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The Top Headlines From
AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
YOKE ON CRASHED CHALLENGER?...
The pilot of a Challenger 600 bizjet that ran off the end of the
runway at Teterboro Airport claims both he and his first officer were
unable to pull the control yoke back, keeping them from raising the
aircraft's nose and forcing him to abort the takeoff. And the pilot of
a newer Challenger 601 that crashed off the end of a runway in
Colorado in November reportedly said he too was unable to pull back on
the yoke of the aircraft he was flying, resulting in the deaths of
three people. According to The New York Times, the pilot in
Wednesday's crash, John Kimberling, told NTSB investigators that with
the airplane at takeoff speed on the runway, he could only pull back
the yoke about an inch instead of the normal three to four inches of
NOT A FACTOR?...
Although it hasn't been ruled out, airframe ice doesn't seem to be a
factor in the crash. Witnesses, surveillance videos and ground-crew
personnel all seem to indicate the aircraft was ice-free as it
departed for Chicago with eight investment bankers, a flight attendant
and two pilots aboard. According to Debbie Hersman of the NTSB, one
aircraft had been de-iced about an hour before the Challenger
departed. It was clear and cold at the time. The baggage on board will
be weighed to determine if the plane was too heavy. Bombardier
spokesman Leo Knaapen said the plane involved in the Colorado crash
was overloaded. "That plane was too heavy, sir," Knaapen told The
Associated Press. He wouldn't speculate on what might have caused the
Teterboro incident. More...
FODDER FOR TEB OPPONENTS
Wednesday's crash has given fresh ammunition to airport opponents and
politicians who'd like to see operations at Teterboro curtailed. The
airport is 12 miles from Manhattan and is consequently among the
busiest GA airports in the U.S. On Thursday, the Port Authority of New
York and New Jersey, which operates Teterboro, decided to try to
reduce the number of flights at the airport. "We are going to try to
improve the safety and the quality of life for residents in and around
Teterboro Airport," Acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey told
reporters after meeting with Port Authority officials. The Jersey
officials reckon it's an odds game. More...
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"NEAR-DITCH" FERRY PILOT TELLS HIS STORY
It had all the makings of an Ernest K. Gann plot or Steven Spielberg
thriller: a lone pilot, over a cold, forbidding sea, defying the odds
and a mysterious fuel leak, and bringing his ship home on fumes, the
engine stopping on the rollout. If only it were true. "There was no
emergency. I just did my job," Allen Walls, of Armstrong, B.C.,
Canada, told AVweb in an exclusive interview. Walls is co-owner
of Ice Dragons International and one of the ferry contractors used by
Cirrus dealers to deliver planes to far-flung places. You may recall
the breathless media accounts on New Year's Eve (including ours) when
the brand-new Cirrus SR22 he was flying to the Netherlands developed a
fuel leak over the North Atlantic between Labrador and Ireland. "It
was a faulty fuel cap. That's all it was," said Walls.
SLOW NEWS DAY...
However, news-starved reporters (New Year's Day is often regarded as
the second slowest news day of the year, behind Easter Sunday)
apparently didn't see it that way. By Jan. 2, Walls was either a
full-blown hero, a "character" with a reputation for taking chances,
or incompetent, depending on the account. The saga began when Walls
noticed his right-wing fuel gauge dropping even though he was burning
off the ferry tank. He shone a flashlight on the right wing and saw
the telltale mist of fuel escaping the cap. By wagging the wings, he
apparently sloshed the fuel enough to break up a pressurized air
pocket within the tank and stop the leak. "I'd lost my reserves," he
said. He was about 400 miles from Ireland. More...
REAL STORY MAY BE BETTER
Walls calculated that he'd have eight gallons of fuel, or about 40
minutes of flying time, left when he landed in Ireland. He slipped
into his survival suit, set the airplane up for best fuel economy and
settled in for the flight. He also told Irish authorities that rather
than go to his original destination, a GA airport at Galway, he'd head
for the longer runway and better equipment at Shannon, about 30 miles
farther. Nobody told the people in Galway, however, which was in the
middle of a power blackout. Thinking they were the last hope for a
pilot in a stricken aircraft, the good people of Galway lined the dark
runway with cars, using their headlights to illuminate what they
thought was Walls' lifeline. "I didn't even find out about it until
three days later," said Walls. He continued to Shannon and landed. The
engine did stop on the runway but Walls switched tanks and taxied in.
