Number 32b — August 11, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From
AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
THE EYES OF AN ADIZ INTERCEPT PILOT...
AVweb met U.S. Customs Service pilot Mark Cox on the grounds of
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Cox was among several customs pilots on the
show grounds this year displaying a Citation 550. Cox has flown three
intercepts over Washington, including one that had authorities on the
ground more than a little concerned. "It was a Lockheed Lodestar and
it went right over the Capitol at 11,000 feet," he said. The Citation
crew was finally able to get the pilot's attention and order him to
land, something all pilots who enter restricted airspace can expect.
"It would be irresponsible for us not to talk to them," he said. Cox
stated plainly that pilots need to know exactly what to do if, despite
their training, they blunder deep into restricted airspace and he
needs to intercept them. More...
Customs pilots normally fly drug interdiction missions off the coast
but they also rotate through Washington on temporary duty. They work
12 hours on, 12 hours off waiting for the call to scramble. And while
the time away from home and the long days are hard, Cox said there's
nothing like the flying. The Citation, with the same radar used in
F-16s added inside its bulbous nose, races at full speed to the
intercept at which point, in most cases, Cox has to throttle back and
hang everything out to match the speed of the (generally single-engine
piston) target. "It can be challenging flying," he said. "I once got
the tail number of an Ercoupe that was only doing 80 knots."
GA/INTERCEPT PILOT INTERFACE
Cox said it's important for pilots to understand customs pilots' role
in the protection of the Capitol. "We're here to protect GA," he said.
As long as an ADIZ-busting pilot is successfully intercepted by
unarmed customs aircraft, there's no need to call out the
armed-to-the-teeth military, whose attitude toward errant aviators is
markedly different. "The military doesn't know how to deal with this,"
Cox said. Customs pilots have gone to great lengths to try to keep the
F-16s from becoming involved, to the point of crafting handmade signs
with the emergency frequency on them and waving them at pilots of
target aircraft through the Citation's cockpit windows. Cox said that
in the end, they just painted the frequency on the noses of the
Washington-based aircraft so the customs pilots could better maintain
visual contact (it was hard to see through the signs).
MORE ON A PERMANENT ADIZ...
AOPA says the FAA's plan to create a permanent
ADIZ of 2,000 square miles -- nearly twice the size of Rhode Island --
is "operationally unworkable" and not clearly justified by the FAA.
The FAA is currently seeking comments on its proposal. Meanwhile, for those who must
navigate the region's nerve-wracking airspace (and are still waiting
on proposed "mandatory
training" from the FAA to see the light of day), AOPA has posted a
helpful online briefing that explains how to do so without
getting into trouble. It took us about 15 minutes to view the program,
which covers all the fine points of ADIZ operations in lucid,
easy-to-grasp detail. More...
ROLE COULD CHANGE
Discussions are now underway that could shift the agency responsible
for ADIZ security from the U.S. Customs Service to the U.S. Coast
Guard, USCG spokesman Lt. Gene Maestas told AVweb yesterday.
The Coast Guard would be suited for the job because it has a dual role
as a law-enforcement authority as well as a military branch. "The
military can't patrol within U.S borders," Maestas said, but the USCG
can. The change could simplify the chain of command in case of a
crisis, and perhaps make it easier for hostile action to be taken
against an intruder, according to a recent MSNBC
ASKED TO ASSESS RUNWAY-HOLD PROCEDURES...
The FAA on Aug. 1 issued a General Notice to all control towers,
noting that recently there has been "increased concern" about
operational errors involving taxi-into-position-and-hold (tiph)
procedures. "It is essential that [air traffic] managers give priority
to the management of tiph," says the notice. It mandates that by Sept.
30, each facility manager must determine if an operational need exists
to justify the use of the procedure. "Such factors as capacity,
efficiency, user input, etc., should be considered in making this
determination," the notice says. The manager must then prepare a
directive that prescribes local procedures for handling tiph.
The new directive is "bizarre," the National Air Traffic Controllers
Association (NATCA) said on Tuesday, and "will greatly exacerbate
flight delays." It's "inefficient and wasteful," forcing tower
personnel to "scramble" to come up with a justification to continue
doing things they are already doing, NATCA said. "The likely outcome
is that busy airports will eventually get waivers, leaving the real
safety concerns unaddressed, while other airports will operate under
unnecessary restrictions," said NATCA President John Carr. "Pilots
will have no effective way of knowing where this rule is in effect and
where it has been waived," he said. More...
