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The Top Headlines From
AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
11TH-HOUR RALLY FOR FSS...
The U.S. House on Thursday passed a bill that would allow Flight
Service Station (FSS) workers to retain their jobs as FAA employees,
but the measure, which has won bipartisan support, still has a long
way to go to become law. First, a Senate version must pass, then the
two versions must be reconciled and sent to the White House, which has
already promised to veto it. Canceling Lockheed Martin's contract to
take over the FSSs would trigger $300 million in penalties, the White
House said. But the union representing the FSS workers, the National Association of
Air Traffic Specialists (NAATS), was thrilled to have the bill in
play at all. The FAA has now published
a notice in the Federal Register that they'll conduct a survey to
"determine customer satisfaction with Lockheed Martin's provision of
flight services." More...
SENDS CONTROLLERS HOME, NATCA PROTESTS...
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association
(NATCA) is at odds yet again with the FAA, this time over the agency's
unilateral cancellation of a liaison program. The FAA last week
abruptly terminated the program, in what NATCA called "a terse,
79-word fax." The controllers had been working on technical projects
such as en route modernization and runway safety technology, NATCA
said. Nine controllers will be affected by the decision. FAA
spokeswoman Laura Brown told AVweb yesterday that the FAA
values the expertise and knowledge of the controllers, but felt it
wasn't necessary to keep them deployed full-time in Washington, D.C.
"What we plan to do is take advantage of their expertise as air
traffic controllers, to help staff facilities as fully as we can," she
SENIOR WORKERS SEEK EQUAL PAY
Meanwhile, some senior FAA workers frustrated over a lack of response
to their complaints say they may go to federal court to seek
satisfaction, GovExec.com reported last week. Under rules
instituted by the FAA's "pay-for-performance" system, some 2,000
senior employees have been locked out of base salary increases. The
workers say this means they lose out in overtime pay, retirement, and
other benefits that are tied to base pay, compared to other workers
who were not affected by the new system. The FAA says it has no
intention of changing back, but instead its aim is to level the field
by bringing the rest of the agency's employees under the new system as
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AND THE COST OF FREEDOM...
In the wake of two recent incidents where non-pilots easily entered
airport property and took off with unsecured aircraft, the general
public and the mainstream media have been in an uproar about the dangers of those little airplanes. To counter
that, AOPA last week went on the offensive, but this time, the target
was not the overreacting press, but the GA community itself. "What's
hurting us doesn't have to happen. And you are an important key in
stopping the threat to GA," AOPA Prez Phil Boyer wrote in letters sent
out last week to CFIs and FBOs. "What can we do about it? Secure your
aircraft. And make sure your students, your employer, and the pilots
around you are all doing everything they can to prevent aircraft
THE AMERICAN WAY...
When the world's richest celebrities and industrialists arrive at the
single runway of Friedman Memorial Airport in Sun Valley, Idaho,
tomorrow for their annual luxury-recreation-and-dealmaking retreat --
Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, etc., are expected -- their
Gulfstreams and Citations will have to wait their turn right along
with the local Huskies and Bonanzas. The FAA had OK'd a request from
the airport to allow only IFR flights in during the busiest part of
the weekend -- with the clear intent to give priority to the visiting
corporate aircraft and exclude the scruffy single-engine fliers. AOPA
protested to the FAA, and the exemption was rescinded.
DON'T FORGET THE ADIZ
While joy riders flying in stolen airplanes is bad enough, yet more
bad press for GA results when small aircraft violate the protected
airspace over downtown Washington, D.C. An incursion last Wednesday
caused a brief evacuation at Congress, and over the weekend, yet
another straggler in a single-engine Cessna had to be escorted away
from the Capitol by a pair of F-16 fighter jets. The airplane landed
about 11 p.m. Saturday at Frederick Municipal Airport, and a man and
woman on board were questioned and released. More...
JA AIR CENTER, YOUR GARMIN SOURCE, IS LOOKING
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VIMY COMPLETES TRANS-ATLANTIC FLIGHT
The Vickers Vimy
biplane landed safely in Ireland yesterday at about 5 p.m. local time,
after crossing the North Atlantic nonstop, following the route flown
in 1919 by the British team of John Alcock and Arthur Whitten-Brown.
