Number 35a — August 29, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
LITTLE AIRPLANES, OR NOT...
While airspace restrictions over the nation's capital are in the spotlight lately, the showdown over aviation
security vs. the right to fly -- and the right to run an on-airport
business -- continues to play out at local airfields around the
country. Last week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the top
prosecutor for Minnesota, U.S. Atty. Thomas B. Heffelfinger, said
security at local airfields was too lax and a terrorist with a small
airplane could fly it into the Metrodome, killing 3,000 people.
Heffelfinger said the gates at Flying Cloud Airport are often open and
anyone can enter unchallenged. Tim Anderson, of the state Airport
Commission, however, said that security measures are in place. "There
is a limit to how much can be done," he told the Star Tribune. "If you
locked your gates, you just locked your business out."
RESPONDS TO CONCERNS...
The Minnesota report caught the ears of the folks at AOPA headquarters
in Maryland, and Phil Boyer, AOPA president, promptly sent off a letter to Heffelfinger. "We respectfully believe
that your quotes, if reported accurately, reflect significant
misunderstanding about aviation security, and, in fact, are not
consistent with the views and policies of the U.S. agencies
responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the nation's
general aviation airports," Boyer said. Boyer noted that a report last
year by the federal Government Accountability Office concluded that
"the small size, lack of fuel capacity, and minimal destructive power
of most general aviation aircraft make them unattractive to
Coastal flying can be fun ... or a misdemeanor. The FAA already has
revoked the pilot's certificate, and now the county is charging the
pilot of a Cessna 152 who allegedly buzzed a crowded beach in Santa
Cruz, Calif., last May with reckless flying. The pilot was observed
flying as low as 20 feet off the ground (observations may vary) and
sent terrified beachgoers diving to the sand. The misdemeanor charge
carries a maximum penalty of one year in county jail. Arraignment is
set for Sept. 23. Meanwhile, last Wednesday night, the pilot of a
Piper PA-24 Comanche violated the 30-nm restricted airspace above
President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. It appears the Piper's
pilot may face lighter sentencing. More...
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COUNTRIES TO BLACKLIST AIRLINES...
Britain has published a "blacklist" of airlines banned from landing at
its airports due to safety concerns, and France's Civil
Aviation Authority now says it will publish its own list online
this week. Concerns over airline safety have intensified after 330
people died in four crashes this month. Under the system now in place
in Europe, each country conducts its own aircraft inspections, and
other countries may not be informed about safety issues. The European
Commission has said it will publish a similar list within the next six
months, which will apply to all 25 countries in the European Union.
Many authorities agree that a continent-wide list is long overdue.
INSPECTORS STRETCHED THIN...
A shortage of FAA safety inspectors in the U.S. is also raising
concerns about airline safety. A recent report by the Department of Transportation's
Office of Inspector General concluded that the FAA needs to strengthen
its oversight and monitoring of its inspectors and assess whether it
can safely go ahead with the planned cuts of 233 safety inspectors.
"We are down to the nub," Linda Goodrich, regional vice president for
flight standards with the FAA inspectors union, told the Detroit Free Press last week. "We can't possibly
provide the oversight we're required to do." The mechanics strike at
Northwest Airlines is also raising questions about whether the FAA has
enough staff to oversee the replacement workers. More...
MORE QUESTIONS IN GREEK CRASH INVESTIGATION
The co-pilot's diary has been found in the wreckage of the Helios
Boeing 737-300 that crashed in Greece two weeks ago, and it's expected
to document problems with the aircraft and the airline. "[My father]
once told me that if any of it ever got out the company would close,"
the co-pilot's son, Yiannis Charalambous, said at his father's funeral
last week, when the diary was still missing. The ongoing investigation
has also determined that four people were in the cockpit when the
airplane crashed, contradicting earlier reports that only the co-pilot
and a male flight steward, who was trying to control the aircraft,
were found there. Recent reports said the co-pilot and another
unidentified male were in the cockpit, along with two female flight
attendants. All 121 on board died in the crash, which has been blamed
on a loss of pressurization in the cabin. More...
FLEET NOW FIVE, AIRBUS ADOPTS FRICTION STIR?
Eclipse Aviation launched its fifth and final conforming flight-test
aircraft, N506EA, last Wednesday in Albuquerque. The jet will be used
for function and reliability testing under accelerated usage
conditions. "We now have all five of our FAA-conforming flight-test
aircraft in various stages of flight testing and will be building
flight hours at an unprecedented rate over the coming months," said
Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn in a news release last week. The flight-test fleet has
accumulated nearly 300 flight hours, while demonstrating a maximum
speed of 285 knots, stall speed of 67 knots and service ceiling of
41,000 feet, the company said. More...
