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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
PILOTS ISSUE STATEMENT
Hayden ''Jim'' Sheaffer and Troy D. Martin Friday released a statement
regarding their May 11, 2005 breach of restricted airspace in the
nation's capital. The statement begins: "We are mere private citizens
from a small Pennsylvania town who have found ourselves thrust into
the national spotlight after an unplanned and unintentional brush with
local, state and federal authorities, during what was meant to be an
uneventful flight from Lancaster to Lumberton, North Carolina. In an
effort to help everyone understand what happened during this incident,
the following is a recounting of those events associated with our
flight..." The full statement is available in AVweb's NewsWire.
HOUSE SUPPORTS OPENING UP DCA...
Two bills that would mandate allowing GA operations back into Reagan
Washington National Airport (DCA) passed in the U.S. House last week.
The first-ever authorization bill for the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS), which passed on a vote of 424 to 4, requires the
department to implement a security plan that would allow the airport
to reopen to GA within 60 days of the bill's enactment. A separate DHS
appropriations bill requires such a plan to be in place within 90 days
of the bill's enactment. "We are very pleased that Congress continues
to apply the pressure necessary to get the Department of Homeland
Security moving," President James Coyne, of the National Air
Transportation Association (NATA), said last week in a news release.
ARMED PILOTS IN THE TERMINAL
The DHS authorization bill also mandates changes to the Federal Flight
Deck Officer (FFDO) program that have long been lobbied for by the
participating pilots. If approved by the Senate, the bill would
require the DHS to issue badges to qualified FFDOs and allow them to
transport their weapons "on their persons," rather than inside a
locked metal box as is now required. However, the department can
prescribe any training, equipment, or procedures it finds necessary to
ensure safety and maximize weapon retention. The bill also would allow
FFDOs to be reimbursed for expenses incurred in traveling to a
training site and would improve access to training facilities.
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AGE FLIGHT TRAINING...
Old training methods may not match new equipment and as glass cockpits
grow ever more common on new (and retrofitted) aircraft, learning to
fly on the old round gauges is a task going the way of navigating with
a map and compass and E6-B. At Middle Tennessee State University
(MTSU), a NASA-funded experiment is researching the effects of
teaching students on glass cockpits from the start. The project is
called SATS Aerospace Flight Education Research (SAFER) and is part of
NASA's Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) initiative. The
first class began last September, and a second class started in
January. The students are learning on five new Diamond DA-40
single-engine trainers equipped with Garmin G1000 glass cockpits.
IFR FROM THE START
The MTSU training also integrates private pilot and instrument
training (with an FAA exemption to allow concurrent training) so
students take both checkrides at once. According to Paul Craig,
director of the MTSU program, "The new [glass-cockpit] technology
solves the two problems that make IFR different from VFR: 1) We can
see through clouds, and 2) we can see where we are. With these two
problems solved, what is the difference between VFR and IFR? The
answer: There is no longer a difference!" The SAFER students start
flying GPS approaches even before their first solo. Although it's
early in the project, the researchers have reported that they feel the
new methodology has "great promise" and will lead to improved training
that is more efficient. More...
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While university flight departments are forging new ground, most
flight schools, whether their fleet has round dials or glass, are
still facing the same old challenges -- how to find enough new
students, and then keep them. To help fill that need, a new company in
Nashville, Tenn., Flight School Success, has formed a sales and
marketing group that is offering its services to flight schools. "Too
often the sale process, if there is one, is left to people who have
little or no sales or marketing experience -- people who need to focus
on delivering flight education, not tracking prospects," said
President Gary Bradshaw in a recent news release. The company has six
Internet sites that generate leads, including PilotJourney.com, which has been online for a
INDUSTRY RALLIES TO HELP
Meanwhile, Be A
Pilot, the nonprofit industry group, is expanding its marketing
efforts. A new marketing and business-practices e-newsletter for its
2,114 participating flight schools will debut this summer, BAP
President Drew Steketee told AVweb on Saturday. Also, BAP is
teaming up with one of its sponsors, AOPA, to provide to flight
schools all the BAP leads within a 20- or 40-mile radius for their
local follow-up, once a month, starting by June. Steketee said there
is definitely a need out there for lead management and marketing, but
it will be a challenge for start-ups like Flight School Success to get
paying clients. "Flight schools have been loath to spend cash on
marketing," he said. But, he added, "If [this] concept would gain some
traction, it would be fine for the cause of better flight school
marketing and building the pilot population." More...
LANDINGS MADE EZ
Landing safely on an aircraft carrier has long been admired among
pilots as one of the most challenging tasks to master, but those days
could soon be over. GPS technology now allows the pilot to let the
airplane land itself. While the landing system has been in the works for a while, it's now coming of age,
and last week it was tested for the first time at sea in a
short-takeoff vertical-landing aircraft -- that is, the Harrier
jump-jet. The technology, which is also being studied by the U.S.