FAA spokesman Greg Martin defended the action. "The primary intent of
this notice is to be a wake-up call to the facilities, to take a close
look at taxi into position and hold, and see if they need it," he told
AVweb on Tuesday. "And if they don't need it, don't use it.
...This is due to a recent spate of operational errors and subsequent
loss of separation." He added that pilots will not be affected. They
will know whether the procedure is available or not because they will
be talking to the controllers. "Dallas has already reviewed their
procedures and verified that they need [tiph], so they will continue
to use it," he said. "As will most facilities that have shown a
significant increase in volume." More...
LIGHTSPEED'S NEW MACH 1 HEADSET AVAILABLE
To place an order for LightSPEED's new Mach 1
headset, visit a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 today.
Introduced at AirVenture 2005, the Mach 1 in-the-ear (ITE) headset
offers up to 40dB of passive hearing protection and a clean-sheet
design that is loaded with features and style. The magnesium alloy
headset weighs in at around one ounce and is equipped with a
feather-weight gooseneck boom and noise-canceling electret mic.
Specially designed ear plugs comfortably block noise before it has an
opportunity to enter the ear canal, and miniature high-fidelity
speakers inside the plug deliver crisp, clear voice and stereo music.
The streamlined magnesium alloy control box secures with a belt-clip
and provides cell/satellite phone and music interface, stereo/mono
options, and volume control. For more, visit their newly designed
website at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/avflash.
KILLED IN CRASH OF SPORT AIRCRAFT
Two men died in North Carolina on Sunday when the light-sport aircraft
they were flying crashed in a 25-acre cow pasture. Robert G. Swanson,
62, an active pilot with 40 years of experience, had bought the Allegro 2000 in June and had flown it for about 90
hours, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. Also on board was John
Nesbit, 51, the former anchor of a TV morning show in Greensboro. The
Allegro, a high-wing two-seater with a T-tail, has a composite
fuselage and metal wings. It is manufactured in the Czech Republic and
was certified in the U.S. as an LSA in May. This will be among the
first LSA crashes to be investigated by the NTSB. More...
HIGH ALTITUDE AND RISK FOR CATARACTS
Pilots who operate at high altitudes have triple the risk of
developing cataracts compared to other men their age, researchers at
the University of Iceland reported in the August issue of Archives of Ophthalmology. The researchers said
that of 445 men aged 50 or older in the study, 79 were airline pilots
and 71 of them had cataracts. The likely cause is the exposure of the
pilots to cosmic radiation, the study concludes. According to
AVweb aviation medical columnist Dr. Brent Blue, the risk for
GA pilots is significantly lower than for airline pilots. GA pilots
fly at much lower altitudes and don't frequent the polar routes where
radiation is more intense. More...
|BIG NEWS FROM AIRVENTURE 2005|
appearances of SpaceShipOne and Global Flyer captured all of our
attention at AirVenture this year, but just as significant to aviators
was the announcement that the Lancair Company has re-branded
itself as Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. The
manufacturers of the Columbia 350 and Columbia 400 the world's
fastest certified piston aircraft made the change as part of an
ongoing campaign to develop a unique identity for the premium
aircraft. If you missed them at AirVenture, consider looking them up
at the Reno Air Races, where all of the world's fastest planes gather,
or at one of the other stops on their Fly Columbia Tour. The tour is
an interactive Columbia experience, and theyre holding them at
airports around the country through this fall. For a complete
schedule, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/columbia/avflash.
CLINCHES DREAMLINER DEAL IN CHINA
Boeing won an advantage this week in its perennial battle with Airbus,
with an announcement that four Chinese airlines have ordered 42 of its
new 787 Dreamliner jets, with a list price of about $5 billion. Airbus
is trying to capture the airliner market with its superjumbo A380,
which is already plagued with development delays, as Boeing maneuvers
to compete with its midsize, fuel-efficient 787. The fast-growing
Asian market is a central battleground for the two companies.
Currently the World Trade Organization is arbitrating a dispute
between the United States and the European Union over state aid, which
the U.S. says gives Airbus an unfair advantage in the marketplace.
