The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
FOR GA SECURITY IN DC...
The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) announced on Thursday it will assume
responsibility for ground-security requirements and procedures at the
three general aviation airports located within the Washington, D.C.,
Flight Restricted Zone. The TSA issued an interim final rule that allows transient
operations at the three airports -- College Park, Potomac Airfield,
and Washington Executive Airport/Hyde Field -- commonly referred to as
the "DC-3." Since February 2002, the three airports have been
operating under Special FAR 94, which expired yesterday, and which
essentially closed the airports to aircraft not based there. The GA
alphabets responded with positive but muted enthusiasm.
RULE SPELLS OUT PROCEDURES...
Under the new rule, transient pilots must receive prior authorization
to use the airports. They will have to be fingerprinted at Reagan
National Airport, complete a criminal background check, pass muster
with the TSA, check in with the FAA in Washington or Baltimore and
present their documents to airport management. The airport operators
must keep a list of all pilots and aircraft who have been approved,
and ensure security of aircraft on the field. The TSA will designate
an Airport Security Coordinator at each of the three airports. The
rule also makes permanent the Flight Restricted Zone. The TSA is
accepting comments on the new rule, and says it will not hesitate to
make changes if it finds better ways to enhance security or reduce
AIRPORTS ADAPT (AGAIN)
The new rule really just recognizes procedures that have developed
over time since the original SFAR was issued, says David Wartofsky, owner of Potomac
Airfield. Over the last several years, he has worked with the TSA
and FAA to obtain the approvals of more than 400 area pilots who are
allowed to fly in and out of his field, he said. The new TSA rule
should help to relieve the public perception that the airport is
off-limits. "Basically, the new rule will replace prior confusion with
new confusion," he told AVweb on Saturday. But it's less
constraining, he said, and "absolutely" a step in the right direction.
Stan Fetter, manager of Washington Executive Airport/Hyde Field, agreed.
"We're pleased, but not excited," he told AVweb on Saturday.
"It's hard to tell what impact it will have. Operators still have to
be willing to come here and spend a day or two running around to get
the approval." More...
TO COMPLICATE SPACE TOURISM (WITH SAFETY)...
DOT Secretary Norm Mineta offered a glimpse last week into what the
FAA will be looking for in safety guidelines for commercial space
tourism. Speaking at the annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference in
Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Mineta
said that passengers who want to travel into space should get a
physical and sign consent forms stating they understand the risks.
Also, operators of reusable launch vehicles should inform passengers
of the safety record of the vehicle and provide safety training before
the launch, Mineta said. The draft guidelines "respect that this is
uncharted territory," and allow operators to decide the best way to
meet the standards, he said. More...
PLAN NOT SAFE ENOUGH, CONGRESSMAN SAYS...
U.S. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), however, thinks the
FAA's approach to space safety is too lax. Last Thursday, Oberstar introduced a bill that would amend last December's
space tourism legislation to allow the FAA to take a more "pro-active"
stand on passenger safety. Oberstar decried the "tombstone mentality"
of the December legislation, which prohibits the FAA from issuing
safety regulations for the next eight years unless there is a
potentially catastrophic incident. His bill would require that the FAA
include, in each license it issues, minimum standards to protect the
health and safety of crews and space flight participants.
THERE MAY BE MORE THAN JOYRIDES AT STAKE
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) told the Commercial Space Conference on Thursday
that the space industry is about more than tourism. "In 2010 the
Shuttle will be retired," he said. "So there is right now a need to
move people into space quickly, safely and reliably. I believe that
need could be met in large part by the private sector. ... The job of
Congress is to pass legislation and exercise its oversight functions
in such a way that will enable this industry to succeed," he said.
Calvert is the newly selected chairman of the Space and Aeronautics
Subcommittee of the House Science Committee. More...
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BREAKS SALES RECORD
New aircraft orders reached an all-time high of 733 in 2004, Cirrus Design
Corp. reported on Saturday. The figure represents an increase of
69 percent, or 301 more aircraft ordered than in 2003. The company
also set a new monthly record of 102 new aircraft orders in December.
Cirrus attributes the growth to maturity of its domestic sales team
and the establishment of a sales network around the world. In 2004,
orders from foreign markets doubled over the previous year, with
strong showings in Europe and Australia. Cessna said last month that it delivered 654
single-engine piston aircraft in 2004. Cirrus didn't release delivery
numbers, but GAMA will tell all in a few hours. More...
The wing was mated to the fuselage of the prototype Cessna
Mustang very light jet earlier this month, Cessna said. Five airframes
are in various stages of assembly at Cessna's Pawnee facility in
Wichita, Kan. Once completed, three airframes will be used for flight
testing and two airframes will be used for structural testing. Cessna
has already begun testing on the Mustang engine, avionics and
autopilot, landing gear, environmental system, and flight controls.