BETTER FSS, PREDICTS AOPA
Interactive briefings over the Internet, e-mail and PDA NOTAM alerts
and guaranteed service parameters are all part of the plan as Lockheed
Martin takes over the Automated Flight Service Station system. The
company won the outsourcing competition for the system last Tuesday
and, two days later, met with AOPA executives. "After spending about
90 minutes getting an advance look at a 21st century flight service
station and asking hard questions, all I can say is 'Wow!'" said AOPA
President Phil Boyer. Lockheed Martin will cut the number of FSSs from
58 to 21 but will introduce the Web and wireless technology to improve
AND TURBULENCE MAPS FROM JEPPESEN
Just in case your FSS briefer misses something, technology continues
to trot out new ways for pilots to help themselves. Jeppesen announced
this week that it would offer icing and turbulence forecasting to its
subscribers. The company says it's the first to offer the services on
a worldwide basis. The maps were developed with Norman, Okla.-based
Weather Decision Technologies and will be available through Jeppesen
applications including JetPlan.com, JetPlanner, FliteStar and
OPSControl. Jeppesen says both the icing and turbulence maps use
intuitive color scales to show forecast areas of light, moderate and
severe conditions. More...
MIDAIR SURVIVING PILOT REFLECTS
While most of us could never imagine pulling an ejection handle,
imagine what was going through Capt. Chuck Mallett's mind when he
reached for it and it wasn't there. "I had time to think about my
family and that I may never see them again," Mallett told reporters in
his first interview since surviving a midair collision with a fellow
Canadian Armed Forces Snowbird pilot in December. Capt. Miles Selby,
of White Rock, British Columbia, died in the collision, which occurred
near the Snowbirds home base of Moose Jaw, Sask., Canada, last Dec.
10. Mallett, who is now back flying with the team as lead solo, said
thorough training and "amazing coincidences of luck" helped him walk
away from the accident. More...
AIR FORCE COMBATS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
A California man has assembled a vigilante air force and army to
patrol an area of the Mexican border used frequently by illegal
immigrants. James Gilchrist says that so far 16 pilots have offered
themselves and their aircraft to help out the Minuteman
Project, which he hopes will embarrass the government into
stopping "the endless mob of illegal aliens streaming across our
borders like a tsunami." The aircraft and up to 400 volunteers will
patrol an area south of Tucson that is considered particularly prone
to border jumping. Gilchrist said the volunteers will use binoculars,
telescopes and night-vision gear to spot the aliens and report them to
immigration officials. They won't try to turn them back themselves.
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(STILL) WAITS FOR WEATHER, SPOTTERS SOUGHT
It's always nice to have a tailwind but when your destination is your
departure point and you're only flying in one direction, it's pretty
much necessary. Steve Fossett and the GlobalFlyer crew are awaiting
more favorable weather to launch their around-the-world, solo nonstop
flight. Earliest date will be Feb. 12 as they wait for a big jog in
the jet stream to straighten out and give them the conditions they
need to take off. Of particular concern is turbulence during the
earlier hours of the flight since the weight of the fuel aboard will
already be stressing the airframe to near its limits. Once the flight
gets under way, the team is hoping for help in tracking the plane.
The words prank and airplane never mix but a
couple of wags in Arizona, who undoubtedly had the best of intentions,
could pay a heavy price for their afternoon of fun.
Joshua Parriott, 29, of Phoenix and his passenger James Klein, 42,
of Chandler, face three misdemeanor charges and could face
federal prosecution after they allegedly dropped sacks of flour from
an airplane over a wilderness area. According to the Scottsdale
Republic, they were apparently doing it as a joke on friends engaged
in a paintball game in the forest below. However, other residents of
the area, who werent in on the joke (but were aware the date
marked that of Iraq's elections) thought the pilots were
terrorists bent on poisoning the local water supply with anthrax.
GAMA chose ex-Air Force pilot as new president...
FAA decided not
to sanction errant Northwest pilots...
Aerocomp flew its jet
prototype home to a shorter runway. 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.
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FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about the mid-air collision between an Air Force
trainer and a crop duster, the FSS outsourcing contract, flying with
alcohol and much more. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
As the Beacon Turns #86: Taking Safety Personally
aircraft manufacturers do you know send out safety notices to owners
with titles like, "Flying at Night Can Be Fatal," and then provide
company-subsidized safety classes to reduce accidents? AVweb's Michael
Maya Charles found one -- Robinson Helicopter -- and really
appreciated the course. More...
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Overheard last April near Miami, Florida, just as Sun n' Fun was
Pilot: ...request VFR flight following to Lakeland.
ATC: N123, unable at this time...
Pilot: Roger, unable. Any idea when can I expect it?
ATC: Try again ... this time next week.
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