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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
CLAIMS TO BREAK MYTHICAL BARRIER...
... Along with the prototype. The staff at CarterCopter,
in Olney, Texas, was busy on Friday afternoon preparing a press
release about that morning's success -- they had finally achieved an
aerodynamic breakthrough they'd been working on for years -- when news
came in that the one-of-a-kind prototype gyrocopter had been destroyed
in a crash. Pilots Larry Neal and Brad King were out on a test flight
when something went wrong. "We don't know what it was," CEO Jay Carter
Jr. told AVweb on Saturday. "Things happened really fast. It
was like somebody slammed on the brakes. The nose pitched down and it
started rolling to the left. Larry thought it was going inverted." The
aircraft righted itself, and Neal and King were able to regain some
pitch control just before they hit mesquite trees. More...
COMPANY CELEBRATES ACHIEVEMENT
Despite his disappointment over the loss, Carter said he was
"ecstatic" over the success of Friday morning's flight. "We exceeded a
Mu of 1 for the first time in history. This has been our goal ever
since we started flight-testing in 1998. ... History will prove out
the significance of this." The "Mu-1 barrier" is an aerodynamic limit defined by a
forward speed and rotor rpm combination that results in advancing
(moving into the relative wind) blade tips reaching speeds of twice
that of the aircraft. At the same time, the retreating blade tips
experience zero airspeed (as they rotate away from the relative wind)
on the opposite side -- the entire inboard portion of the blade sees
"reverse" air flow. The predicament prevents rotorcraft from achieving
high forward speeds. According to the company, the barrier was
breached during normal flight-testing Friday morning, while collecting
data on a newly developed speed controller for the rotor.
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152 JOYRIDE RAISES SECURITY ISSUES...
Some folks in Fort Payne, Ala., learned a hard lesson last week -- if
you surround your airport with a security fence but then leave the
gate unlocked, well, you have not secured the field. A 14-year-old
boy, driving a van he allegedly stole from his grandmother, arrived at
the airport late last Wednesday night, apparently found the gate open,
and went looking around. He came across a Cessna 152 unlocked with the
key inside, and started it up. He told police later that he had no
prior flight experience but was "driving around" in the airplane when
he inadvertently found himself airborne. He landed once and took off
again, this time flying a bit farther from the airport.
THE UNEXPECTED PROVES INEVITABLE...
On his second landing, he landed hard, gave it some throttle to avoid
the fence, then came down on the road outside the airport. The
aircraft was damaged and the boy suffered minor cuts and bruises.
Altogether his flight lasted less than half an hour. "It's a miracle
the boy wasn't killed or someone else wasn't hurt or killed or that we
didn't have significant property damage from the plane crashing
somewhere else," Fort Payne Mayor Bill Jordan told the Times-Journal.
"The last thing you think about is a 14-year-old stealing a plane from
the airport." Airport manager Larry Noble Cowart told The Associated
Press, "We've never had a problem before with planes being stolen, so
I guess we have been a little lax in our security." More...
ADIZ VIOLATOR GETS A BREAK
Meanwhile, the much-castigated Pennsylvania pilot who violated the
Washington, D.C., ADIZ on May 11 and caused panic in the Capital has
been cut a break by the FAA. Hayden "Jim" Sheaffer will be allowed to
reapply for his pilot's certificate in 10 months, instead of the
one-year restriction that was originally imposed, on the condition
that he drop his appeal to the NTSB. In addition, "They asked me not
to go out, in essence, and badmouth them," Sheaffer told LancasterOnline. Sheaffer, through his attorney,
has said that he had tried repeatedly to make radio contact with
authorities that day, but was unsuccessful, contrary to the FAA's
initial report. More...
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ISSUES FINAL CESSNA WING SPAR ADS
After much back and forth between the FAA and owners of affected
Cessna twins, two final Airworthiness Directives about wing spars were
issued last week. The final ADs require a spar-strap modification, but
allow most owners up to 800 flight hours to comply -- that's four to
eight years of flying for most owner-operators. The modification then
is good for another 5,500 to 12,000 hours, with no further inspections
required. The initial cost to comply is still high -- aviation
columnist Mike Busch told AVweb he estimates it will
cost $40,000 to $60,000 per airplane, and up to two months of
PROVES DANGEROUS, AS BOMBS PROVE SAFE
A pilot in Alaska got into trouble last week when sheets of plywood
strapped beneath the belly of his Cessna 206 caught fire, apparently
due to heat from the exhaust. The pilot landed on a sandbar in the
Skwentna River and escaped with minor injuries. Alaska is the only
state where the FAA allows small planes to carry external loads.
Meanwhile, a Marine Corps Harrier AV8-B jet crashed last week in a
backyard in Yuma, Ariz., while carrying two tons of live bombs and
ammunition. Nobody was seriously hurt, and the pilot ejected safely,
but hundreds of residents were evacuated due to the jet's payload.
