AVflash Vol. 9, Issue 06a Monday, February 3, 2003
This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by PILOT
INSURANCE CENTER, a pilot's best choice for low-cost life
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated
News Coverage At http://www.avweb.com/newswire/9_06a/complete/182586-1.html.
***AVweb Special Report -- Columbia, An Insider's Perspective***
Dr. Jay Apt joined NASAs astronaut program in 1985 and has spent more than 35 days in space on four Shuttle missions. He is an active pilot with more than 4500 hours of flight time. Over the weekend, he graciously provided AVweb with his perspective on the Columbia accident -- and shared his own firsthand experience of re-entry aboard the Space Shuttle. The technical insight and sometimes impassioned description he provides is today's must read.
FINAL MISSION FOR NASA'S FIRST SHUTTLE ORBITER...
The 113th Shuttle flight and the 28th for NASA's first Shuttle ended tragically Saturday with the death of all seven crew when the vehicle, traveling at 18.3 mach and enduring peak re-entry heating of some 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit along the wing's leading edges, broke up 207,135 feet above the earth. Wreckage (some pieces just inches small) was this weekend being recovered from a 250-square-mile debris field mostly in Texas and covered by a TFR. Three separate groups will investigate the Columbia disaster -- NASA (which has solicited the aid of the NTSB), the House Committee on Science, and a team led by retired Navy Admiral Harold W. Gehman Jr., who previously investigated the 2000 terrorist attack on the USS Cole. More...
...AND THE INVESTIGATION BEGINS
The early trail of statistical evidence originating with sensor readings -- and sensor failures -- during re-entry may ultimately help explain, or describe, the structural failure of the vehicle. Sensor readings were lost for the left inboard and outboard elevon -- the sensors share common wire routing adjacent to the wheel well area. Abnormal heating in the left wheel well was indicated by a brake line measurement that rose 20 - 30 degrees in five minutes. Left side "bondline temperatures" (an area above the left wing) also rose 60 degrees over 5 minutes compared to a nominal 15-degree rise on the right side while the vehicle's roll trim began to react to a drag increase on the left side of the vehicle. More...
ECLIPSE CUSTOMERS MEET ITS MAKERS...
As expected, the re-engined Eclipse 500 will be heavier, thirstier, faster, later and somewhat more expensive than the original model, but that doesn't seem to bother those who have put money down on one. Eclipse gathered customers at its Albuquerque headquarters last week to update them on the project in the aftermath of firing Williams International as the engine supplier. Don Morris, who was one of the first to place an order for the five-place twin-jet, said the gathering wasn't told who will supply the new engines, which will put out about 900 pounds of thrust. They were also told the price has gone up. More...
...MORE POWER = MORE FUEL
Despite the setback, Morris remains upbeat about the airplane and his involvement and he said the vast majority of those attending the meetings appeared to feel the same. "People were very positive," he said. "They're still optimistic and enthusiastic." Morris said Eclipse officials made it clear that continuing with the Williams EJ22 engine wasn't viable. The challenge now is to meet the range and performance predictions as the power and gross weight increase. More...
BOMBARDIER BONUSES SUSPENDED, BUT BUSINESS GOES ON
Belt-tightening continues at Bombardier, but company officials are denying rumors that the company is abandoning the business jet market. "Nothing could be further from the truth," said spokesman John Paul Macdonald. He said that kind of rumor has been circulating among jittery employees since the company announced two temporary plant closures and more than 2,000 layoffs in September. But it's more than a rumor that salaried employees are the next to feel the pinch. They were told Thursday that the merit bonuses they were to receive this week had been suspended. More...
LYCOMING TIGHTENS QUALITY CONTROL
Former FAA official Michael J. Dreikorn will head up a panel, which Lycoming says is part of its overall plan to address "component reliability issues" like the faulty crankshafts that led to the recall of more than 1,200 turbocharged, 300-plus horsepower engines last year. The Independent Advisory Panel will keep an eye on "safety, quality and compliance systems and processes" at Lycoming's engine plants. "Safety is paramount and we want experienced, world-class experts to bring an objective and critical perspective to our ongoing efforts to further ensure the integrity of our product and processes," said Steve Loranger, CEO of Textron, Lycoming's parent company. More...
