AVflash Vol. 9, Issue 05a Monday, January 27, 2003

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by Teledyne Continental Motors, a leading supplier of piston engines for general aviation aircraft: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm.

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At http://www.avweb.com/newswire/9_05a/complete/182508-1.html.

NEW RULE GIVES TSA POWER OVER PILOTS...
If he wants to, Transportation Security Administration head Adm. James Loy can now have your airman's certificate pulled, or prevent you from obtaining one -- and he doesn't have to tell you why. For now, it seems you'll just have to trust TSA officials when they say that the new rule that makes it possible is only a "technical change" and it'll only affect you if you pose a security threat. "If you're not a threat to aviation security, this doesn't have anything to do with you," TSA spokesman Brian Turmaile told AVweb. Mind you, the exact definition of a security threat you may find a bit ... undefined. More...

...TSA CALLS THE TUNE...
Under the rule, the FAA will immediately suspend the certificate (or hold the relevant certificate applications in abeyance) of a pilot, mechanic or flight instructor the TSA deems a possible security threat. Grounds for suspicion include posing a threat to transportation or national security, a threat of air piracy or terrorism, a threat to airline or passenger security, or a threat to civil aviation security. If the TSA Assistant Administrator for Intelligence suspects a certificate holder of any of the above, he fires a letter off to the individual and the FAA and the certificate is suspended as soon as the letter is received by the FAA -- no questions asked. More...

...NEW RULES JUSTIFIES 11 ALREADY SUSPENDED...
So far 11 certificates, which have long since been revoked, seem to be the only targets of the rule. Last Aug. 14, the TSA told the FAA that 11 people it suspected of being security threats had FAA-issued airman certificates and asked that they be revoked. On Aug. 20, the FAA issued "emergency orders of revocation," which took effect immediately. On reviewing the method by which the certificates were pulled, Turmaile said TSA lawyers recommended changing the process. FAA spokesman Greg Martin said none of the 11 certificate holders is a U.S. citizen and none of them is even allowed in the U.S. More...

...ALPHABETS WORRY THERE'LL BE MORE
EAA and AOPA reaction was swift and centered on the possibility of abuse of the new rule. "We at EAA understand the mission of TSA but the process, as written, leaves room for abuse by those in the future who may not exercise the proper due diligence," said EAA President Tom Poberezny. He said there is no clear definition of what constitutes a security threat and noted the lack of access, by the accused, to any classified documents used to justify the certificate revocation. Both groups worried that the TSA has the sole authority to adjudicate a certificate holder's appeal. "With all due regard to national security, we're deeply concerned that the rules appear to permit taking away a pilot's license without an independent review," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. More...

GA LEADERS MEET THE BOSS
The General Aviation Coalition, a group of 16 GA organizations chaired by EAA President Tom Poberezny, chewed the fat with the new FAA administrator for the first time on Jan. 21, tackling certification, airport, funding and security issues in its first face-to-face with Administrator Marion Blakey. The group urged the Administrator to further delegate certification processes to other groups to ease the burden on scarce FAA resources and pressed Blakey to forcefully defend the FAA's status as sole authority for airspace and aviation certification issues where state and municipal governments now attempt to exert control. More...

LYCOMING SUIT TO PROCEED
A personal injury suit against Lycoming over failure of an IO-540 engine will go ahead in U.S. District Court in Beaumont, Texas, May 12. But this one doesn't have anything directly to do with the crankshaft problems that have grounded hundreds of aircraft since October. The crankshaft in this engine was made by a different subcontractor than those involved in the recall. Lawyer Charles Ames is representing a woman hurt in the crash landing of a Piper Mirage after the engine failed in flight. The plaintiff, Lauren Christine Walker, is alleging that poor manufacturing and quality control led to the failure. More...

FLIGHT 800 CONSPIRACY THEORY FINDS VOICE
Coverups, lies and deception are the hallmarks of a good spy thriller, but a book to be released in March claims that this is no work of fiction. Joseph Farah, publisher of "First Strike," claims writers Jack Cashill and James Sanders have uncovered "overwhelming evidence" that TWA Flight 800 was hit by a missile before it disintegrated off Long Island in 1996. Although the cause has never been proven, investigators said it was likely the result of an electrical spark igniting fuel vapors in the Boeing 747's belly fuel tank. More...

SONIC CRUISER NOW "NEW VISION AIRPLANE"
A Boeing official has confirmed that the presumed-dead Sonic Cruiser may find new life in Boeing's "new vision airplane" project. Kenneth Hiebert, Boeing's marketing director in the Middle East, told a Dubai newspaper that elements of the long-range, high-speed airliner would end up in a new, unnamed aircraft that marries those attributes with high efficiency. Boeing announced an end to the Sonic Cruiser project in December. The new aircraft is expected to roll out in 2008, about when the Sonic Cruiser was to debut. More...