BLIMP WRECKED IN FLORIDA
A Goodyear blimp crashed about 12 miles west of its base at Pompano
Beach Airpark in Florida at about 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. Thunderstorms
were reported in the area, and witnesses said heavy rains and wind
buffeted the airship as it descended to the ground. The blimp knocked
down some electrical wires, and about 1,400 people nearby lost power.
The two crew members were unhurt and waited in the gondola briefly
until rescue crews had secured the site. One witness reported hearing
loud noises from the blimp before it went down. Other witnesses were
eating dinner in a Red Lobster restaurant when the blimp sailed by.
"It looked like it was trying to land in our parking lot," manager
Maryann Clark told The Miami Herald. More...
AIRSHIP NEARS COMPLETION IN OHIO
The Dynalifter, a hybrid airship that combines
aerodynamic lift -- wings and body lift -- with aerostatic lift --
helium -- is under construction in Alliance, Ohio, and is expected to
be finished later this summer, according to its builder, Ohio
Airships. The 120-foot prototype is about 75 percent assembled and the
company says it has funding for completion. The prototype is designed
to carry a 1,000-pound payload, including a two-person crew, and will
take off and land from a runway. No ground crew is required, as for a
blimp. The Dynalifter could stay airborne for up to 10 hours, carry
bulky payloads, and is cheap to build, the company says. The aircraft
could be used for airborne advertising, border patrols and freight.
NAA AND CELEBRATE AVIATION'S PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE|
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PILOTS WHO HELP, ASK FOR YOUR HELP
Legislation now in Congress would help protect volunteer pilots from
liability concerns, and the folks at the Air
Care Alliance (ACA), who are lobbying for the bill, are asking
pilots and aviation organizations to write to their representatives in
support. "It is also extremely important that actual volunteer pilots
and leaders from these groups write their own letters explaining their
personal reasons for supporting the legislation," the ACA says at its
Web site, where more details and information about how to best support
the effort are posted. The liability protection would also help make
it easier for much-needed larger aircraft to participate in
public-benefit flight missions. More...
SAYS GA SAFETY DATA FLAWED
The methodology used by the FAA to estimate hours flown each year by
the GA fleet is inadequate, the NTSB said in a report released last week. As a result, the true
accident risk for domestic general aviation operations has likely
changed less during the years since 1985 than FAA data would suggest.
An accurate and stable activity measure is needed to portray the
accident rate accurately, which is critical to formulating and
evaluating general aviation safety initiatives, the NTSB said. In its
study, the board found that the number of active pilots and the amount
of aviation fuel consumed may provide a truer picture of GA activity
than the FAA's method of surveying a sample of registered aircraft
Air Canada backs out of $6 billion Boeing order...
2000th airplane rolled out Friday...
Two pilots convicted of flying
drunk jailed, pending sentencing...
Bombardier Global 5000 set
speed record from Chicago to Paris...
Four new RNAV routes charted
in Charlotte, N.C., area...
Vickers Vimy delayed departure from
Newfoundland to Ireland...
Former Boeing President Malcolm Stamper,
80, died Tuesday...
USPS will issue 10 stamps honoring classic
Daniel Webster College to offer online
aviation MBA. More...
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. You're part
of our team. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Motor Head 7: Are We Making It
Harder Than It Needs To Be?
For many years, FADEC electronic
engine systems have been like glass cockpits in the low end of GA:
just over the horizon. Well, glass is here, but FADEC is still not
available in mainstream, certified aircraft. AVweb's Marc Cook has
some thoughts about why that is, and why he still hasn't tried it, in
this month's Motor Head column.
No matter what you say about
politicians, you have to admit they can make live really tough on
pilots and airports when they only listen to the voices of the
anti-airplane and anti-airport crowd. A city councilman and pilot from
Arizona offers suggestions on how to work with the people who make
local decisions about your airport. More...
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about the New York TRACON,
airliner safety, volunteers to protect planes at EAA AirVenture and
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HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice monthly Business
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Overheard this Fathers' Day...
A friend and local pilot thought his
father (a years-ago pilot) would enjoy a chance again at the controls.
So he arranged on Fathers' Day for his Dad to go up with an
instructor. The "old man" brought it in for a squeaker. Here's what I
heard on tower frequency:
Tower: Understand that was 'Senior' at the controls?
Tower: Well we certainly don't see them that nice very
often. Thank you, sir, for showing us all how it's done.
Senior: Well, I may not be as good as I once was. But
I'm as good once as I ever was. More...
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|LONGER DAYS AND WARMER WEATHER MEAN IT'S TIME TO GO
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|AVIATION CONSUMER'S JULY ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS
LANCAIR'S COLUMBIA 400|
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