Joint Strike Fighter program, reduces pilot workload at the end of a
mission, when fatigue can be a factor and the pilot faces a critical
and difficult landing. Besides reducing risk, the automated landings
will enable pilots to conduct missions by day or night and in weather
that would previously have been impossible, according to QinetiQ, the British technology company that
developed the new system. More...
OPEN HOUSE SET FOR JUNE 4
AOPA's 15th annual Fly-In and Open House is coming up on Saturday,
June 4, at the Frederick, Md., airport, and it's not just for the
already-converted. AOPA is offering special activities for folks who
want to fly but haven't yet made the plunge. Three one-hour seminars
on "How to start learning to fly" will be held throughout the day,
covering such topics as the value of being a pilot and the overall
training process. A local flight school will have a 172 and flight
instructors on hand, offering a chance for the newbies to sit in the
cockpit and get a feel for what it's like. A drawing will select 10
prospects for free introductory flights at their local flight schools.
FORCE UNITS TO SLASH TRAINING HOURS
The U.S. Air Force is feeling the crunch of a budget strained by the
global war on terror, and it's going to mean cutting flight experience
by about 32,000 hours, the Air Combat Command (ACC) said last week. The Air
Force's projected shortfall for fiscal year 2005 is about $3.7
billion. Cutting up to 60 percent of the year's remaining training
flight hours will save about $272 million, according to the ACC.
Several key units, such as F/A-22 units, test and training units, and
the Thunderbirds, may be exempted from the cuts. "Our first priority
is to protect combat capability," said Maj. Gen. Mike DeCuir, ACC
director of operations. More...
AEROCOMMANDER SUPPORTS ANTI-TERRORISM EFFORT
When the Environmental Protection Agency began work on a project to
develop an airborne chemical detector system, it was for the purpose
of monitoring industrial accidents. But in the last few years, the
EPA's Aero Commander 680 has been pressed into duty for national
security, to detect chemical hazards. The Commander carries high-tech
sensors known as ASPECT, for Airborne Spectral Photometric
Environmental Collection Technology. "By providing a capability to
accurately measure and locate hazardous and toxic chemical plumes,
emergency responders near disaster plumes will be able to make better
decisions regarding civilian evacuations, resource deployments and
ensuring the safety of response crews," said Robert Kroutil, of the
Los Alamos National Laboratory. More...
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.
VIMY EN ROUTE FOR TRANS-ATLANTIC FLIGHT
The Vickers Vimy replica that flew 15,000 miles from England to
Australia in 1994, then 9,000 miles from London to Capetown in 1999,
is ready for adventure No. 3 -- retracing the first nonstop Atlantic
crossing, made by the British team of John Alcock and Arthur Brown,
flying a Vimy, in June 1919. The open-cockpit biplane, with two
engines and a 70-foot wingspan, left California on Thursday, en route
to St John's, Newfoundland. The Vimy will stop in Oshkosh, Toronto and
Ottawa, and launch from St. John's sometime in mid-June. At the
controls this time is ubiquitous aeronautical adventurer Steve
Fossett, along with co-pilot Mark Rebholz, a veteran Vimy pilot and
747 captain. They will navigate using only a sextant and compass, the
same instruments that Alcock and Brown relied on. More...
AMPHIB MAKES FIRST FLIGHT
The Czech Aircraft
Works caught our attention at last year's Sun 'n Fun when they exhibited, with
little fanfare, the already-flying prototype of their first in-house
design, a Sport Pilot-ready two-seat aluminum-hulled amphibian called
Now they've taken what they learned from that prototype and started
test flights on the first production model. The final design flies
faster, lands slower, and is lighter, allowing for more useful load,
the company said in a news release last week. About a square meter was
added to the wing area, and the wingtips were redesigned for greater
efficiency. Chip Erwin, president of Czech Aircraft Works, said, "We
did not rush the Mermaid into production but rather took the time to
flight-test properly, and then refine and optimize the design.
ATTENTION, BARON AND CESSNA 310 OWNERS NEWS FROM
A new STC has been approved to McCauley
Propeller Systems for installation of a new three-bladed
propeller. Replace your old threaded propellers with the new
Blackmac propeller. The Blackmac provides operators with
an average weight savings of 10 pounds, longer TBOs, and fewer ADs
than other propellers available today. The Blackmac also comes
with a standard three-year warranty. For more information and an
authorized service center near you, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mccauley/avflash.
A 172 crashed on a Coney Island beach Saturday, four died...
Web site offers info on auto fuel STCs...
Officials asked FAA to shut down Bader Field after jet crash...
