AVflash Vol. 9, Issue 04a Monday, January 20, 2003

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by Trade-A-Plane, the world's largest general aviation resource, at: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap.

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At http://www.avweb.com/newswire/9_04a/complete/182442-1.html.

MISSILE WATCH...
Last Wednesday, The Washington Post reported the existence of a task force created to assess the ground-based threat to air travel and try to prevent the use of shoulder-launched ground-to-air missiles that could theoretically be launched against airliners from beyond the airport security perimeter. While military technology might provide some of the answers, the task force appears focused on enlisting the help of ordinary citizens to prevent such attacks. "There's a wide-ranging, active discussion about this issue," said Transportation Department spokesman Chet Lunner. According to the Post, the committee was working on the threat even before last November's unsuccessful portable missile attack on an Israeli airliner in Kenya. More...

...NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH-TYPE PROGRAM...
Among the ideas under consideration is a Neighborhood Watch-type of program that would train local police and residents near an airport to identify missile parts. As small as they are, shoulder-launched missiles can't be hidden under a terrorist's coat and the FBI hopes that if people know what to look for, they can call authorities before one can be assembled and launched. "Someone is not going to be able to just whip one of these things out of a briefcase," said FBI spokesman John Iannarelli. More...

...PILOTS GET HIJACK PANIC BUTTON
Just in case terrorists manage to get aboard an airliner, new equipment will ensure that the crew can hit a button to at least let ground controllers know about it. None of the pilots aboard the four aircraft hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, squawked the 7500 transponder code to announce the hijacking. On three of the jets, the transponders were shut off. The FAA is now requiring that hijack alert buttons, which can be instantly activated and, once switched on, can't easily be switched off, be installed on airliners. The projected fleet-wide cost ranges toward $80 million. More...

RESERVATIONS, PLEASE...
They say parks are for people, but private floatplane pilots may need a reservation to visit some of British Columbia's most spectacular places. Provincial parks officials in northwestern B.C. are proposing that non-commercial floatplane operators be required to give six months' notice of the lakes they intend to visit and the days they intend to visit them in the more than 5 million acres within the park boundaries. Commercial operators can land anywhere with the purchase of a yearly permit and that's rankled private floatplane pilots in B.C., according to Brenda Matas, a PA-22 owner and member of the B.C. Floatplane Association (BCFA). More...

...ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES CHALLENGED...
Matas said the draft plan by B.C. Parks Stikine Region suggests floatplanes are an environmental hazard, but she said that view doesn't hold water. She said floatplanes are the only means of transportation that leave no permanent marks on the land. Trucks, all-terrain vehicles and even hikers need trails to get to the lakes. Aircraft make some noise on departure but it only lasts a minute or so, she said. Besides, if noise is the issue, she wonders why commercial floatplanes, snowmobiling and the use of motorboats are allowed on many park lakes. More...

...BANFF, JASPER STRIPS THREATENED
Meanwhile, any pilot that has ever sought refuge, because of weather or other problems, and landed at the airstrips in Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta is asked to drop COPA a line. Parks Canada has been trying to close the strips for years but COPA managed to get a court ruling requiring a comprehensive environmental study on the strips. The consultant doing the study wants more information on the safety impact of the proposed closure. More...

ANOTHER STAB AT DRIVER'S LICENSE MEDICALS
Medical problems account for less than half a percent of aircraft accidents, according to both AOPA and EAA -- and if they won't do it in the face of that statistic, AOPA is hoping the FAA will reduce pilot medical requirements in the name of research. AOPA has offered to run a study on the impact of allowing student and recreational pilots use of their driver's licenses instead of an FAA medical certificate. For almost 20 years, the FAA has refused to budge on the issue. AOPA previously appealed for a straight rule change, now it's looking for a two-year exemption for student and recreational pilots, during which they'd be required to submit reports to AOPA on their flight activities. More...

RAYTHEON INVESTIGATED BY SEC
The point at which the sale of an aircraft becomes complete appears to be the source of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into Raytheon Aircraft's accounting practices. Raytheon itself announced the investigation, figuring, in the post-Enron era, that it "would be the best practice," company spokesman James Fetig told The Wichita Eagle. Prior to December of 1999, Raytheon reported the revenue from a sale on the date the deal was made. The SEC wanted the revenue reported on delivery, which Raytheon did; it was forced to reduce its reported earnings for the fourth quarter of 1999 by $57 million, or 11 cents per share. More...