A Snowbirds CT-114 Tutor jet crashed in a field in
Thunder Bay, Ontario, last Wednesday afternoon, after the pilot
ejected. Pilot Andrew MacKay was practicing a routine maneuver prior
to an air show when something went wrong. According to early reports,
the engine flamed out while the jet was inverted, MacKay ejected, and the jet crashed. MacKay was treated
for injuries and has been released from the hospital. The team has
been grounded, but may be flying again by this weekend, when it is
scheduled to perform at the Canadian International Airshow in Toronto.
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MOVE FORWARD FOR NEW MEXICO SPACEPORT
New Mexico's new Spaceport Authority met for the first time last
Wednesday to start making plans for a new commercial spaceport in the
state. "Now we move into implementation," Spaceport Authority Chairman
Rick Homans told Space.com after the meeting. A site of 27 square
miles, about 45 miles north of Las Cruces, has already been designated
as the Southwest Regional Spaceport. The Authority will begin work on
an environmental impact assessment within the next month, Homans said,
and hopes to have an FAA license to operate as a spaceport by the end
of next year. More...
REPORTED ON LSA MAINTENANCE ISSUES
FAA officials met with representatives from the sport-pilot industry
last week at the EAA Aviation Center in Oshkosh, Wis., to discuss maintenance issues for light sport aircraft (LSA).
Progress was made in the ongoing effort to make it easier for schools
to train repairmen. "The repairman and maintenance courses are among
the final pieces remaining to complete the basic [LSA]
infrastructure," said Earl Lawrence, EAA's vice president of industry
and regulatory affairs. The group agreed to use experts from the
ultralight industry as instructors, and the FAA said it will allow
class sizes of up to 25 students, which will make the courses more
A NEW RELEASE OF THE BEST AVIATION WEATHER SERVICE FOR
Version 6 of WxServer just hit the 'Net,
and it's chock full of new features. A simpler, more powerful
menu structure makes WxServer easier to use than ever before.
NexRad radar maps and satellite pictures are now zoomable. And the new
WxServer takes maximum advantage of whatever screen size your phone
has available. Put NexRad maps centered on every US airport,
satellite pictures centered on more than 95% of airports worldwide,
METARs, TAFs, and even Winds Aloft maps in your pocket. Aviation
weather that's ready when you need it on the tarmac, in the
run-up area, or at unattended grass strips. SPECIAL:
AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription
rate at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/avflash.
AIRCRAFT MEET TROUBLE ON BOTH COASTS
With sunshine and beach traffic, it's high season for banner towing,
but pilots have had a run of trouble this summer. Last week, pilot
Blake Prosser, 24, lost power in his 1953 Piper Pa-18-105 and ditched
into the ocean off Myrtle Beach. He escaped from the airplane and was
quickly rescued, and the airplane was towed to shore. Earlier this
month, a banner tower in the same region made a precautionary landing
on a golf course after an oil light came on, and in May, two pilots
died in a crash while practicing banner pick-up maneuvers. At Long
Beach Airport, in California, a banner-towing company was banned from
operation after two incidents in one weekend. One airplane lost its
banner above a residential neighborhood; the banner hit power lines,
triggering a power loss. Another airplane ditched off Rancho Palos
Verdes. Nobody was hurt in either incident. More...
RANKS AS MOST DANGEROUS PROFESSION
Only loggers are as likely as pilots to get killed on the job,
according to a report released last Thursday by the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics (BLS). Both professions had a fatality rate of
92.4 per 100,000 workers for 2004, the BLS said, ranking above
fisheries workers (86.4 per 100,000), and structural iron and steel
workers (47 per 100,000). A total of 109 pilots died on the job. Of
those, 22 were flight crew for airlines and 87 were commercial pilots.
The numbers were down slightly from the 2003 data, when 114 pilots
died on the job. More...
FAA job fair Wednesday in Albuquerque for air traffic
Symphony Aircraft announced cash infusion of $3.3
Air Expo '05 is Sept. 3 and 4, at NAS Patuxent River,
New report on Concorde's 2000 crash critiques safety
A 1968 Cessna 172K, N79008, stolen July 14 from New
ATC tapes released in near-collision last month
on JFK runway...
