The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
BATTLES FRAUD VERDICT...
It's a long way from Textron headquarters in Williamsport, Pa., to
Anderson, Texas, both literally and figuratively, but corporate
honchos from the company that brings you Cessna and Lycoming products
are getting to know the place pretty well. For it's in that unlikely
little city north of Houston that the fortunes of an aviation icon and
industry dynasty could turn. As AVweb told you last month, a jury in
Anderson laid the full blame for faulty crankshafts in high-powered
Lycoming engines on Lycoming. The jury also found that Lycoming
engaged in fraud when it negotiated a new supply contract with
Intestate Southwest, the Navasota, Texas, contractor Lycoming had
hired to forge crankshaft billets, without informing the company of
crankshaft failures it knew about. Our sister publication, Aviation
Consumer, will carry a story in its April edition that delves
deeply into the technical and legal details of the case and what it
could mean for individual owners and the industry as a whole.
REPORT KEPT FROM JURY...
Lycoming's legal team is now formulating its appeal and further action
could revolve around the FAA's involvement in the case. During the
massive recall of some 1800 crankshafts during 2002 and 2003, the FAA
accepted Lycoming's contention that Interstate had overheated the
forgings and weakened the metal in them. It included that finding in
the Emergency Airworthiness Directive that grounded the affected
aircraft. But the jury didn't get to hear about the FAA's
investigation into the crank failures because the judge in the
Anderson trial excluded the report from the agency's Special
Certification Review Team as prejudicial and hearsay. Lycoming
attorney Rich Bedell told Aviation Consumer that the FAA SCRT
report supports Lycoming's view that overheating caused the crank
failures and the company may appeal the exclusion of that evidence.
Aviation Consumer's report was based on lengthy detailed interviews
with legal counsel for both sides. The final verdict has not yet been
entered by Judge Jerry Sandel in Texas district court. A hearing is
scheduled for March 22 -- tomorrow -- to consider that process and
also to entertain possible motions from Lycoming to seal certain parts
of the record relating to proprietary and competitive information. And
while untold millions of dollars will rest on these and future legal
wranglings, there could also be a major impact on engine owners and
the industry as a whole if the FAA is sufficiently pressured to
consider recertifying crankshafts for higher-horsepower Lycoming
engines based on the jury's findings. More...
JA AIR CENTER, YOUR GARMIN SOURCE, IS PLEASED TO
ANNOUNCE A NEW LOWER PRICE ON THE GARMIN GPSMAP 296 WITH TERRAIN
All the new aviation GPS units are
in stock, including the GPSMap 296, iQue 3600A, GPSMap 96C, and
GPSMap 96. Also, JA Air Center stocks non-aviation Garmin GPS
like the StreetPilot 2620, Quest, GPS V Deluxe, eTrex Legend C, GPSMap
60CS, GPSMap 76C, and the GPS 10 Deluxe GPS (Bluetooth
compatible). Established in 1965, JA Air Center prides
themselves on being Garmin's largest avionics dealer. With
exceptional customer service and the finest Garmin avionics
installations, JA Air Center is the place to purchase your next Garmin
product. Extensive inventory of all Garmin units and
accessories. Contact JA Air Center at (800) 323-5966 and mention
this AVflash, or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ja/296/avflash.
Could the United States soon join the majority of countries in which
pilots and/or aircraft owners are charged user fees to fund airspace,
airport and navigation operation and infrastructure? From the way
senior government officials were talking at the FAA's 30th Annual
Forecast Conference in Washington, things could be moving in that
direction. With the agency predicting a 45-percent increase in air
travel in the next 10 years and the federal government in need of
controlling its spiraling debt, the FAA would appear to be running out
of palatable choices. "Our workload goes up, our revenue goes down,"
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey remarked. "We need a revenue stream
based both on our costs and on our actual units of production."
Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta also talked of the need for
a "new revenue stream" (not increases in the old revenue
streams, a new revenue stream). "Not on our watch," said AOPA
President Phil Boyer. More...
UP, REVENUE DOWN...
According to FAA predictions, the number of passengers boarding
airliners in the U.S. will top one billion by 2015 compared to about
550 million this year. Couple that with a trend toward smaller
aircraft on more direct flights and declining air fares (which are
taxed to fund the FAA) and it looks like trouble is brewing -- or is
it? Blakey and Mineta were careful to point out that the government is
working on resolving air traffic issues. "We are redesigning airspace,
deploying new software that will help increase capacity and putting
new procedures in place," Blakey said. "We will be ready." What that
form of readiness will be is another question. More...
