The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
PAYS $9.5 MILLION FOR CRASH...
The FAA last Wednesday awarded a $9.5 million settlement to the
families of four people who died when a Piper Cherokee crashed in
Florida in December 2001, according to News4Jax.com. The pilot had made two missed
approaches while trying to land in heavy fog at Jacksonville
International Airport. The NTSB in April 2003 found the probable cause
of the accident was that the pilot became spatially disoriented and
lost control of the airplane during a missed approach. A federal judge
last November ruled that while the pilot was 35 percent
responsible, air traffic controllers were 65 percent to blame for the
crash because they had failed to provide current weather information
to the pilot, contributing to the disorientation. More...
MORE SUITS PENDING
Lawyers for the family of a 20-year-old pilot who died in a California
accident in May 2004 also are preparing to file a
wrongful-death suit against the FAA, according to CDAPress.com. Two pilots in a Piper Seminole were
killed when they hit a mountain while flying IFR near Julian, Calif.
The accident aircraft was the fourth of five Seminoles with similar
call signs that were flying the same route together, and when a
controller authorized one aircraft to descend, the wrong aircraft
acknowledged the clearance. The NTSB said in December 2004 that the probable cause for the
accident was that the controller issued the descent clearance using a
partial call sign and failed to detect that the clearance was read
back by the wrong pilot. The pilots also failed to question the
clearance to an altitude below the published Minimum Enroute Altitude
(MEA), the NTSB said. A contributing factor was that two controllers
-- at the Center and the TRACON -- failed to properly respond to aural
and visual minimum-altitude alerts from their equipment.
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AND LANDING GEAR...
Spanish Springs Airport is a small field just north of Reno, Nev.,
with a single dirt runway, home to 13 single-engine aircraft. New
houses have been creeping closer and closer to the airport, but the
latest development has airport manager Max Bartmess fuming. "This is
really a dire public safety issue," Bartmess told the Reno Gazette-Journal last week. "It's the height
of unfettered bureaucracy." Nine new homes are being built just off
the south end of the runway. For several years, the airport and the
developer have gone back and forth -- and to court and back -- over
agreements that were signed when the development began.
BOTH SIDES CLAIM HIGH GROUND...
The developer says the airport operators agreed to shorten the runway
by 1,000 feet in return for an access road through the development
property. The FAA OK'd the buildings based on that agreement. Bartmess
says the operators were "blackmailed" into the agreement to gain
access, and the terms are not safe or sensible. "This should not have
happened," he told local officials. "Help us try to straighten this
out." AOPA has weighed in to support the airport, asking local
officials to "take all possible measures, including enforcement of
existing state and local statutes, to prevent further residential
encroachment of Spanish Springs Airport." More...
WHILE IN FLORIDA, AIRPLANES WIN ONE
Meanwhile, the developer of a condominium tower in the works for St.
Petersburg, Fla., agreed last week to reduce the building's height by
54 feet to accommodate air traffic in and out of Albert Whitted
Airport. "We want to be a good member of the community," developer
Jerry T. Shaw told the St. Petersburg Times. The tower will go no higher
than 316 feet, the maximum the FAA said is acceptable, instead of the
original proposal for 370 feet. The developer was given 60 days to
negotiate the FAA's decision, but chose to accept it without debate.
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IN AVIATION WRAP UP ANNUAL EVENT...
The 16th Annual International Women in Aviation International Conference wrapped
up Saturday night in Dallas, Texas, with an awards dinner that handed
out $517,000 in scholarships to 55 people. "Several scholarships were
given by those who have won scholarships in the past," Amy Laboda,
editor of WAI's Aviation for Women magazine, told AVweb
yesterday. "That, to me, is the exciting part." The scholarships
ranged from type ratings in 737s, to Pratt & Whitney maintenance
training, to time in Learjet simulators, to a couple of private pilot
certificates, to floatplane training. "We've now topped $4 million in
total scholarships given (to just under 500 people) in less than 10
years," Laboda said. More...
"The aviation industry is pulling out of its slide," WAI President
Peggy Chabrian said at the conference. "Manufacturing is up, people
are being hired again, and [this] conference is one place where that
hiring happens." Attendance was just over 2,800, with visitors from as
far away as Hungary, Tanzania and Nigeria. Featured speakers included NTSB chair Ellen Engleman
Connors, Southwest President Colleen Barrett, Mooney CEO Gretchen
Jahn, and U.S. Rep. John Mica, chair of the House aviation
subcommittee. "I saw a lot of smiles," Laboda said. The 2006
conference will be held in Nashville, March 18-20. More...
FROM NASA: NEXT-GENERATION PIREPS
Pilots now can get better weather information thanks to new airborne sensors that NASA has installed on a
fleet of commuter airliners. Sixty-four Saab 340 aircraft flown by
Minneapolis-based Mesaba Airlines now carry the Tropospheric
Airborne Meteorological Data Report (TAMDAR) sensor, which
automatically senses and reports atmospheric conditions. Observations
are sent by satellite to a ground data center, which processes and
distributes the data to forecasters, pilots and weather briefers. "Our
goal is to give pilots better weather information, so they can make
better decisions in flight," said Taumi Daniels, TAMDAR project leader
at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. More...