As planned, pilots Steve Fossett and Mark Rebhol landed on a golf
course in Clifden, Ireland. The flight took about 20 hours. They
launched from St. John's, Newfoundland, with strong tailwinds at about
7:30 Saturday night. The flight was the last of three adventures that
re-created the original Vimy's historic flights. More...
PILOT DEPLOYS CHUTE
A Cirrus SR22 pilot escaped from his airplane after deploying the
ballistic chute and landing in a cove near a nuclear power plant off
New York's Hudson River on Thursday afternoon. Ilan Reich, 50, had
been flying westbound when he issued a mayday and then pulled the
chute, according to local news reports. Cirrus Design spokeswoman Kate
Dougherty told AVweb yesterday that details are still sketchy
but it appears that Reich experienced a medical emergency while
flying. The airplane splashed down about 50 feet from shore and Reich
broke through a window with a hammer, which is provided in the cockpit
for just such an occasion. Reich was treated at a local hospital and
went home on Friday. The aircraft was recovered from about 30 feet of
water on Saturday. More...
ONLY AT AUCTION! LAKE AIRCRAFT WILL BE SOLD AT
The owners of the Lake Aircraft line of
amphibious airplanes have chosen the auction method of marketing to
select a new owner for their Lake Amphibian production line.
This comprehensive sale will include the FAA Type Certificate and
associated STCs, engineering data, all documentation, historical
information, fleet support inventory, and manufacturing capacity. The
inventory (in its entirety) will be sold as a comprehensive package to
one able buyer for the purpose of resuming full production capacity.
The auction will be held at 4:30pm July 27 at the EAA Aviation
Center's Vette Theater in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. For additional
information and a complete list of assets to be conveyed, call
Higgenbotham Auctioneers at (800) 257-4161, or visit their web
site (Higgenbotham.com) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hig/avflash.
EX-MILITARY AIRPORTS GET FUNDS FOR GA UPGRADES
Four more airports have been added to the Military Airport Program,
the Department of Transportation said last week. The program provides
federal funds to improve facilities at ex-military fields to attract
more civilian aviation activity. The new airports are Williams Gateway
Airport, Mesa, Ariz.; Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Fla.; Guam
International Airport, Agana, Guam; and Rickenbacker International
Airport, Columbus, Ohio. "These airports are proof-positive that there
is life after base closings," said Transportation Secretary Norm
Mineta. The airports will join 11 others already in the program, which
will distribute $34 million this year. More...
PIPER AND UNION WORKERS REACH AGREEMENT
New Piper and its union workers agreed on a contract Thursday night
after almost two years of negotiations, averting a strike vote. The
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
represents 729 of the company's 920 employees. "We've tallied the vote
and 68 percent approved," union spokesman Bob Wood told TCPalm.com. "We were pretty confident that our
membership would understand that it's a step in the right direction.
It was time to stop the bleeding." The contract sets rules for workday
length, seniority, and overtime pay; increases the company's
contribution to health-insurance plans; and establishes a grievance
and mediation program, according to TCPalm. The employees agree not to
strike, and New Piper agrees not to lock them out. More...
ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME YOU CHOOSE SOMETHING
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new technology cabin class airplane, the EA-500 averages 220 kts, gets
11 mpg, and costs less than $200/hr to operate. Find out more about
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FLIGHT SCHOOL CLOSES, STATE INVESTIGATING
TAB Express International, a flight school in Deland, Fla., abruptly
closed down on June 15, putting 49 employees out of work and stranding
80 students, some of whom had paid up to $100,000 each in up-front
tuition. The school blamed the shutdown on an abrupt cutoff of
financing from Key Bank in Ohio, which had been lending money to the
students. State Attorney General Charlie Crist said his office would
investigate to determine if any fraud had occurred. "The flight school
said it had an airline and that if students flew for it for two years
their loans would be repaid, but they didn't have an airline," a
spokeswoman for the attorney general told AOPA. More...