STRANGE SPENDING PRIORITIES
One of the curiosities of FAA budget priorities may be expressed in
the veritable building boom of control towers across the country.
Multimillion-dollar towers, many of them 200 feet tall or more, are
being built all over the country. In a lot of cases the towers are
being built long before they are needed, according to the airport
officials being quoted. And while there seems to be money (and
apparently a perceived need) to build state-of-the-art new towers, the
equipment being installed in some of them was created when bell
bottoms were popular (... the first time). More...
COCKPIT TO HARDWARE AISLE
Ron Tessier paid defunct Canadian airline Jetsgo $30,000 to be trained
to fly its planes. With $29,000 still owing on the loan he took out,
Tessier, a pilot for 18 years, is heading home to Sudbury, Ont., and
to a possible job at the local Home Depot to pay off the debt, Tessier
told the Toronto Globe and Mail. Jetsgo demanded the $30,000 payments
up front from all its pilots as a repayable (over two years) "loyalty
bond" to prevent them from jumping to another airline after they were
qualified. However, it was Jetsgo that pulled the pin on the pilots
and other employees by declaring bankruptcy last week. Newer pilots,
like Tessier, have virtually no chance of recovering their bonds.
"It's absolutely gone. It's going to bankrupt a lot of people,"
Tessier said. Meanwhile some passengers and employees are trying to
get back what they can by auctioning off newly "rare "Jetsgo
memorabilia on eBay. More...
OF UAVS ENVISIONED
Remember when the fear was that we could cross paths with an unmanned
aerial vehicle (UAV)? Well, NASA is assuring us that it will someday
be safe to "enable swarms of aircraft to move safely from one area to
another as a flock or a group," according to NASA researcher John
Melton. Melton was flushed with the success of a UAV experiment in which a pair of APV-3 UAVs
(wingspan about 12 feet) went searching for a "virtual" forest fire.
When one of them found the fire, it transmitted waypoint data to its
wingmate and the second UAV "completed the mission." Along the way,
the aircraft were able to autonomously react to obstacles while flying
the pre-programmed mission. Meanwhile the Army is becoming quite
attached to UAVs as reconnaissance and forward control platforms, and
the smaller they are the better. More...
|PAYING TOO MUCH FOR LIFE INSURANCE?|
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LAW TRIED AGAIN
The sometimes conflicting dynamics of political expediency and common
sense will get another test in Pennsylvania as a state representative
continues her campaign to make it illegal to fly drunk there. You may
recall an earlier effort to pass the Flying While Impaired Bill was
shot down by Gov. Ed. Rendell ... at least in part because some
enterprising legislators saddled it with an amendment to fund rural
bus service, which Rendell opposed. He vetoed the whole package and
now legislators are trying again. "We're looking to see that it
doesn't get too many amendments this time," said Rep. Kate Harper, who
cosponsored the bill with Rep. Kathy Watson and Rep. Jacqueline
Crahalla. One of the most high profile examples of reckless flying
inspired the effort to fill the legal vacuum. More...
SECURITY OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT AIRCRAFT WORKERS
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials arrested 27
illegal immigrant workers in a raid last Tuesday -- the workers were
fixing airliners. ICE conducted the raid on theTIMCO Aviation
Services facility in Greensboro, N.C. The 27 people arrested face
a variety of charges, including using false documents (most had
driver's licenses). They come from Sudan, Chile, Peru, Zimbabwe, the
Philippines, Venezuela, Mexico and Laos. At least one had obtained his
A&P rating from the FAA. "As the 9/11 Commission pointed out, the
United States cannot risk having 'unknown' people working on its
critical infrastructure," ICE spokesman Thomas O'Connell said in a
NEW MOUNTING SYSTEM FOR HAND-HELD ELECTRONIC DEVICES
If you carry electronic devices afield,
LobsterMount will keep them safe and accessible. The basic
mount is a universal mount for most screw bases and comes with a
clamp-on or suction cup base. The cradle will hold any
electronic device such as a GPS, PDA, or small radio. You can
mount anything with this inexpensive system! LobsterMount comes
with a lifetime guarantee against breakage. This new series of
mounts has it all. Call Aeromedix.com at (888)
362-7123, or go online under "Cockpit Accessories" at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.
ISSUES EMERGENCY AD ON AIRBUS RUDDERS
First it was voluntary, but it now appears airlines operating A300 and
A310 aircraft will be compelled to conduct thorough inspections of the
planes' composite rudders. France's civil aviation regulator has
issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive calling for the one-time
visual and tap-test inspection to be completed within 550 hours or
before June 18. Other countries generally adopt similar Emergency ADs
but none had been issued by the FAA at our deadline. France's action
comes two weeks after an Air Transat A310 lost almost its entire
rudder while at cruise on a trip from Cuba to Quebec.
