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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
While Steve Fossett might be able to stay awake for 80 hours (concerns
over a "missing" 2,600 gallons of fuel might help), we at AVweb
make no such claim. So we leave you at 1 a.m. EST with the adventurer
northeast of Hawaii, consistently running at better than 270 kts at
46,000 feet and determined to land at Salina, Kan. sometime today --
at a more civilized hour. "I hit the jetstream very well, which has
put us in a better fuel position. I have every hope of making it to Salina tomorrow," Fossett told his
mission control team back in Kansas via satellite phone. This, despite
a day-long drama Wednesday over his fuel state and the very real
possibility that he might land in Hawaii (who could blame him at this
time of year) instead of Salina. More...
RECORD NO MATTER WHAT
So, what happened to all that fuel? The concentration seems focussed
(sensibly) on making the most of the JP-4 that didn't disappear
but there has been some speculation centering around where it all went
... if in fact it went anywhere at all. A venting problem or simply a
miscalculation of the initial consumption on climb out are among the
theories -- though human or instrument error can't be discounted.
Whatever happened, concern of an abnormal burn or leak stopped after
about three and one-half hours and Fossett kept flying. Along the way
he set at least one new record. More...
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Look for the "accident" rate to increase in coming years -- and you
can blame it on the NTSB. The body charged with trying to keep us out
of trouble has come up with some new definitions for the term
"accident," and it could cause a spike in the stats. Last December,
the NTSB issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) designed to
ensure the agency was included in any information exchange regarding
potentially dangerous circumstances that have safe and happy outcomes.
In essence, if the NPRM is adopted as a final rule (the comment period
is open until March 11) certain events must now be reported as
"accidents" and other events are newly reportable as "incidents."
Possibly the biggest impact will be on helicopter stats. The NPRM
removes an exclusion for ground damage to rotors and tail rotors, and
now requires that all such incidents be reported as "accidents."
Helicopter Association International (HAI) President Roy Resavage is
urging members to forward comments to both HAI and
the NTSB by March 7. The NTSB apparently doesn't accept comments
electronically, so they must be mailed to: Mr. Deepak Joshi, Lead
Aerospace Engineer (Structures), National Transportation Safety Board,
490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, D.C., 20594. The NPRM will also
affect fixed-wing operators through the inclusion, as reportable
"incidents," of in-flight propeller failures, turbine failures that
result in debris escaping from anywhere besides the exhaust path, the
loss of information from a majority of an aircraft's electronic
primary displays, and any airborne-collision-and-avoidance system
(ACAS) alarms that occur during IFR operations. More...
AOPA has filed comments
on the NPRM, but only on two of the sections. Spokesman Chris Dancy
said it's AOPA's view that helicopter rotor and tail-rotor damage must
still fit the definition of "substantial damage" before it's
reportable as an accident, so it wasn't concerned about that section.
AOPA did object to the section on electronic flight displays as being
"too vague." AOPA also noted the FAA already collects data on ACAS
warnings so it would be redundant for the NTSB to require them.
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LEGALITY OF ELECTRONIC CHARTS
Will that be paper or glass? The answer is likely both, at least in
the near future, when it comes to approach plates. In December,
Avidyne certified a software package for the EX 5000C glass panel in
Cirrus aircraft that allows the uploading of electronic depictions of
Jeppesen approach plates for display in the cockpit. Although the
electronic plates, called CMax, are exactly the same as those that can be
printed using Jeppview, the company's net-based system, the FAA
apparently still doesn't trust this newfangled way of doing things.
Both the Cirrus and Avidyne manuals include, at FAA insistence,
disclaimers saying the screens aren't to be used as the primary source
of approach information. More...
