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Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At
SPORT AIRCRAFT DEBUT...
"This is a day I sometimes thought would never come," EAA President
Tom Poberezny said on Friday, under the Florida sun here in Lakeland.
Together with a ream of manufacturers, FAA officials, and John and
Martha King, Poberezny introduced the first two aircraft to receive
their Special-Light Sport Aircraft certification -- the Evektor
SportStar and the Flight Design CT. And he said that EAA is working to
ensure there will be affordable insurance available for pilots eager
to buy and fly. "The goal here is to break down the barriers to
getting into flying," Poberezny said. Getting these airplanes approved
is only one step along that road, but it's a major one that was a long
time coming. More...
LOTS MORE COMING SOON
Tom Peghiny, president of Flightstar Sportplanes, took his turn at the
microphone Friday and listed about a dozen aircraft that are in the
works for certification and should be finished by Oshkosh, coming up
in late July. Those soon-to-be S-LSAs include the Legend Cub, Rans
Coyote and Courier, the ZennAir CH601, a couple of Quicksilver models,
and more. Peghiny said he is ready to take orders on the Flight Design
CT, which sells for about $85,000, and you can pick it up in about six
weeks. Lots of aircraft were on the field ready to sell now as
Experimental LSAs, which are far from the traditional homebuilt
project -- one manufacturer said you can buy the "kit" 99 percent
complete and be flying 24 hours later. More...
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'N FUN WRAP-UP...
The weather was perfect, the demos, attractions and air-show
performers first-rate, but there appeared a muting to the "buzz" this
year at Sun 'n Fun, which ends today in Lakeland, Fla. Maybe
show-goers are just waiting for yesterday's promises to come true.
Presently, the very light jet manufacturers are not yet rolling
production models off the line and otherwise exciting alternative
engines are still in development and/or making slow headway in a
conservative market. That aside, the industry in its present state
appeared strong and positive. Most of the manufacturers and suppliers
we spoke with say business is good and getting better. Cirrus is
looking at expansion, Lancair can't hire people fast enough and Piper
will be back at full strength in six weeks. And among those looking
forward to a good year is Mooney, which came with statistics to back
that up. More...
MAKES GRAND ENTRANCE, FLIES SECOND JET...
Although Eclipse Aviation is now considered a long-time exhibitor at
Sun 'n Fun, it was an elated CEO Vern Raburn who introduced the first
type-conforming Eclipse 500 to the public here on Friday, in its first
appearance ever out of Albuquerque. "This is the first fully
conforming, pre-production, very light jet," he said emphatically.
"This is not a prototype, not a one-off, not a kit you build
yourself." The plane flew in powered by the Pratt and Whitney Canada
PW601F engines developed for Eclipse after it parted ways with
Williams International two years ago, setting back the certification
and delivery schedules by a commensurate amount. However, Raburn said
those difficulties are behind the company now. "We're really on the
way now. It really is coming true." More...
PUTS DOWN ROOTS, EAA BACKS OFF
An indication of Sun 'n Fun's role in the aviation industry is
Cessna's decision to set up permanent digs at Lakeland. Through the
Cessna Foundation Inc., the company is building a 2,400-sqaure-foot
building on the Sun 'n Fun campus, next to the Florida Air Museum. For
50 weeks of the year, Sun 'n Fun will use the building for the
educational programs and activities that are funded by the annual
fly-in. During the show, the building will become Cessna's
headquarters and marketing area. The Cessna Foundation Inc. is an
independent, not-for-profit organization that includes educational
initiatives in the broad range of aviation-related interests it
serves. And while Cessna plants permanent roots in Lakeland, EAA, the
organization that many thought ran the show, has become little more
than an exhibitor, albeit a huge exhibitor. More...
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TAG, NORAD STYLE, IS NO GAME...
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has unveiled its
laser-based warning system designed to prevent innocently errant
pilots from being shot down in the hypersensitive restricted airspace
surrounding Washington, D.C. Starting in about a month, pilots who
stray into the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) will get
"illuminated" with alternating blasts of "safe" green and red laser
pulses by the Visual Warning System (VWS). As AVweb told you in January, the system is intended to
cause pilots to immediately get out of the ADIZ (not press on to
investigate the odd flashing lights) and those who don't risk
interception and/or personal acquaintance with the firepower available
to military pilots. More...
JUST THE FIRST STEP...
Assuming a pilot who manages to blunder into the most publicized and
recognized restricted airspace in the country recognizes the laser
signals for what they are and gets out of the ADIZ, his or her
troubles are far from over. Attached to the dozen or so lasers are
high-powered cameras that will apparently be able to zoom in on an
offender and read his or her tail number. Anyone who sees the bright
lights can expect a personal introduction to the country's security
apparatus. The military hopes the lasers will be able to get the
attention of pilots who have so far successfully ignored fighter
aircraft near them. More...
Most of the alphabet groups got an advance look at the system last
Thursday and seemed to agree it has merits as long as it's accompanied
by a massive educational and public-relations program. "If you didn't
know what it meant, you wouldn't know what to do," AOPA spokeswoman
Melissa Rudinger told the Post. "It's important to get the education
out as wide as you can, not just in this region." Part of that
education is the posting of a video of the demonstration by AOPA and
EAA and a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions posted by
NORAD. EAA spokesman Doug Macnair, who saw the demonstration from
inside a Blackhawk helicopter, said pilots illuminated by the lasers
will immediately know that something is going on. More...