BACKS WAIVERS TO AGE 60 RULE
They may be bright orange on the outside but Southwest Airlines
apparently likes its Boeing 737s a little gray on the inside.
According to Time Magazine, Southwest is poised to become the first
major airline to back a bid by a pilots' group to abolish the Age 60
rule. "Times are changing," Southwest spokeswoman Linda Rutherford
told Time. "We are losing some really good pilots." Time said
Southwest intends to file a "friend of the court brief" in favor of a
bid by a group of 12 pilots who have asked the Supreme Court to review
their attempt to have waivers to the rule granted. In the past,
airlines and pilots' unions have resisted attempts to get rid of the
age cap, for their own reasons. More...
LANCAIR COLUMBIA 400 NOW CERTIFIED TO
The Columbia 400's twin turbochargers can now be put
to full effect with the aircraft's recent certification to 25,000
feet. With the added altitude to play with, the Columbia
400 gives pilots even more flexibility than before. Set the
throttle to 80% power and cruise at 235 knots that's faster
than any other piston-powered aircraft in production today. Or ease
the power back and increase range to standard-setting
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
Visit Lancair at Sun 'n Fun
OFFERS DETAILS OF HOBBY CRASH
The pilots of a Gulfstream II on its way to pick up former President
George Bush last Nov. 22 may have been following the wrong navigation
aid as they descended in IMC toward Hobby Airport in Houston. Cockpit
voice recordings released last week reveal an exchange between the
pilot Milford Dickson and co-pilot Michael DeSalvo (reportedly with
some 19,000 hours of flight time, each) suggest the pair may have been
following a VOR signal when they thought they were tuned into Hobby's
ILS. The plane clipped a light pole and crashed in a field near a
freeway. Both pilots and flight attendant Kristi Dunn died.
ATTRACTED TO PROTECT RUNWAY
A California community has come up with a high-flying approach to
combating the crumbling infrastructure at its little airport. They're
letting a local Boy Scout put up owl boxes in trees near the runway at
Columbia Airport, near Sonora in northern California. It seems gophers
have made a mess of the grass strip, digging holes and creating mounds
of earth that can make for jarring landings and takeoffs. The
2,600-foot irrigated runway isn't even a year old. "Hopefully it is
going to lower our maintenance costs and keep our brand-new runway in
better shape," said airport director Jim Thomas. It may also help
Harrison Young become an Eagle Scout. More...
JOIN AOPA: THE REAL-TIME FLIGHT PLANNER IS WORTH THE
Whether you're an experienced pilot, a student,
or simply interested in aviation, AOPA membership can be an invaluable
resource for you at an incredible value. Join AOPA for just
$39 a year and take advantage of exclusive member benefits.
Membership includes a full year of AOPA Pilot magazine, 24-hour
access to the "Members-Only" Section of AOPA's web site, and AOPA's
Real-Time Flight Planner with up-to-the-minute flight
restrictions, routing images, weather info and more! As the largest
aviation organization in the world, AOPA advocates tirelessly for
their over 400,000 members to protect their right to fly. So what are
you waiting for? Become an AOPA member today by going online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopa/mbrsp/avflash.
There's a "new" cub flying...
Memo gave NORAD authority to shoot
down planes near nuke plants...
Continental Airlines granted
flights to China...
British pilots host conference on cabin
Talks over airliner subsidies broke down...
charged after breaking into cockpit...
Metal fatigue confirmed as
T-34 crash cause. 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 email@example.com.
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
needed information to expand your knowledge and get more enjoyment
from owning and flying your Cessna aircraft. Join the Cessna
Flyer Association (CFA) today as they build the ultimate Cessna
association. Go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cfa/avflash.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Pilot's Lounge #85: Some
Blunt Talk About Aviation Insurance (or, What You Don't Know About
Sublimits Can Hurt You)
Insurance -- and talking about
insurance -- can be one of the most tedious things to deal with when
the sky is blue and beckoning for winged aviators. Yet even pilots who
think they've got it covered can be rudely awakened after an accident,
as AVweb's Rick Durden explains in this month's column.
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about MOAs, AVweb's weekly
questions, and still more comments on three-engine 747s.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's 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/
Caution for greenhorn on the runway...
As I taxied into the number two position (holding short of the runway
behind one of the local flightschool aircraft) I switched to tower
frequency -- just in time to hear the following transmission between
the tower and student pilot:
Tower: Skyhawk 123 taxi into position and hold.