The airplane will be certified as an FAR Part 23 aircraft, with a
cruise speed of 340 knots, and maximum operating altitude of 41,000
feet. Cessna says it has received over 200 orders for the Mustang and
will be taking a mock-up on tour starting today -- in Meigs-less
(we're sure it's going to be a very nice park) Chicago.
MAY ENCOURAGE MORE SMALL-AIRPORT SERVICE
A bill that would allow on-demand air-charter operators to conduct
limited scheduled service has been introduced in the House by U.S.
Pearce (R-N.M.). The legislation (H.R. 488) would permit on-demand
Part 135 operators to conduct public charter flights, provided the
service consists of fewer than five round trips per week. The purpose
of the legislation is to provide supplemental air service to small
communities that lack sufficient scheduled air service. "NATA is
supportive of Congressman Pearce's efforts," James Coyne, president of
the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), said Thursday in a
news release. More...
PILOTS TAKE ON MILITARY IN N.M.
New Mexico has some wide-open skies, but apparently there is not
enough room there for all the military and civilian pilots who want to
fly. The U.S. Air Force wants to add 700 square miles to the 2,600
square miles now used by the F-16 Falcons based at Cannon Air Force
Base. The airspace expansion would mean rerouting about 40
civilian flights per day, and intrude onto GA routes between
Albuquerque and Roswell. "They've grabbed up so much airspace, it's
going to be dangerous for small, civilian aircraft," U.S. Pilots
Association President Steve Uslan told The Albuquerque Journal. "And that's a long way
around, and that means a lot of fuel and a lot of time wasted."
NAA AND CELEBRATE AVIATION'S PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE|
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CRITIQUED IN 9/11 REPORT
The FAA's response to pre-9/11 warnings of terrorist threats against
aviation got slammed last week, as a newly declassified staff report by the 9/11 Commission was released.
The report adds more details about exactly what information was
available to FAA officials and when. Despite dozens of warnings that
al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden posed a threat, and information that
hijackers could be planning suicide missions, aviation officials were
"lulled into a false sense of security" and didn't respond adequately,
the report says. In response to the new report, FAA spokeswoman Laura
J. Brown told The New York Times, "We didn't have specific
information about means or methods that would have enabled us to
tailor any countermeasures." More...
PILOT HOPEFULS, HELP IS ON THE WAY
For those of you eager to take off into the Sport Pilot era, some new
information sources are available. The FAA has posted online its list
of Light Sport Aircraft Examiners by category, to make it easy to
find the right person to give you the checkride. So far there are only
a dozen listings in the five categories, but 11 more examiner courses
are on the FAA's schedule for this year, with each class turning out
as many as eight new examiners. Current examiners also can qualify as
Sport Pilot examiners, so more are expected soon. Also, "The Complete
Idiot's Guide to Sport Flying" hit the bookshelves on Feb. 1, EAA says, but as of Saturday, we couldn't find
anyplace selling it online. EAA says it will be selling the books soon
through its own online
FAA to hold a public meeting this week on the grounded T-34
Garmin had record growth in 2004, certified G1000 in six
Helmet for fighter pilots coordinates line of sight
And for GA pilots, a heads-up display of our very
own, only $9,340...
International Air Rally, Canada-U.S., set for
Review winter-flying procedures online, at Air Safety
Need a backyard shed? Beech Starship, sans engines,
for sale on eBay. 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.
ASA GETS "FIT" THE FAA HAS RECOGNIZED
IP Trainer and Instrument Refresher: An IPC
Simulator as FAA/Industry Training Standard (FITS)
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FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
mail this week about the FSS contract, the GA anthrax scare and more.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
FAA Streamlines "Special"
The FAA recently expanded its special issuance program
for pilots with medical problems; now the program includes First- and
Second-Class medical certificates as well as Third-Class medicals. The
change promises to streamline the FAA's approval process for pilots
who require the higher certificates. Senior FAA Aviation Medical
Examiner Brent Blue, M.D., explains all.
Searching For The Right
There are pilots, even student pilots, so enamored
with their new hobby or budding career that they rush out to buy a
plane and get on the fast upgrade track. Easy to make a mistake that
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Just another day around the patch...
Tower: Experimental N123, we'll try to squeeze you in.
Number one, cleared to land, runway 26 left. Be advised, traffic close
Experimental: Number one for 26 left, N123.
Tower: Experimental N123, turn your base now, please,
and keep your speed up. Traffic, a Hawker jet 10 miles out, number two
Experimental: Uh ... roger ... be advised, we're already
pedaling as fast as we can. More...
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FLOW STC INCREASES CESSNA 172N GROSS WEIGHT
Power Flow Systems, manufacturers of the
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gross weight of C172Ns equipped with 0-320 engines. The only
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