AIRLINE SHUTS DOWN, THOUSANDS STRANDED
After a troubled week that included two separate engine malfunctions
and the start of a federal investigation, Canadian discount airline
Jetsgo abruptly quit flying its fleet of 29 jets on Friday and filed
for protection from creditors. As many as 17,000 passengers were
stranded in the midst of a busy school-vacation travel week. Jetsgo
said its business is no longer viable because it is deeply in debt and
its airfares are well below cost. The company blamed intense
competition from other carriers, especially WestJet, for its financial
woes. Clive Beddoe, CEO of WestJet, told reporters he was not
surprised to see Jetsgo fail, because Jetsgo owner Michel Leblanc had
told him he would undercut every fare WestJet had until he filled his
airplanes. "Well, I hate to say that that's not a very good business
model that works," Beddoe said. More...
BAD WEEK FOR EX-BOEING CEO ... BUT WITH A COUPLE MILLION FOR
Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher has been booted from the company for
breaking its code of conduct by having an affair with a female
executive at the company ... but he still is parachuting away with
more than $2 million. Last Thursday, Boeing told the Securities and
Exchange Commission that Stonecipher would be paid the $2.1 million
bonus he earned in 2004, and will continue to collect pay and benefits
through his official retirement date of April 1, at an annual rate of
$1.5 million. He might not get to keep it all, though. Also on
Thursday, his wife of 50 years filed for divorce, asking the court to
grant her an "equitable share" of the couple's property.
WARNS PILOTS TO BE PRECISE OR ELSE
"Only YOU can prevent pilot deviations," says the FAA, and pilots who fly out of Teterboro (N.J.) Airport are being warned to
comply precisely with "Teterboro 5" IFR departure procedures or risk a
midair collision. There have been many altitude deviations by pilots
flying this procedure, the FAA said in a notice posted Friday, and
they are causing potential midair collisions with arriving traffic
headed for nearby Newark International Airport. This is some of the
most congested airspace in the country, so the FAA's advice to "Please
read, understand, and comply," accompanied by bright red graphics
showing the "HOT SPOTS!" is likely sensible. More...
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LATEST AIRBUS MISSING RUDDER
The NTSB is "closely monitoring" the Canadian investigation of an
incident involving the almost total separation of the rudder on an Air
Transat A-310. As AVweb told you on Thursday, the A-310, with
270 passengers and crew on board, was about 30 minutes into its flight
from Varadero, Cuba, to Quebec City when, according to the airline, "a
portion of the rudder detached from the aircraft." Photos supplied by
an AVweb reader (click through on "More") might suggest
slightly different wording. Semantics aside, the NTSB has taken an
interest with recollection of the American Airlines A-300 that crashed
in a New York suburb in November of 2001, killing a total of 265
people following separation of a large section of vertical fin.
AVIATION MUSEUM PLANS EXPANSION
Aviation Museum, in McMinnville, Ore., is planning a $6.9 million
expansion including an IMAX movie theater to open this fall, The Associated Press reported last week. The
55,000-square-foot expansion also will include new conference rooms,
office space, exhibit space and a gift shop. The museum is best-known
as the home of the Spruce Goose, and attendance has spiked recently in
the wake of the movie "The Aviator," about Howard Hughes and his
airplanes. Meanwhile, William Schaub, the former director of the
museum, has filed suit against Evergreen and its founder, according to
The Seattle Times. Schaub claims he was wrongfully
terminated from his position in 2002 and is seeking $1.7 million in
LANCAIR COLUMBIA 400 NOW CERTIFIED TO
The Columbia 400's twin turbochargers can now be put
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400 gives pilots even more flexibility than before. Set the
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levels. A company official recently flew an unmodified
Columbia 400 non-stop from Bend, Oregon to Fort Worth, Texas (a
distance of more than 1,300 nm) while averaging 200 kts.
Find out what a Columbia 400 can do for you. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lancair/avflash
Cessna says Mustang jet will make its first flight before
USMC Harrier jump-jet will fly at AirVenture in Oshkosh
Smoke and ash at Mount St. Helens have disrupted air
French authorities investigating Continental's role in
Airlines still vulnerable to terrorists, CAPA
Police in Mexico found 9 airplanes being
reconditioned to haul drugs...
China's first private airline
launched Friday, flying six Boeing 737s. More...
NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
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MODERNIZING YOUR KT76 DOESN'T GET ANY
Narco Avionics proudly announces that their
plug & play line of digital dransponders now includes the new
AT165/K Transponder, a competitively priced replacement for the
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FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about British Airways'
three-engine 747 flight, sharing military airspace, near misses and
much more. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
CEO of the Cockpit #42: BUFFs and
AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit lost a buddy this month
-- not to death but to retirement. Distance and personality type
usually mean pilots don't see each other once the goodbye party is
over. But at that party -- everybody wants to outdo each other with
stories of "... When I was a junior co-pilot .."
The Cessna, The Sky ... and the
Cartoonist: Chapters Sixteen, Seventeen, and Epilogue
Can he do
it? Can the old dog be taught a new trick -- to land a plane all by
himself? Find out in the final episode of the series by John Ewing,
story-teller, former Disney animator, artist, and American now living
(and flying) in New Zealand. More...
Such concern is touching...
Overheard at a small Australian regional airport.
Regional Carrier XYZ Tower, XYZ, we may be reporting a
bird-strike on landing. We're just backtracking the runway to check.
Tower Theres a large bird lying on the runway, so
were confirming that strike.
Regional Carrier Roger, XYZ. Can you see any damage?
Tower Dont know yet, we havent checked.
...But its not moving. More...
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