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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
AND SPACESHIPONE AT AIRVENTURE...
If you're in Oshkosh, Wis., on Tuesday, July 26, about 3 in the
afternoon, you should be able to look into the sky and catch the
approach of the long, lanky Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, setting up for a
fly-by in its first public appearance. EAA President Tom Poberezny and
pilot Steve Fossett announced the event in a conference call with
reporters on Tuesday. "We're very excited to have GlobalFlyer,
SpaceShipOne, and White Knight all together at EAA
AirVenture this year, making this one of our most significant
conventions ever," Poberezny said. All three aircraft, which share the
birthplace (you may see "some" Long-EZs there, too -- another Rutan
creation), are all about what EAA stands for -- a passion for
innovation and home-building, he said. More...
SAYS HANDLING WAS BETTER THAN EXPECTED...
The engineers at Scaled had warned that the airplane would be
"horrendous" to handle, Fossett said, but in fact he was pleasantly
surprised. The wing spars are stiff enough, he said, that there was no
problem with the wingtips, 114 feet apart, dragging on takeoff, even
at 22,000 pounds. The airplane took an 8,000-foot ground roll, but
then "jumped off the runway," Fossett said, powered by its single
Williams FJ44-3 ATW jet engine, and climbed out at about 800 fpm (try
that in your 152). He did have to shift fuel in flight to maintain a
workable center of gravity. "It was a little touchy on landing," he
said, "but it was entirely manageable." More...
OF LOST FUEL SOLVED
The mystery of the missing fuel, which caused concern that the flight
might have to land short, has been solved -- it was lost overboard due
to an error in the placement of fuel vents, Fossett said. When the air
in the tanks expanded at high altitudes, fuel instead of air was
vented overboard. Fossett said the Smithsonian Institution's National
Air and Space Museum has asked to acquire the GlobalFlyer for its Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, and he intends for
it to end up there ... but he has other plans for it first, though he
wasn't yet ready to say exactly what. "I've always felt close to EAA
and I feel that AirVenture is the most important and significant
aviation meeting in the United States, because it represents general
aviation," said Fossett. More...
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GROWTH COULD BRING CROWDED SKIES...
While it was a reference to user fees that drew quick GA response
after last week's FAA Forecast Conference, the meeting
also focused on the expected growth of all facets of aviation, with
20,000 more GA aircraft expected to join the fleet over the next 12
years -- 4,500 of them very-light jets (VLJs). Another fundamental
shift is the increased use of jet charters by business folk avoiding
the hassles of airline flight. "Aviation as we've seen it
traditionally is going away," FAA spokesman Greg Martin told USA Today. While concerns center on the
overcrowding of the airspace system, the fact is that thousands of
airports across the country currently are underutilized, says Vern
Raburn, CEO of Eclipse Aviation. That's where he expects the VLJs
will be going. More...
AIRLINES SCRAMBLE TO ADAPT
In Europe, some airlines have started to form alliances with the
private-jet companies that have been siphoning off their premium
customers. Lufthansa now is partnering with NetJets to offer
connecting flights from Munich to the rest of Europe. The bookings
count toward the airline's frequent-flier miles and often come with
perks such as limo service between flights. A similar partnership
launched about a month ago in Asia and the Middle East, between Skyjet
International, Air China and Qatar Airways, The Wall Street Journal
reported this week. The partnerships provide more options for flyers
who want private-jet service at a lower cost. More...
AIRCRAFT GETS CANADIAN CERTIFICATION
Aircraft, based in Three Rivers, Quebec, announced on Tuesday that
it has obtained from Transport Canada the type and production
certificates for the Symphony 160 two-seater, which were formerly held
by a now-defunct German company. With these
certificates in hand, the first North American-built Symphony 160
aircraft will be delivered on March 31, the company said. Symphony
added that it will have more announcements and details later this
week, so watch for a follow-up report in Monday's AVweb news. A
Symphony rep recently completed a cross-country tour showing off a
brand-new 160 to the aviation press and we flew it. More...
NEW ZEALAND TO AUSTRALIA IN A HOMEBUILT
Those of us on the far side of the world may think of New Zealand and
Australia as neighbors, but in fact, the two countries are separated
by about 1,200 miles of rough and lonely seas. Pilot Murray Belfield,
66, got to experience those miles up close last week when he flew solo
in his homebuilt two-seater Jodel D11 from his home in New Zealand to a fly-in
near Sydney. It was believed to be the first crossing in that model of
aircraft. Belfield flew 500 miles the first day, landing at tiny
Norfolk Island; 500 miles the second day took him to Lord Howe Island.