CONSIDERS CIRRUS AIR TAXI
If you've ever wanted to fly to Glendive, Mont., the city of Bismarck,
N.D., might have just the ticket. Bismarck, you see, got a $1.5
million grant from the Department of Transportation three years ago to
develop a regional air service plan. The result could be the first
next-generation air taxi service designed to relieve pressure on the
existing hub system and provide air service to communities (like
Glendive) that are off the airlines' radar. What's more, according to
Bismarck officials, "Point2Point Airways" would make money after a
couple of years, something that seems to be a challenge for most
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QUIET ON CERTIFICATION DELAYS
Two months after it predicted the first delivery of one of its A500
push/pull twins, Adam Aircraft continues to have certification
"challenges" on the design, according to the FAA. Agency spokesman
Allen Kenitzer also made it clear that bureaucratic foot-dragging is
not causing the slipped schedule. "We are responding to the company's
schedule," Kenitzer told AVweb. "But it's not uncommon for
challenges to evolve during the late phase of any [certification]
program." Kenitzer declined to comment on the nature of those
challenges for privacy and proprietary reasons and said more details
would have to come from Adam. Adam spokesman John Hamilton declined
comment. "I really can't comment on the certification process," he
A320 ALMOST MEET (BADLY) ON RUNWAY
So, we have to wonder what the Japan Airlines pilot told his
passengers after he slammed on the Boeing 777's thrust reversers and
swerved onto a taxiway about 3,000 feet into his takeoff roll at New
Chitose Airport on the Japanese island of Hokkaido last Jan. 22. Ten
minutes later, the aircraft took off. The Mainichi daily news reported the takeoff was aborted (at the screaming
insistence of an air traffic controller) because no clearance was
issued and an All Nippon Airways A320 had just landed at the opposite
end of the 10,000-foot runway. "I was preoccupied with preparations
for takeoff and failed to confirm whether my plane was cleared. I
thought no other aircraft was ahead of us," the unidentified captain
told Japanese authorities, who only released their report a week ago.
MOVES (FARTHER) FROM AERONAUTICS
When your head is above the clouds, it's hard to remember your roots.
The first A in NASA, which stands for Aeronautics, is rapidly becoming
archaic as the organization throws more and more resources behind
ambitious space projects. And while space stations, a trip to Mars and
a replacement for the space shuttle are certainly headline grabbers,
the more mundane work of ensuring the vast majority of us
atmosphere-bound aviators have a crack at the new technologies borne
of those billions of tax dollars is falling by the wayside. According
to a story in the Orlando Sentinel, less than 6 percent of NASA's
$16.2 billion budget is going to aeronautics in 2005. (Perhaps they're
thinking there's always Allen, Fossett, Branson, and Rutan.)
PICKS TOWER OVER GOLF COURSE
It's not often that a community is willing to sacrifice a golf course
for an airport development but Reno, perhaps better than most cities,
appreciates the value of air travel. The airport authority announced
last week that the popular Brookside Golf Course will make way for a
new $25 million control tower sometime in the next year or so. More
than 60,000 people played the city-operated Brookside course last
year. It's particularly popular with seniors because of its short
length and $55 a month unlimited green fees. Although Reno's current
tower is adequate, the airport recorded an 11-percent increase in
traffic last year. More...
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Women In Aviation to talk strategic alliances...
in Teterboro crash...
Orlando airports got $9 million in
Sport aviation fair well-attended. 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.
WHEN THE WEATHER REPORTS CALL FOR MORE SNOW, GO
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Say Again? #47: On Course of
When you file direct GPS, when are you on course? Seems
an easy question, but not when ATC doesn't know where you're really
going. And to make it worse, more and more pilots and controllers
aren't using standard phraseology, meaning someone sometime soon is
going to get really lost. Air traffic controller Don Brown is trying
to help. More...
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, an AVweb reader wants to know what you think about Military
Operation Areas (MOAs) an the amount of airspace they're taking away
from GA. Our esteemed reader asks, "Should the military be allowed to
take over any more airspace without giving up an equivalent amount? I
suggest this because today the military has far fewer operation
aircraft and flying squadrons than they did during the Cold War. In
addition, many of the units are deployed overseas supporting
operations in Iraq, Afganistan, etc." PLUS: Results of last week's
question on UFO sightings. More...
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Another week, another great batch of photos from AVweb readers
man, this is the life! Suzy Kryzanowicz of Michigan takes home top
honors this week. (She'll also be taking home an official AVweb
baseball cap for her efforts.) Once you've marvelled at Suzy's
prize-winning photo, scroll down for thrills! excitement! a Mustang!
and a few chuckles. More...
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