REGISTRATION SMOOTHS SPORT PILOT TRANSITION
Ultralight pilots may have a more direct route to a sport pilot license through the three national organizations that already conduct ultralight flight training. FAA sport pilot team leader Sue Gardner said ultralight pilots registered with EAA, Aero Sports Connection or the United States Ultralight Association will go through a simple process to get the new license. Pilots already registered with those groups will take a knowledge test and pass a practical flight test to get the new license. Anyone else, regardless of experience and knowledge, will have to go through the whole training regimen and log the required number of hours before obtaining a sport pilot license, depending on the type of aircraft they fly. More...
EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS EYED IN ACCIDENTS
Equipment problems are being cited in two high-profile aircraft accidents in the past month. Investigators in Denver say the transponder wasn't working or was shut off in a Piper Cheyenne that collided with a Cessna 172 there last week. Therefore, air traffic controllers, who were providing flight following to both aircraft, could not see the altitude of the Piper. Investigators of the crash of a Beech 1900D at Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 8 say the elevator controls had been adjusted two days earlier and one cable was set 1.8 inches longer than the other (both should have been the same length). More...
CUSTOMS TAKES ON TFRS
Well, now we've done it ... The U.S. Customs Service has begun patrolling the restricted airspace around Washington, D.C., in the specially-equipped Citations and Black Hawk helicopters normally used to track down drug runners and smugglers on the border. The first such patrols were to enforce the 30-nm TFR around the Capitol last Tuesday during President Bush's State of the Union Address. There were no violations reported. More...
LANCAIR KITS CHANGES HANDS
There's a lot less "Lance" in Lancair's kit division. Founder Lance Niebauer has sold the kit maker to a New Orleans attorney for an undisclosed amount. Niebauer said in a statement that the new company owner, Joseph C. Bartels, has promised to carry on business as usual. Niebauer said the sale keeps his dream alive while allowing him to focus on the reorganization of the Lancair Company, which produces the certified Columbia 300. Since starting the certified aircraft business, Niebauer said he has not given the kit side the attention it deserves. More...
ON THE FLY...
Goodrich sold avionics business to L-3 Communications Holdings...
Former FAA head Jane Garvey has joined APCO Worldwide as a VP...
Gun-packing airline pilot's arrest raised arming issues...
The new Boeing 7E7 will go head to head with Airbus's 320 and 330 series...
EAA AirVenture Museum announced its 2003 Calendar of Events...
Airlines announced discount fares to AirVenture.
Sometimes when we are stressed we forget to think before we key the mike. This actually happened after the oil line blew.
N1234: Manchester (N.H.) tower Cherokee 5988U is five miles northwest with a total engine failure.
MHT (Using that standard FAA terminology): What are your intentions?
N1234: I intend to land!
MHT (that standard terminology again): Roger, how many souls on board?
N1234: No souls, four heathens.
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Steve Jacobs, this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
email@example.com. Rules and information are at
New Articles and Features on AVweb
E-Ox Personal Emergency Oxygen System
Aeromedix has developed a miniature aviation-grade personal oxygen system that slips easily into in your flight bag, briefcase or tote-bag, and provides up to 113 liters of breathing oxygen that you can have with you wherever you go. Active pilot and aviation medicine expert Dr. Brent Blue (president of Aeromedix) thinks this little $200 system is a terrific option for GA pilots who don't do enough high-altitude flying to justify spending $600 to $900 for a full-blown portable oxygen system. And in an emergency, it could be a lifesaver.
Pelican's Perch #65
Where Should I Run My Engine? (Part 3 -- Cruise)
Cruise -- Time to sit back and enjoy the flight. But wait ... did you leave the mixture set where it was during the climb? Or are you one of those "set it and forget it" types? You know AVweb's John Deakin is going to have something to say about that.
Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
Reader mail this week about the new TSA rules, an ATC stamp, the new
TWA Flight 800 conspiracy tome and more.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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AVIONICS WEST HAS THE BEST PRICES ON AVIONICS!
For the next two weeks, till February 16, Avionics West has too-low-to-advertise prices on Lowrance AirMap 100, IFinder and IFinder Plus; Garmin GPSs; LightSPEED headsets; and JPI's FS-450. E-mail Avionics West's auto-responder, or visit them online. Avionics West's Web site has comprehensive articles, reviews and current Service Bulletins. They can install a custom panel, and offer hands-on training on the UPSAT GX series and Honeywell KLN-94. Avionics West has GPS docking stations so you learn your GPS at home, not in the clouds. Get informed online.
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GAMIJECTORS CAN CUT YOUR AIRCRAFT'S FUEL BILL BY 20 PERCENT!
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AIRSPORT CLIMBING TOWARDS MILESTONE OF 500 GENERAL AVIATION UNITS SOLD
To help reach this goal, AirSport is offering a $100 discount on their Pro Altitude Alerter, plus 10 percent off any of AirSport's other Altitude Alerter models. Show your love and concern. Order now in time for Valentine's Day giving. Offer ends February 15.
DESTINATION DIRECT OFFERS SPECIAL PRICING ON ALL VERSIONS
The Web-enhanced version of Destination Direct includes a full copy of Destination Direct, a one-year AeroPlanner subscription with no limit on Trip Ticks, up to 50 full VFR and IFR charts for planning, and much more. For more information on Destination Direct flight planning and special pricing go online. Offer good through February 28.
GLEIM PUBLICATIONS OFFERS FEBRUARY SPECIALS WITH 10 PERCENT OFF Aviation Weather and Weather Services, Pilot Handbook, FAR/AIM reference books, and Private, Instrument, Commercial, and Flight Instructor flight maneuvers books.
HEADSETS INC. HAS ACTIVE NOISE REDUCTION SYSTEM KITS FOR $169. HONEST!
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HOWARD FRIED DISCOUNTS EYE OF EXPERIENCE BOOKS
Buy one to save $2, two to save $5, and three to save $8 off the cover price. You've enjoyed his AVweb columns, now have all his years of experience in these valuable volumes. Save till February 28.
CREATOR OF KLYDE MORRIS INTRODUCES THE "STAR ANT" DISKOVERY DISK
The "Star Ant" Diskovery Disk is an interactive CD, a cyber comic book, chronicling the antics of Elar, Pete the Adventure Ant, and the rest of the gang, as they encounter the dreaded Dorrilians in space. Regularly
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TRADE-A-PLANE ONLINE CLASSIFIEDS ARE UPDATED DAILY with Product/Advertiser Index, Dealers/Brokers, Forums, NAAA Evaluator, Performance Database, Spec Sheets, and Weather. Order your subscription online.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, CROOKSTON, RECEIVES KUDOS FROM STUDENTS
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AIR & SPACE MAGAZINE'S FEBRUARY/MARCH ISSUE IS A SPECIAL KEEPSAKE commemorating flight's Centennial year. It will chronicle aviation's progress from December 17, 1903, to the present with historical flights, illustrious pilots, how the airplane changed the world, and much more. Order your subscription online.
DON'T BE GROUNDED ONCE YOU FLY INTO AN AIRPORT
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FLYING MAGAZINE'S MARCH ISSUE HAS AN IFR SPECIAL REPORT PLUS Helicopters To The Rescue, New Pilot Career Opportunities, A PA32 Safety Report, Overcoming Turbine Envy, and all the monthly columns and features that makes Flying Magazine a welcome addition to your aviation reading. Order online.
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FOR VALENTINE'S DAY, OR ANY GIFTS, LOOK TO AVWEB'S SHOPPING DIRECTORY.
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Let's all be careful out there, okay?
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