"FREE FLIGHT" HARDWARE ON UPS PLANES
What may be a major step toward the vaunted "free flight" system of air navigation may first help ensure you actually get your overnight package overnight. United Parcel Service has become the first carrier to get FAA certification for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast systems to be installed on all 107 of its Boeing 757s and 767s. Using GPS, a computer and a radio transceiver, the system shows the pilot the exact whereabouts of other aircraft ... provided they also have ADS-B. The system allows the pilots of equipped aircraft to maintain from each other the minimum required separation even in bad weather, thus reducing flight delays. More...

FUTURE AEROBATIC STARS SHOW THEIR STUFF
It's aviation's version of American Idol and aerobatic fans at Oshkosh AirVenture 2003 will be the winners. Aerobatic greats Sean D. Tucker and Mike Goulian have chosen six of the top up-and-coming air show performers to take part in the new Stars of Tomorrow showcase at Oshkosh. The young pilots range in age from just 20 to 30 years old but they share a couple of things in common, said Tucker. "Mike and I chose these six pilots ... not only for their exceptional flying skills but also for their passion for this art form and their humanity," said Tucker. More...

DRUGS COULD BE DEADLY IN PERU
A senator wants changes to a U.S./Peru anti-drug campaign that allows the Peruvian military to shoot down civilian aircraft suspected of running drugs. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday urged the Bush administration to reconsider the policy because, he said, there is no guarantee that identification safeguards will prevent the deaths of innocent people. Leahy cited the death of a mother and infant daughter in the mistaken downing of a missionary aircraft in April of 2001 in Peru. More...

TAKE IT OFF AFTER TAKEOFF
A charter flight headed to the Caribbean in May gives whole new meaning to stripped-down service. Shortly after takeoff from Miami, passengers will be invited to take it all off for the duration of the flight to a nudist resort in Cancun. There could be 172 high-flying free spirits aboard the Boeing 727, which has been chartered by Castaways Travel, of Spring, Texas. The crew will remain dressed. More...

ON THE FLY...
A Cirrus SR-22 crashed in north-central Minnesota, Saturday...
Super Bowl TFR seven n.m., 18,000 ft. and bans aerial advertising...
English town council balks at air show costs...
"Whip" Saltmarsh retiring as Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission chairman...
Conference gathers input on Australian air reg changes.

SHORT FINAL...
More from our "Flying IS fun" file...

I took my cousin for a plane ride a few years ago. After an hour, we headed back to DuPage airport. The last 10 minutes of the flight were quiet, with almost no conversation. About six miles out, I keyed the mic and opened my mouth to contact the tower, when all of a sudden my cousin shouts loudly, "HEY, LOOK, THERE'S A NAKED LADY DOWN THERE BY THE SWIMMING POOL!" My mouth was still open and the mic button was still pushed.

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AVweb's AVscoop Award...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Rick Tanner, this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. Rules and information are at http://www.avweb.com/contact/newstips.html.

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New Articles and Features on AVweb

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COLUMNS
CEO of the Cockpit #15: School House Blues
It's always a challenge to learn to fly a new aircraft, and AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit is not adverse to that, especially because it may be his last upgrade while at the airline. But talk of a looming war makes for good procrastination material when you're tired of studying.

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MAINTENANCE MATTERS
A Hangar of Your Own
If you can't find a rental, building or buying a hangar might be an option. But a good investment? As AVweb's Paul Bertorelli wrote in Aviation Consumer, don't count on it.

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Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
http://www.avweb.com/avmail/

Reader mail this week about noise troubles in Belgium, FSDO follys, and more...

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Sponsor News and Special Offers

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AVIONICS WEST IS AT IT AGAIN WITH THE BEST PRICES ON AVIONICS!
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AVEMCO POLICYHOLDERS ATTENTION! AVEMCO.COM HAS VALUE-ADDED BENEFITS
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SPONSOR NEWS

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We Welcome Your Feedback!

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. http://www.avweb.com

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to mailto:editor@avweb.com.com. Have a comment or question? Send it to mailto:newsteam@avweb.com.

Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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