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AIRCRAFT GETTING CLOSER
Adam Aircraft's A500 centerline twin is creeping closer -- granted, at
a pace far behind its predicted schedule -- to the point where
certification seems inevitable, having completed 230 out of the 235
tasks required, spokesman John Hamilton told AVweb at Sun 'n
Fun. The fully conforming prototype has acquired 675 flight hours, and
customer aircraft numbers 1 and 2 are already under construction.
President Joe Walker said the first customer delivery will take place
by June, and the company is ready to deliver 25 this year and six a
month in 2006. "We've got about a two-year backlog," he said. He
expects the A700 twinjet to achieve certification in 2006 and follow
the same program: 25 the first year, 72 in the second year.
RESISTS CHANGE, PANEL DETERMINES
Maybe it's the 1970s-vintage computers many FAA staffers use, perhaps
it's the 1950s-style labor-relations environment (OK, it has been
getting better) or maybe the industry it governs is just a bit on the
conservative side, but the Government Accountability Office has
confirmed something many have long suspected: When it comes to new
ideas, the FAA can be a stick in the mud. The GAO assembled a panel of
former high-level FAA bureaucrats, economists, academics and industry
experts whose report concluded that the FAA is running a
jet-age air traffic control system with piston-age thinking, from
field staff to those at 800 Independence. "Such resistance is a
characteristic of FAA personnel at all levels," the panel concluded.
The report formed a backdrop to aviation subcommittee hearings on
Thursday, which offered similar laments. More...
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MEDEVAC HELICOPTER HELPS OUT OPPONENT
A long-simmering dispute over the location of a New Jersey medevac
unit took an ironic twist when the unit's helicopter was used to
airlift a severely injured employee of the unit's most vocal opponent.
Thomas E. Mulrooney suffered severe burns on his face and upper body
after being doused in molten plastic at Polycel Structural Foam in
Branchburg, N.J. Polycel CEO and local township committeeman Kurt
Joerger has been trying to get the medevac unit out of nearby Somerset
Airport since it was moved there from Newark's University Hospital on
Feb. 4. Joerger, who owns a 175-acre horse farm near the airport,
called the move an "unlawful unwarranted and unnecessary intrusion
into the rural region that surrounds the airport." Medevac officials
hinted that intrusion may have saved Mulrooney's life.
LANDING MAKES THEM HEROES
A well-developed sense of self-preservation, a lucky break in traffic,
and likely a well-developed skill-set has won two pilots the accolades
of a small community. Two pilots are being given the keys to the city
of Roseland, Ind., and are being proclaimed "Citizen Heroes" by the
St. Joseph County Red Cross for setting their crippled Pilatus PC12
down on a busy highway without causing any injuries to themselves,
their three passengers or anyone on the ground last December. "I don't
think either one of us feels like we are heroes," said Craig Miers,
who along with co-pilot Sven Slattberg put the big turboprop single
down on a section of Highway 933 lined with businesses.
CHARGES DROPPED, PILOT WANTS JOB BACK
An AirTran pilot wants his job back after prosecutors dropped charges
that he intended to fly an airliner while drunk. In a carefully worded
statement, lawyer John Watkins said his client "wasn't in violation of
the law." The pilot was arrested Jan. 12 and charged with trying to
help fly 60 passengers from Las Vegas to Atlanta. But Clark County
District Attorney David Roger told The Associated Press his office
couldn't prove the charge. For one thing, Nevada doesn't specify a
blood-alcohol limit for pilots and the pilot wasn't in the cockpit
when he was arrested. He was in the aircraft galley.
FORCE HELPS BOY'S CANCER BATTLE
Well, it's hard to say who got more out of a special day to help a
little boy survive cancer and fulfill his already well-developed dream
to become a pilot. The folks at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in
North Carolina teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to give
five-year-old Evan Moriarty a glimpse of what's in store when he beats
the disease and realizes his dream. On Friday, during a tour of the
base, Evan got his own flight suit and jacket, plus autographed photos
of the Blue Angels, Top Gun star Tom Cruise and former Air National
Guard pilot (he has another job, now) George W. Bush. "It's [Evan's]
ultimate goal to one day grow up and be a pilot," said his mom, Shana
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SUN 'N FUN 2005 GALLERIES
For those of you who couldn't make it to Sun 'n Fun, we've put
together a few galleries to show you what you missed. Enjoy!
A T-6 was damaged after it went off a taxiway at Sun 'n
NAATS President gets status at contract hearings...
arrested after asking for cockpit tour...
Be A Pilot program
Outdoor Channel goes hi-def with GA in July.
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.
DOC BLUE'S EMEGENCY MEDICAL KIT: DON'T LEAVE HOME
Do you carry a first aid kit in your airplane
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Pilot's Lounge #86: Oh %$#@! -- I Think I Just Busted A
Oops, now you've done it. You didn't mean to but you got
distracted and then ... So now what? AVweb's Rick Durden, a practicing
aviation attorney, has lots of suggestions for how to work with the
FAA and, hopefully, make it much less of an issue.
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about "new" parachutes for
airplanes, medical certification, ab-initio training in a high-tech
plane and much more. More...
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One chilly day last winter, after one of the many snowfalls, the crews
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