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The Top Headlines From
AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
AFTERMATH: OTHER OPTIONS EXPLORED...
Following last week's hearing on the state of the Aviation Trust Fund,
members of the House Aviation Subcommittee didn't seem very
convinced that user fees would be the answer to the FAA's funding
woes. "Switching to a user-fee system raises more questions than
answers," according to ranking committee member Jerry Costello
(D-Ill.). Other financing alternatives discussed at the hearing
included increasing the current aviation taxes, fixing the annual
contribution from the General Fund, and providing the FAA with
borrowing authority. Ken Mead, inspector general for the
Transportation Department, testified, "The Congress and the aviation
community need assurances that [the] FAA is doing all it can to
control costs before decisions can be made about the adequacy of
current funding levels and whether or not additional revenue is
Meanwhile, the Reason
Public Policy Institute, a libertarian think tank that has proven
influential in some D.C. circles in recent years, released a report
last week on the issue of funding the nation's air traffic control
system. The institute has long been a supporter of user fees, but now
has backed down somewhat on the argument as it pertains to GA. The new
report recommends that piston-powered GA aircraft pay only the
aviation fuel tax, and no user fees at all. "We think [the report]
still misses the point," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "GA shouldn't be
charged for a system we don't need and for the most part don't use."
PIPER AND WORKERS NEGOTIATING...
Aircraft has been working to get back up to full production after
last year's hurricanes, and now about 720 workers are saying it's time
for a new contract. Picketing started about two weeks ago and has
continued sporadically since. Negotiations were held last week, and
some workers were hopeful that a tentative agreement would be reached
by the weekend, but it didn't happen. "We've made some progress on
contract language," union spokesman Bob Wood told tcpalm.com. The two sides will resume talks on May
26. New Piper had no comment. "We decided from the beginning that we
would not negotiate this in the media," spokesman Mark Miller told
COMPANY RECOVERY CONTINUES
The New Piper employees voted to join the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers in October 2003, after New Piper cut
wages by 6 percent. They've been waiting for a contract ever since.
"The [union] doesn't seem to appreciate what we're really up against,"
Piper President Chuck Suma said in a statement. "This isn't about
being stingy with company money ... This is about working to make
Piper a company that will survive." New Piper delivered 37 aircraft in
the first quarter of 2005, with billings of about $21 million,
according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. That
was down from 53 aircraft shipped in the same period a year earlier.
But there may be very natural reasons for that. More...
JA AIR CENTER, YOUR GARMIN SOURCE, IS LOOKING
PURCHASE USED GPS UNITS, AVIONICS, AND
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PDA/GPS, GPSMap 196, GPSMap 96C, and GPSMap 96. We also
stock Garmin accessories; software; and outdoor,
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TAKES OVER FOR DYING PILOT...
Luck and some long-dormant flying skills helped two passengers aboard
a twin-engine (formerly Rockwell) "Jetprop Commander" (a 695A per the
FAA's registration database) survive a crash landing after the pilot
became incapacitated shortly after takeoff from North Las Vegas
Airport on Thursday morning. Gerry Garapich had a few lessons in a
glider 20 years ago, but when his friend Doug Reichardt lost
consciousness at the controls, he was able to turn off the autopilot
and guide the airplane back to the airport for a relatively safe
landing. He hit the dirt short of the runway, with the gear still up.
But that might compare favorably to a gear-up runway landing with
sparks and fire. More...
PILOT IS SHOT, BUT PLANE LANDS SAFELY
In a strange twist on that story, another passenger had to take over
in a small airplane last week, but under very different circumstances.
Pilot Mike Spicer, 55, and his friend Arnie Knoettgen were flying
Spicer's Cessna 150 to help police track down a fleeing suspect in
Clay County, Kan. They spotted the suspect hiding in a field, and
began to circle his location, when they heard a crack. A bullet
punctured the passenger-side window and grazed Spicer's forehead. He
was losing lots of blood and having trouble seeing, so Knoettgen took
over the controls while Spicer stanched the bleeding, and the two
worked together to bring the 150 down to a safe landing.
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NOW AVAILABLE FOR EAST-COAST PILOTS
(automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) has been under
development for a decade or so, and its deployment in Alaska has been
credited with helping to improve the safety statistics there. Now the
FAA has announced that it's available on the East Coast, in a developmental
state, between New Jersey and Florida. The system provides equipped
aircraft with traffic advisories even in areas that are out of radar
range, and also brings terrain information and real-time weather to
the GA cockpit equipped with a multifunction display. It allows both
controllers and pilots to see equipped traffic during ground
movements, reducing the chance of collisions, and helps pilots to find
their way even on strange airports. The system can also display
current airspace restrictions. Access to the information is free.
WHILE CRUISING OK IN EUROPE
Professional pilots in Europe have been told that it's OK to take a
nap while flying, as long as they remain at their post, strapped into
their seat at the controls (if only we could get away with that). The
Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) last week issued new guidelines
saying that a quick cockpit snooze up to 45 minutes long is allowed,
the UK Mirror reported on Saturday. The "controlled
rest" is OK only in the cruising phase, where pilot tasks are less
demanding, the JAA said. There's nothing new about pilots napping --
one pilot told the Mirror he once woke up to find all three pilots in
the cockpit had nodded off at once. The new policy requires that a
member of the cabin crew schedule a wake-up call. A spokesman for the
British pilots union, BALPA, said naps aren't the solution to pilot
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.