FAA wants authority to prohibit billboards in space...
A Michigan teen wrote a book on his state's fighter aces.
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 email@example.com. ... With our
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about Chicago's lack of
fighter protection, a snake strike, and answers to the question, "The
D.C. Insursion: Who deserves more blame?" More...
ATTENTION, PIPER OWNERS & PILOTS
Piper Flyer Association (PFA) 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 Piper aircraft. Join the Piper Flyer
Association (PFA) today as they build the ultimate Piper association.
Go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pfa/avflash.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Is Sport Pilot Training Uninsurable
for Commercial Flight Schools?
As the details emerge of just
how the Sport Pilot rules will work in the "real world," one major
block has turned up: Insurance companies may not be willing to
underwrite it. AVweb presents a guest opinion piece from a frustrated
Sport Pilot flight school.
Say Again? #50: Lost
Communications -- NORDO
"Atlanta Center -- how do you read?"
"Atlanta Center?" "Anybody?!" Lost comm can be a minor event when your
flight plan follows the rules. But when you're going Direct, how can
ATC get all those other planes away from you? AVweb's Don Brown takes
us on a flight when you don't talk to anybody. More...
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/
Sometimes a little sports knowledge goes a long way. Overheard on the
Houston Deperture frequency...
DEP: Aircraft XYZ, Contact Yao Ming on 123.45
DEP: Houston Center. More...
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|SUBSCRIBE TO AVIATION CONSUMER AND SAVE, PLUS GET
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|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
|NEW MOUNTING SYSTEM FOR HAND-HELD ELECTRONIC DEVICES
If you carry electronic devices on board,
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
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MACHADO BOOKS, TAPES, AND CDs AVAILABLE ON AVWEB!|
to be up-to-date and impress the CFI on your review, but there's no
time to study. The solution is easy. Rod Machado's
Complete Private Pilot Handbook on 30 professionally recorded
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|SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH THE
The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer is
the PC-based graphical aircraft situation display that gives you a
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Canada. Whether you're tracking a friend or want to learn more about
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|AVIATION CONSUMER, IFR, & LIGHT PLANE
MAINTENANCE PUBLISHER'S NOTICE!|
The publishers of these
fine magazines plus Aviation Safety and AVweb now
have available their most popular Handbooks, Guides, and CDs,
including Aviation Safety's Guide to Proficient
Flying and Light Plane Maintenance's 40 Top
Maintenance Tips. Go online to make your selection at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avsafe/books/avflash.
|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
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|THE SHORT STACK HAS ARRIVED AT POWER
Power Flow Systems, manufacturers of tuned
exhaust systems, has introduced a new "short stack" exhaust pipe for
Skyhawks and Cardinals. The new STC'd short stack reduces the profile,
weight, and drag of the original exhaust duct and is identical in
length to original Cessna equipment. For more information on this and
the tuned exhaust system right for your aircraft, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power/avflash.
|AVIATION SAFETY'S JUNE ISSUE DOESN'T PULL PUNCHES
FOR FLYING SAFE!|
Nowhere else can you get unbiased news on
safety issues. Judge for yourself with these articles in Aviation
Safety's June issue: "Autopilot Addiction" if it's a crutch
for a weak scan, it's of dubious benefit; "Are Turbines Safer?"
maybe you won't be replacing your recip; "Broken Glass" PFDs
and MFDs, here's a rundown on what can fail and what you'll have left;
"Prevent Hangar Rash" here's how to prevent ground-handling
accidents and incidents; "Five Crosswind Traps" how to avoid
them; "Too Short, Too Soft" a turf runway review. Order your
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|PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED
"The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the
book. ... It's the best instrument flying book I have ever read,"
states Fred Scott. "If one book could help you make the leap from a
bit player to a skilled conductor of instrument flight, this is
probably it," reads a November 2003 AOPA Pilot review. With the
help of this book, you will establish your own personal standard
operating practices for IFR, including incorporation of checklists,
flows, callouts, briefings, and the "fly by the numbers" method
of aircraft control. For more information and to order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyroad/avflash.
|ATTENTION, MECHANICS! SOFTWARE FOR YOUR
John Schwaner's The Mechanic's Toolbox
+ Engineering Manual Companion has been a mainstay of mechanics
for years. John has revised and updated this publication and put it on
CD. The Mechanic's Toolbox Program contains everything from:
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Conversions, Velocity Computing, and more; to a Palm operating system
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EXPANDING ITS READER SURVEY PANEL|
If you're willing to
answer (very) brief questionnaires about aviation products and
services once or twice a month, please consider joining our exclusive
panel of reader advisors. We're currently seeking pilots at all
levels of experience in many different FAA regions. To apply,
We Welcome Your
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
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