic inspections of the wing spars on T-34s. After the AD was
issued, several alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) were
approved. After the 2003 crash, the FAA's preliminary report suggested
that the aircraft wasn't in compliance with the AD, but FAA
preliminary reports can be wrong. The FAA
report on Tuesday's crash incorrectly identified the aircraft as a
Beechjet (hopefully this has since been corrected) and also says only
the pilot was on board. Texas Air Aces spokesman Dave Hollaway told
the Houston Chronicle he didn't know if the aircraft was in compliance
with the AD. More...
|INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING A LIGHTSPEED 25XL
RECONDITIONED HEADSET THIS HOLIDAY SEASON|
First, print out
several copies of this page and circle the paragraph below with a
thick felt tip pen. Then, leave copies around the house by the
phone, on the refrigerator, near the computer, and in other places
your family may stumble upon it. Now, cross your fingers and wait. Or,
buy one for yourself! No one will question it if you've been very
FREE SHIPPING ON RECONDITIONED 25XLs THROUGH DECEMBER
When new, these headsets listed for $599. Now, you can
purchase reconditioned 25XLs for $350 and receive
complimentary UPS Ground domestic shipping. These headsets come
from pilots who have upgraded to LightSPEED Thirty 3G headsets. All
have new seals, pads, and are upgraded to current factory
specifications. Plus, they are backed by LightSPEED's 30-day
money-back guarantee, one-year warranty, and LightSPEED's emphasis on
customer service and satisfaction. For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/r25xls/avflash.
GOVERNMENT COMPANY TAKES ON U.S. TOWERS
The contract towers that serve four Hawaiian airports, as well as
those on the U.S. Pacific islands of Guam and Saipan, are back in
government hands -- the Australian government's. Airservices Australia, the government-owned
corporation that runs air traffic control down under, recently won a
$20 million (Australian) contract to take over the towers at Molokai,
Lihue, Kona, and Kalealoa as well as on the other two islands. The
announcement came as the U.S. and Australia get ready to enter a new
free-trade agreement. The contract doesn't seem to be causing much
controversy among some of the generally turf-conscious players, but it
wasn't their turf, anyway. More...
YEAR IN TWO DECADES FOR ALASKA
Alaska pilots just recorded their safest year in 20 years. There were
"only" 100 accidents in the state in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
By contrast, the worst year for accidents during the period was 1995,
chiming in with 173. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey told the Juneau
Empire the statistics "just turn one's head around" and she credited a
coordinated effort to improve flight safety in Alaska with the
improvement. John Duncan, a spokesman for the FAA's Flight Standards
office in Anchorage, said accident stats have been going down for five
THE SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY CONTINUES! LOG ON TO SEE THE
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says private pilot Jason Downs. A pair of Scheydens will be
given away every other week to a lucky AVweb subscriber, with a retail
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choice of pilots who demand quality and function. Scheydens are
handmade of Titanium (Ti) frames with quality lenses. A Rosewood
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equipment. For information and to register to win, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden/avflash.
PLUS SAILPLANE GOES NEW YORK-TO-DALLAS (-ISH)
Chalk up another record for Steve Fossett -- compliments of one of the
longest stretches of ridge-soarable geography in the world (the
Andes). The world's best-known extreme aviator broke the straight-line
distance record for sailplanes Dec. 4 when he flew an ASH 25M
high-performance sailplane about two-thirds the length of Argentina, a
total distance of 1,358 miles. Terry Delore accompanied Fossett as
"co-pilot." The flight, between the Argentine cities of El Calafate
and San Juan, is roughly equivalent to the distance from New York to
Dallas. It took the duo 15 hours and 42 minutes and beat the old
record, set by Klaus Ohlmann on the same course, by about eight miles.
CRUNCH THREATENS CRANE PROJECT
There's no free lunch in Wisconsin, but does that mean whooping cranes
will be toast? The state is considering eliminating the job of
whooping-crane coordinator, a person who helps organize the annual
migration of cranes raised in captivity and then led to their Florida
wintering grounds by ultralight aircraft. (Some of the early birds
have now learned to go it on their own.) The coordinator is
Wisconsin's contribution to the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership,
which is working to establish a second migratory flock of whooping
cranes in North America. But the travel plans of the cranes could fall
victim to Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle's determination to eliminate a $1.6
billion deficit without raising taxes. More...
MAKER UP FOR GRABS
For those interested in a turnkey opportunity to join the mini-jet
market, a Canadian company may have what you're looking for. Noravcan
Corp., of Calgary, Alberta, is selling its Phoenix
Fanjet aircraft program. The company has developed a four-place,
single-engine luxury tourer called the Magna and a two-place aerobatic
model called the Sigma. The all-metal jets are powered by a Williams
FJ44 engine. Noravcan doesn't give a reason for selling the program,
which would seem poised to exploit the burgeoning interest in personal
jets. The company claims its planes are easy to fly -- even for
low-time pilots -- and relatively inexpensive to operate.