AIRSPACE CHANGES PROPOSED
The Class B airspace around Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is
some very high-traffic, complex airspace, and a new proposed rule aims to make it easier to use and
reduce the potential for midair collisions. The plan proposes to
expand the eastern boundary to ensure containment of instrument
approaches, improve the containment of jet aircraft within the
airspace, and simplify VFR navigation, while shrinking the overall
size of the Class B by about 100 square miles. The FAA has already
aired the plan in local public meetings, and won the support of AOPA. The FAA is open to additional comments
through May 23. More...
There's been talk for a while now that more of the mainstream
aircraft manufacturers might follow Cessna's lead and jump into the
very light jet (VLJ) market. Embraer, of Brazil, confirmed those rumors last
week, with an official announcement that it plans to introduce a new
VLJ with six to eight seats, and a new light jet that will carry eight
or nine. The investment in the new jets will total $235 million, the
company said. The jets will be "best-in-class," according to Embraer,
featuring "premium comfort, outstanding performance and low operating
cost." Both jets will be designed for single-pilot operation. Better
start saving now, though -- prices start at $2.75 million.
SECURITY: STARTING OVER, $4.5 BILLION LATER
The U.S. government has found that many of the security protocols that
have been put in place since 9/11 are ineffective, unreliable and too
costly, The New York Times reported yesterday in a
front-page story. For example, audits have shown that replacing
private airport screeners with TSA workers didn't improve security.
Millions spent on screening equipment also has had dubious results.
The TSA bought 1,344 machines at $1 million each to search for
explosives in checked bags, but they set off false alarms for up to 30
percent of all luggage, the Times said. The frequent alarms mean more
screeners must be hired, and when it gets busy, sometimes the checks
are bypassed, workers have said. More...
REPORT EXAMINES SAFETY, TRAINING ISSUES FOR ADVANCED
Technically advanced aircraft (TAA) are defined by the FAA as having
at least a moving-map display, an IFR-approved GPS navigator and an
autopilot. The advent of this technology has raised issues about
training, which AOPA's Air Safety Foundation (ASF) addresses in a new report, released last week. The report
suggests how training should change to reflect the demands of flying
TAA, and also takes a preliminary look at assessing the safety record
for these aircraft. The report examines the challenges for pilots
transitioning to TAA and flight schools starting students out on the
new systems; handling characteristics; and TAA hardware and software,
including terrain, traffic, weather and engine-monitoring equipment.
research might suggest a tiered learning approach.
"IT'S LIKE HAVING A NEW AIRPLANE!"
airplane uses less fuel on a trip than some SUVs." "General
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with the fuel savings. A big bonus is how much smoother the engine
runs." "Customer service is just that SERVICE!" These
are what GAMI customers have to say about GAMIjectors. Find out how
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Metroliner crash killed 15 in Australia on Saturday...
publicly apologized on Friday for crash of a Beech 1900...
Learjet crash that killed Payne Stewart now in court...
Airlines has ordered 68 Boeing 787 Dreamliners...
prototype has FJ33-4-15M engines with inverted systems...
Visual Warning System for D.C. ADIZ goes online May 21.
NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
Drop us a line. Heard something that 130,000 news-savvy pilots
might want to know about? If it caught your eye, it would likely
interest someone else. Submit news tips via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. ... With our
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
AVmail: May 9,
Reader mail this week about ATC user fees, radioactive
instruments, FAA waste and much more. More...
ASA BRINGS YOU A LIFETIME OF HANDS-FREE
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Pelican's Perch #20: Ground All
There have been several crashes of Beech T-34
aircraft caused by wing-spar failures during the last few years. The
raging controversy over the T-34 structural issues and the FAA's
heavy-handed approach may well affect all aircraft. AVweb's John
Deakin has updated this eerily prescient six-year-old column.
CEO of the Cockpit #44: Raise The
For modern airline pilots like AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit
-- who spend all day in an FMS-guided autopilot-flown aviation wonder
-- the appeal of flying old, low and slow during their days off (or in
retirement) is understandable. But why would someone spend millions to
rescue something that would be cheaper to build from scratch?
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/
Overheard on approach to MCO...
TWR: Traffic 12 o'clock, 2 miles, an Airbus.
Airliner: Traffic in sight.
And he'll be happy to know his rudder is intact. More...
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the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your
|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
|E-OX: A HIGH-QUALITY PORTABLE OXYGEN IN NEW 2-, 3-, &
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bag. E-Ox's new 2-, 3-, and 4-place systems have individual Nelson
type flow meters ranging in cylinder sizes from 425 to 680. The
one- and two-place economy systems come with cylinder sizes from 36 to
680 liters. Custom-design your E-Ox system by calling
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|AIRCRAFT PARTNERSHIPS NOW ON ASO!|
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WORKED HARD FOR THAT IFR TICKET; NOW PROTECT IT!|
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|FLYING MAGAZINE'S JUNE ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS "THE NEW
Still a Glamorous Shape." New Piper's model
PA-46 turns 21 this year and is as good a pressurized piston
single-engine concept as ever. This issue's articles also include:
"The IFR Safety Conundrum" why isn't the record as good as
expected?"; "Boeing vs. Airbus" they fight it out with business
jets, too; "Cockpit Entertainment Has Arrived"; and much more. Order
your Flying subscription online for exceptional savings
MONOXIDE KILLS! GIVE THE GIFT OF SAFETY FROM CO
CO Guardian has carbon monoxide detector
models from portable units to panel-mount units. Each unit's
solid-state sensors and temperature sensors (EMI-shielded to prevent
radio interference) are built in the USA and FAA-certified. Visit CO
Guardian at Sun 'n Fun to check out special show prices, or go online
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|ATTENTION, PIPER OWNERS & PILOTS|
Piper Flyer Association (PFA) provides parts locating, tech
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|THOUGHT THAT USING GPS WOULD BE FUN, DIDN'T
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We Welcome Your
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the
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