Skyhawk 123: Aaaah ...
Skyhawk 123: ... Assume the position, 123.
We Welcome Your Feedback!
|Sponsor News and
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by
the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your
NAA AND CELEBRATE AVIATION'S PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE|
a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association (NAA),
the nation's oldest aviation organization marking their 100th
anniversary in 2005! NAA membership is a terrific value for any
aviation enthusiast. You will receive two magazine subscriptions
Smithsonian's Air & Space and NAA's Aero
and access to aviation records, product discounts, and much more. Call
NAA at (703) 527-0226 to become a member of the NAA family, or sign up
online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/naa/avflash.
|AVIDYNE'S CMAX APPROACH CHARTS TAKE SITUATIONAL
AWARENESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL|
Charts, which can be displayed on Avidyne's FlightMax EX500 or
Entegra/EX5000 MFDs, provide geo-referenced approach charts and
airport diagrams. CMax reduces the amount of paper in your
cockpit, and allows you to access critical chart data more quickly and
easily. CMax overlays your flight plan and aircraft position for
optimum orientation. CMax even shows runway incursion hotspots
and improves taxiway awareness, reducing the need for "progressives"
at unfamiliar airports. With CMax, youll know exactly
where you are on the approach or on the field. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.
BIZAV AIRPORT RFP|
Chicago Palwaukee Municipal
Airport, the region's premier business-aviation facility, is
seeking industry proposals that require hangars (36,000 sq. ft.
approx.) and adjacent offices and shops (14,000 sq. ft. approx.). The
airport will consider a variety of business possibilities to
complement the airport's predicted growth, including aircraft charter,
maintenance, flight training, aircraft sales, or aviation
manufacturing. Contact Airport Manager Dennis G. Rouleau, C.M.,
at (847) 537-2580 ext. 114 for complete proposal materials. An
Executive Summary is available at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/rfp/avflash.
|SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH
The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer is the
PC-based graphical aircraft situation display that gives a real-time
picture of all IFR aircraft in-flight over the U.S. and Canada.
Whether you're tracking a friend or want to learn more about the
system in action, Flight Explorer has the information you need for
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|SUBSCRIBE TO AVIATION SAFETY AND SAVE
You spent thousands to earn your license. Safeguard it
for just pennies a day. Aviation Safety helps pilots
stay ready for the realities of today's demanding flight environment
with instructive articles to keep decision-making skills sharp.
Subscribe now and save at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avsafe/avflash.
|FLYING MAGAZINE RECOGNIZES THE 6,000th KING
The 6,000th King Air is a model 200 of which nearly
2,000 have been built for business and personal flying. The current
B200 is the best-selling model in the King Air lineup.
Flying reports in their April issue on this aviation
milestone. Plus: "Airlines Set Safety Record," "FlightStar CT,"
"Garmin's GNS 480: A Perfect Approach Every Time," and all the writers
you've come to know and respect. For subscriptions at money-saving
rates, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
|AVIATION SAFETY'S APRIL ISSUE TAKES A SOBER LOOK
A series of fatal accidents has tarred the
reputation of what was supposed to be the safest GA airplane ever
made. But is that an accurate picture? In this special report,
Aviation Safety magazine takes an honest look at the
Cirrus accident record and compares the SR20 and SR22 to similar
airplanes. Plus: "Upset Recovery" what you need to know about
autopilots and flight directors; "Progressive Planning"; "Airplane
Spring Cleaning"; "Complacency Kills"; and much more. Don't risk your
knowledge; order your Aviation Safety subscription with special
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|INSTRUCTOR PILOTS AND STUDENTS WANTED|
Inc.'s multimedia systems training software for the Seminole,
Warrior, and Skyhawk is loaded with video presentations, sound, 3D
animations, interactive system schematics, and simulations all
combined to create a virtual resource that far surpasses the pilot's
aircraft information manual. This learning tool comes to life with the
click of your mouse. For more information and ordering instructions,
go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/vts/avflash.
|HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PILOTS ALWAYS SEEM TO
HAVE IT TOGETHER?|
Do you ever wonder why you lack
confidence? Take a look at Gordon Henrie's Instructional
Methods for Flight Instructors, and Ways to Improve the Precision,
Safety and Confidence of Rated Pilots wherein Gordon
takes lessons from fifty years of flying and tells you HOW to be more
capable, safe, and confident in your own flying and how to
teach more effectively. This is not a question-and-answer book, but a
guide to what you actually think and do when you are in the cockpit.
It also tells you how to root out bad habits and techniques. You will
never understand the depth of this book until you read it. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mountain/avflash.
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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