PILOTS PROTEST INSURANCE RATES
High insurance premiums are forcing Alaska's small charter operators
out of business, a half-dozen pilots said during a recent forum in
Wasilla. The pilots met with the state insurance director, Linda Hall,
and state Sen. Charlie Huggins, the Anchorage Daily News reported last week. "Air
taxis provide an essential air service and you're losing them," said
operator Dave Glenn. He said liability coverage on his four-seat M-7
Maule costs $11,400 per year. The pilots asked that the state create
an insurance pool to offer lower premiums, or rescind its requirement
of at least $150,000 per seat in liability for commercial operators.
GOES LOOKING FOR FLYING-CAR INNOVATIONS
Have an idea for making the flying car of the future work? NASA wants
to hear about it, and the space agency is offering $250,000 in prizes
as encouragement. The Personal Air Vehicle Challenge, announced at
AirVenture last month, will pay $25,000 each for advances in noise
control and handling qualities. The biggest reward, $150,000, would
recognize a vehicle with two to six seats that can fly at least 130
mph for a 300-mile range while being fuel-efficient and making good
time door-to-door. The idea, NASA engineer Mark Moore told
AVweb, is to encourage "chaotic" research. "We think we
understand the problem at NASA, but we could be wrong," he says.
AIRCRAFT HIT BY GUNFIRE
Right here in the U.S. Last Wednesday, an instructor and student were
flying in a gyrocopter at about 800 feet over Springville, Utah, when
they felt a "pop" and couldn't tell what was wrong. During the
10-minute flight back to the airport, they heard a strange whistling
sound, and on landing they found a bullet hole in the rotor. Then on
Saturday night, a sheriff's helicopter flying above an Albuquerque
neighborhood to investigate a burglary was hit by a bullet that
shattered the windshield. The pilot said he heard a pop and the
helicopter lost power. He was able to land the aircraft in a backyard,
but tore down trees and a fence along the way. Both men on board were
hit by shrapnel and suffered minor impact injuries. More...
CONSUMER SEEKS YOUR GYRO BACK-UP THOUGHTS
Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is examining the topic of
back-up gyro strategies for light aircraft, specifically using PDAs or
Garmin 296-type flight instrument displays as gyro back-ups. The
editors would like to hear pros and cons from readers who have used
such devices to back up vacuum or electric gyros. Did they work for
that purpose? Knowing what you know now, would you do it again?
Contact the magazine at firstname.lastname@example.org
with your comments. More...
FedEx crossed a BOS runway where JetBlue was cleared for takeoff...
EAA sport-pilot instructors database now online...
Sigma sport plane will be sold in the U.S. by
Space tourists now can buy a flight around the
moon for $100 million. More...
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. Submit news tips via email to email@example.com. News is
everywhere, we always appreciate an extra eye. More...
ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME YOU CHOOSE SOMETHING
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6-seat turboprop EA-500 is in a class all by itself. The only
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
both aircraft at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/extra/avflash.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Quiz #97 -- Unscramble Your
When your brain is unfairly teased in flight, how well you
score on this quiz may determine your ability to handle unusual
aeromedical factors, attitudes, and illusions.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice monthly Business
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to know how concerned you are about having a
mid-air collision. Terrified it will happen to you? Willing to bet
that it won't? Tell us. PLUS: Answers to last week's question about
the National Defense Airspace over Washington, D.C. becoming a
permanent fixture of East Coast aviation. More...
SEE CLEARLY METHOD IMPROVES & STRENGTHENS VISION
The See Clearly Method does this without
the risk or expense of laser surgery. Developed by award-winning
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Call (800) 881-7934 for a no-cost informational video, or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/seeclear/avflash.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Christian Hauser of Vienna (Austria) takes the top spot in our latest
installment of "Picture of the Week." It was a fierce battle for the
Number One position, but Christian barely edged out Greg Poole of
Australia and Kevin Orr of Kansas to win this week's Official AVweb
Baseball Cap. Remember: You could win a cap of your very own by
submitting your best aviation photos. We'll run the best of them right
here on AVweb (in front of a couple million astonished eyeballs) and
award one baseball cap to the best of the best. More...
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|STOP WONDERING OR WORRYING WHERE YOUR
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SHORT STACK HAS ARRIVED AT POWER FLOW!|
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|IFR MAGAZINE'S SEPTEMBER ISSUE
"Defending Retro Panels" fancy glass
panels or steam gauges?; "Flying to Canada"; "Creating Ad-Hoc CRM" may
prove the other pilot is an idiot; "Use a Paper Flight Log?"; "Gotta
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