MORE MONEY ON FEWER PLANES
If you said business at Cessna had its ups and downs in 2002, you wouldn't just be making a bad pun. Although the Wichita company delivered almost 300 fewer aircraft than the year before and laid off hundreds of staff, CEO Russ Meyer said they took in the most money ever in 2002. Revenue for the year was $3.2 billion and there's a $4.9 billion order backlog "This has been a record year in every respect," Meyer said in a company release. More...

FAA GETS WARPED
Controllers at the FAA's 20 air route traffic control facilities can now see precipitation at three altitudes in three different colors, depending on intensity, on the same screen that shows aircraft position. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey announced Thursday that installation of the Weather and Radar Processor system has been completed and it should result in faster flights and fewer delays during bad weather. It's also said to reduce the potential for weather-related accidents. More...

GEAR COLLAPSE DELAYS ME-262
Builders of a modern version of the ME-262 WWII jet fighter say their prototype will be back in the air in three to six months after a landing accident Jan. 18. Bob Hammer, the driving force behind the ME-262 project, said the left main gear collapsed after its first flight with the gear retracted. A double failure of the electric hydraulic pump and gear lock actuator led to the collapse. The plane skidded off the runway to settle nose-first in a ditch. Pilot Wolf Czaia was not hurt. More...

COFFEE, TEA, OR...
The U.S.'s newest airline is putting its best features forward with an innovative marketing and service plan. Hooters Air will staff its Boeing 737s with three certified, gender-neutral flight attendants (to tell you what to do in an emergency) and two Hooters Girls in the uplifting uniform of that food service icon. "Why would you fly with any other airline?" wondered Hooters marketing whiz Mike McNeil. More...

ON THE FLY...
30-nm TFR around State of the Union address, strictly enforced...
Maverick twinjet crashed in Melbourne, Fla., one dead...
American raised the bar on airline losses at $3.5 billion...
Second Cirrus crash in a week killed pilot...
Midair in Denver killed five in planes, hurt six on ground...
Aviation legend Bobbi Trout died Jan. 24 at the age of 97. More...

SHORT FINAL...
More from our How big is it? file...

On a pleasant spring morning at the Ohio State University's Don Scott airport, with many students doing the required bounce-and-goes on 27L and 27R, I was cleared to taxi to the less active 32:

C-172: Holding short 32 awaiting release.

Twr: Student C-150 departing 27L, position and hold 32.

C-172: Position and hold 32, caution for wake turbulance

Twr: [chuckle]

After departing on 32 I heard the student setting up for another touch and go:

C-150: Cessna 150 heavy, cleared touch and go.

Twr: [bigger chuckle]

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AVweb's AVscoop Award...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Mark West, 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
The Pilot's Lounge #57: Greg Gorak, The Teacher's Teacher
There are flight instructors, and then there are those who LOVE to teach instructors. And those who love something are usually pretty good at it. When it's time for AVweb's Rick Durden to renew his CFI certificate, he knows right where to go for the best refresher.

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REVIEWS
GAMIjector Flight Test
After some tweaking, GAMI's precision nozzles knocked a couple of gallons off fuel flow and tamed spikey temperatures, as Paul Bertorelli recently reported in Aviation Consumer.

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

Reader mail this week about personal jets, the upcoming Hawaiian race, student pilot errors and more.

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Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS

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AVIONICS WEST IS AT IT AGAIN WITH THE BEST PRICES ON AVIONICS!
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HOWARD FRIED DISCOUNTS EYE OF EXPERIENCE BOOKS
Buy one, save $2; two, save $5; and three, save $8. You've enjoyed his AVweb columns, now have these years of experience in these volumes and save. Offer ends February 28.

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REMINDERS ... All offers end January 31!

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SPONSOR NEWS

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LIGHT PLANE MAINTENANCE ISN'T FOR EVERYONE, JUST THOSE WHO WANT TO KNOW their airplanes. In the February issue: Owner Conducted Overhaul; Replacing a Crankshaft Nose Seal; Engine Cable and Hose Routing; Borescope Exams For Long TBOs; and Field Notes, Service Hotline, and Q&A. Get to know your aircraft better. Order your personal subscription online.

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FOR VALENTINE'S DAY, OR ANY GIFTS, LOOK TO AVWEB'S SHOPPING DIRECTORY.

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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

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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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Let's all be careful out there, okay?

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