EYES MASSIVE BOYS-AND-GIRLS CLUB
Wichita, Kan., is pondering an ambitious idea being floated by Cessna
Chairman Russ Meyer. Meyer wants to convert the company's massive 21st
Street Training Center into likely one of the largest and most capable
Boys and Girls Clubs anywhere. Under Meyer's vision, the 15-acre site
would become home to a club to, in the words of a Wichita Eagle
columnist, "help struggling families, to tutor, to provide computer
training, to educate, mentor and inspire young people." The catch
(isn't there always one?) is that it would cost up to $10 million.
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GIFT-GIVING MADE EASY
AVWEB'S HOLIDAY SHOPPING PAGE
Featuring products and
services from AVweb's
sponsors with special holiday offers!
Faulty GPS data suspect in fatal crash of Piper Cheyenne in
Did you know: accident rate for business flights is
.014 per 100,000 hours, says NBAA...
Chicago is buying up land
(neighborhoods) to accommodate O'Hare expansion. 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
Say Again? #44: Looking For
Trouble can come from an air traffic controller who,
like AVweb's Don Brown, is conscious of all the ways things can go
wrong and keeps bothering his supervisors about them. Trouble can also
come from a radar system that, apparently, ignores the very traffic a
controller (and other pilots) want to see. Don explains all in this
month's Say Again? column.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on
the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make
headlines in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must
read. Watch for a Business AVflash regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA
IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/
ATTENTION, CESSNA OWNERS AND PILOTS
Cessna Flyer Association (CFA) provides parts locating, tech
support, a monthly member magazine, online forums, national & regional
events, an annual convention, seminars, and more. For less than
a tank of fuel ($39.00 for a one-year membership), you can access the
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from owning and flying your Cessna aircraft. Join the Cessna
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Year-end is upon us just as soon as we all plow through the
holiday season. This week, AVweb wants to know how many hours you flew
in 2004. PLUS: Results of last week's question on the outsourcing of
LOOK, UP IN THE AIR! IT'S A PLANE! IT'S A FLYING
It's Woody, staff member of Pilot
Getaways magazine who has traveled from coast to coast helping
the publisher and editor bring subscribers the best fly-in
destinations. Woody has logged over 1,600 hours and has
something to say about the places he's visited, from the Southwest to
the Northeast, small grass strips in Canada, remote Mexican beaches,
and places in between. If you love dogs or just need a smile, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/woody/avflash.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
This week's "Picture of the Week" contest had it all! Among the 80
submissions you sent in this week, we found beautiful landscapes,
classic airplanes, gyroplane p.o.v. shots, holidays lights, and even a
gasp-inducing near-collision. Which ones made it to the final cut?
Byron Miranda's helicopter shot took the top spot (earning him an
official AVweb baseball cap), but we daresay there isn't a
disappointing photo in the bunch this week. Remember: The holidays are
upon us, so now's the time to send in those pictures of your bird
draped in lights that you've been saving since last year.
|Sponsor News and
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by
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|UPGRADE YOUR HOLIDAY GIFT-GIVING WITH AN OREGON AERO
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|SUBSCRIBE TO PLANE & PILOT MAGAZINE & GET ISSUE
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Save 80% off the newsstand price when you subscribe today by calling
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|LET YOUR FAMILY KNOW WHEN YOU'LL BE HOME|
up for the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. It's the
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|SEND YOUR MECHANIC OR SPOUSE THE MECHANIC'S TOOLBOX
This CD from Sacramento SkyRanch comes
gift-wrapped with a card for your personal message. Go online for more
information and to order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyranch/avflash.
|RECEIVE A GIFT WITH A GIFT FROM
Give a Chase-Durer fine chronograph watch to
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supplies last) as an additional gift, or for yourself.
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|"THE LOOK FROM FOLKS AS I DRIVE BY WAS WORTH THE
says one happy CarProp owner. You too can order
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having fun. Order as holiday gifts and for yourself, online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/carprop/avflash.
GIFT OF SAFETY IS A CO GUARDIAN CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR|
Guardian has models of CO detectors that range from portable units to
panel-mount units with solid-state sensors and temperature sensors.
SPECIAL: The Aero 152A model is CO Guardian's portable CO
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|GIVE OR GET A NEW LEATHER FLIGHT BAG FROM PILOTMALL &
SHOW YOUR STYLE!|
PilotMall.com's real leather flight
bags are second to none and there's a backpack model!
HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Complimentary U.S. Domestic shipping through
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GLEIM PILOT KITS, ALL YOU'LL HAVE TO ADD IS THE
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FOR THEM FOR CHRISTMAS IF YOU CAN WAIT!|
learn with the new audio CD version of Rod Machado's
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|SAFE GOODS OFFERS GREAT GIFTS FOR YOUR SHOPPING & A
Safe Goods has the perfect gift for
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Spirit and Creator limited edition print and
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the designer of Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis. And, to keep
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|HIGH-ADVENTURE FLYING IN UTAH'S RED ROCK COUNTRY WITH
OUT THERE ... FLYING!|
Utah's Red Rock
Country, Volume 1 is the first in a series of DVDs on
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GIFT-GIVING SPECIAL: Order two DVDs and get the second at
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FLOW'S 200HP MOONEY SYSTEM IS FAA-APPROVED & READY FOR
Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System has been
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|BECOMING A PILOT IS HUMANKIND'S WILDEST DREAM
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|THOUGHT THAT USING GPS WOULD BE FUN, DIDN'T
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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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