He hit rough weather on the third day. "There was some heavy rain and
hail and strong headwinds," Belfield told reporters after landing. "I
had to wind my way down through the cloud and get below it. I was at
1,500 feet at one stage." More...
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SIMPLIFIES ALIEN-FINGERPRINTING PROCESS
A recent rule change by the Transportation Security Administration to
allow foreign students to be fingerprinted in their home country is
good news for U.S. flight schools that were at risk of losing those
students, says the National Association of Flight
Instructors (NAFI). "This is enormous," said NAFI Executive
Director Rusty Sachs. "This new procedure will ... eliminate the need
for repeated, extended trips to the United States to comply with the
security regulations." Under the original rule, foreign students had
to be fingerprinted within the U.S., then wait up to 30 days before
receiving authorization to begin training. More...
MISTRUST INDONESIAN CONTROLLERS
Some airline pilots in the southern skies have been ordered by their
employers to drive on the right side of the road. Qantas pilots have
been told to fly to the right of airways in Indonesia to avoid other
airplanes that could be (read: at least once have been) on a head-on
collision course, and now Air New Zealand is considering a similar
policy, The Dominion Post reported on Tuesday. Two
near-collisions in Indonesian airspace in the last year were avoided
only because the pilots were warned by their onboard systems and took
evasive action. Last March, a Qantas 767 was climbing to 36,000 feet
and was put on a collision course with an Air New Zealand 767 cruising
at that altitude. Both crews responded to onboard alerts and passed
each other by less than 400 feet. More...
AVEMCO TEAMS WITH PILOT INSURANCE CENTER (PIC) TO OFFER
Avemco, the only direct writer of property
and casualty insurance for general aviation in the U.S., is sponsoring
a Term Life Insurance Program underwritten by well-respected
insurance companies that have products tailored to general aviation
pilots. The Avemco Program will be administered by the Pilot
Insurance Center, using PIC's unique criteria. This collaborative
effort will make life insurance more widely available to pilots at the
best possible rates. Go by Avemco's Sun 'n Fun booth to speak to an
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MUSEUM OF FLIGHT GETS WRIGHT 1903 FLYER
Ken Hyde and his Wright Experience team have found a home for their
third (and last) Wright 1903 Flyer reproduction, at the Seattle Museum of
Flight. The Flyer is one of two sister ships to the one that flew
at the celebration of the Centennial of Flight in 2003, in North
Carolina. The Centennial airplane now lives at the Henry Ford Museum
in Dearborn, Mich., and the second airplane is on display at the
Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. Hyde said
that he and his team will now move on to replicate the Wrights' later
aircraft. "Our goal is to rediscover all the secrets of the Wright
brothers and to inspire a new generation," Hyde said.
MAY FACE DEATH PENALTY
In one of the creepier stories about activities aloft to come along in
a while, a pilot for Garuda Indonesia was arrested last week and
charged in the death of a human-rights activist who was poisoned with
arsenic while on a flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam last September. If
convicted, the pilot could face the death penalty. The pilot was a
passenger on that flight, and has said he was traveling on airline
business. However, investigators have disputed that and accused the
airline of a cover-up. The pilot's lawyer says his client was set up,
and there is a conspiracy at work. More...
AOPA is studying aging pilots and insurance issues...
The New York
Times reported on dispute at NY TRACON...
Paraglider Magazine now
China's first female private pilot to promote 2008
Dallas may reopen Hensley Field, but only for
limited private use...
Some emergency radios used by military
pilots have malfunctioned...
Flight Explorer has enhanced its
weather display options.
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.
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Quiz #92 -- Load Factors and
If the airplane has four seats, you can cram in four
people, right? Perhaps not. The PIC must not only figure how much
weight is being carried but how that load affects safety. Are you
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb revisits a hot topic the ATC shortage. One
AVweb reader would like to know what impact (if any) the shortage has
had on your flying. More...
RESOLVE TO BECOME MAINTENANCE-SAVVY IN
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Welcome to another installment of AVweb's "Picture of the Week." If
you're new to this feature, here's how it works: Every week we sort
through dozens of amateur aviation photos submitted by our readers,
pick our favorites, and fight bitterly amongst ourselves until one
lucky contestant stands as the undisputed winner. Then we peek to see
who sent in the winning picture and mail him or her an Official AVweb
Baseball Cap. (This week's cap goes to Jack Cook of Salem,
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|MODERNIZING YOUR KT76 DOESN'T GET ANY
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|COMING IN THE APRIL 2005 ISSUE OF LIGHT PLANE
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|PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED
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