The world's first liquid-hydrogen-powered unmanned aerial vehicle has
flown successfully, AeroVironment of California announced last week.
The Global Observer High-Altitude Long-Endurance (HALE) prototype has
a 50-foot wingspan and is intended for operations at up to 65,000
feet, where it can fly for over a week with a payload of up to 1,000
pounds, the company said. It flew in Arizona on May 26 and again on
June 2, each flight lasting over an hour. "We are now ready to quickly
satisfy an urgent national security need for an affordable, persistent
HALE system for communications relay and intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance missions," said Tim Conver, AeroVironment's
president and chief executive. More...
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TO THINK ABOUT THUNDERSTORMS
With summer in full swing, thunderstorm season is reaching its peak as
well. As a reminder about the dangers, AOPA's Air Safety Foundation
has released a new four-minute online refresher course on avoiding thunderstorms. The
course is free to all. Also, you can check out the historical patterns
of thunderstorms in your region thanks to a new Web site from NOAA (the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration). The site displays maps of thunderstorm
activity across the U.S. for every month over the last 10 years. Maps
are available by region, by air route traffic control region and by
major airport vicinity. More...
UPDATE -- WORKING TOWARD REPLICATION
CarterCopter on Thursday released more details about the June 17 accident that destroyed the company's
one-of-a-kind gyrocopter. The aircraft was flying at 160 mph when the
bolts holding the drive pulley to the propeller drive-shaft broke. The
thrust went from maximum to negative, causing the aircraft to slow
abruptly, and the wing stalled. The aircraft pitched over and rolled
uncontrollably to the left even though the pilot had the stick pushed
as hard to the right as possible. Aerodynamic control returned as
airspeed increased, but the hard right stick had caused something to
fail in the left cyclic boost-control link, limiting rotor control. As
AVweb reported last month, the aircraft came down in a field of
mesquite trees and was destroyed. More...
All-women Air Race Classic posted results from last week's
ATC tapes released from October 2004 Hendrick Motorsports
Errant briefcase in cockpit brought down a $23 million
Five finalists have been chosen for Flight 93
X-Plane released version 8 of its flight-simulator
Dr. Brent Blue offers memories of John Walton, pilot and neighbor.
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. You're a part
of our team ... often, the best part. More...
ATTENTION, PIPER OWNERS AND PILOTS
Piper Flyer Association (PFA) provides parts locating, tech
support, a monthly member magazine, online forums, national and
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 information needed 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.
The PFA is now located on the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in
Waupaca, WI just 35 miles NW of Oshkosh. For more information
and to join, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pfa/avflash.
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
CEO of the Cockpit #46: Sidelined
From Summer Sub-Sonic Fun
For the first time in his flying
career, AVweb's CEO of the cockpit has the summer off. It wasn't his
choice, but he's enjoying it better now with a little help from his
If words like "mountains obscured" and "rotor cloud"
are unfamiliar or even fear-inducing, you need to spend some time with
a good instructor and get the most beautiful checkout you'll ever
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
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read. Watch for a Business AVflash regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA
IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/
McCAULEY IS "THINKING FORWARD" FOR THEIR
McCauley Propeller Systems, the world's
largest full-line propeller manufacturer, has launched its "Thinking
Forward" campaign. This customer-focused campaign brings
operators the option of upgrading their aircraft to achieve maximum
efficiency and performance. McCauley propellers are installed on
more than 250,000 aircraft worldwide. McCauley is the only
propeller and piston engine governor manufacturer with a worldwide
network of authorized service centers. Think Forward for your
aircraft with McCauley. See the McCauley professionals at the
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Overheard on United flight ATC audio channel.
United: Center, United 123 in light chop -- how's the
Center: Should smooth out in a couple of minutes.
United: Yeah, it just smoothed out for us.
Center: Sometimes it helps just to talk about it.
United: You sound just like my girlfriend.
Unknown: You know ... he *does* sound just like your
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|SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH THE
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We Welcome Your
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