FAA won't require airline child-safety seats, NTSB
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 email@example.com. You're a part
of our team ... often, the best part. More...
|LOW-COST DIGITAL REPLACEMENT
Narco Avionics proudly announces the
availability of their all-new Value Series plug-and-play line of
Digital Transponders. The Value Series is designed for the
cost-conscious owner. Narco's Value Series line of plug-and-play
transponders includes the AT165/VS (a replacement for the AT50 through
AT155), the AT165/KA/VS (a replacement for the KT76A/78A), and the
AT165/K/VS (a replacement for the KT76/78). Coming Soon: Narco's AT165/C and
AT165/C/VS, plug-and-play replacements for the ARC (Cessna)
RT359A/RT459A. SPECIAL: Purchase an AT165 and get an AR850 for
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
CEO of the Cockpit #48: If This
Is Coffee, Bring Me Tea -- If This Is Tea, Bring Me Coffee
pilots know what it's like to try and survive on vending-machine food.
But when you make it to the majors, you can count on first-class meals
in flight and in the hotels. Well, maybe if you were a pilot in the
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about flying with a broken
wing, better vision with shaded contact lenses and more.
ATTENTION, CESSNA OWNERS AND PILOTS
Cessna Flyer Association (CFA) 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 for a one-year membership), you can access the needed
information to expand your knowledge and get more enjoyment from
owning and flying your Cessna aircraft. Join the Cessna Flyer
Association (CFA) today as they build the ultimate Cessna
association. The CFA is now located on the Waupaca Municipal Airport
(PCZ) in Waupaca, WI just 35 miles NW of Oshkosh. Join at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cfa/avflash.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice monthly Business
AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on
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headlines in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must
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ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME YOU CHOOSE SOMETHING
Pilot-inspired, German-engineered, and
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Aircraft's EA-300 and EA-500. All it takes is one flight in the
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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
both aircraft at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/extra/avflash.
Courtesy of our sister print magazine IFR:
Returning home from the West Coast a few years ago, we landed in Flint
Mich. The Midwest had weeks of rain and overcast skies that summer and
I got this on departure...
"Bonanza Five Four Seven Zero Victor, when vou get on top would you
look out to the southeast and tell me if you see a big bright light?"
-- Don Sanderson Bear Creek, Pennsylvania More...
|Sponsor News and
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by
the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your
|AVIDYNE AND RYAN JOIN FORCES TO SAVE YOU UP TO
In a joint promotion, Avidyne and Ryan
International will give customers rebates from $500 to $2,000 when
they purchase an Avidyne FlightMax EX500 Multi-Function Display (MFD)
with Ryan's 9900BX Traffic Alerting System (TAS). There are four
combinations of these fantastic avionics savings. This promotion
ends October 31, 2005. For more information (and to order), go
|BENEFIT AVIATION & YOURSELF WITH THE NAA PLATINUM
In addition to favorable rates, NAA
cardholders will receive benefits including a discounted rate for NAA
membership and aviation products. You may also qualify for no-cost
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the heritage of aviation by supporting the presentation of prestigious
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information and for the 2004 Collier Winner go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/naa/visa/avflash.
|DOC BLUE'S EMERGENCY MEDICAL KIT DON'T LEAVE HOME
Do you carry a first-aid kit in your airplane or
car? AVweb's Dr. Brent Blue says drugstore first-aid kits
are packed with mostly useless stuff. Dr. Blue has assembled a
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|SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH THE
The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer is
the PC-based graphical aircraft situation display that gives you a
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|SUBSCRIBE TO IFR REFRESHER NOW AND
You worked hard for your IFR ticket. Now protect it!
IFR Refresher is the monthly that polishes your
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|HAVE A 24-VOLT AIRPLANE AND NEED 12
Problem solved with Trans-Plata's Cockpit
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MACHADO BOOKS, TAPES, AND CDs AVAILABLE ON AVWEB!|
to be up-to-date and impress the CFI on your review, but there's no
time to study. The solution is easy. Rod Machado's
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|COMM1 RADIO SIMULATOR|
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SHORT STACK HAS ARRIVED FOR PIPERS & GRUMMANS AT POWER
Power Flow Systems, manufacturers of
FAA-certified tuned exhaust systems, have introduced a new "short
stack" exhaust pipe for Piper PA-28 and Grumman AA5 series aircraft.
The new STC'd short stack looks better while still providing up to 23
more available horsepower. For more information on this and the right
tuned exhaust system for your aircraft, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power/avflash.
|FLYING MAGAZINE FLYS THE CESSNA 206 AND SHOWS OFF
A NEW DE-ICING SYSTEM|
The August issue of Flying
magazine also reports on "Metal Fatigue: Invisible Predator"; "The
Lure of the Bush Pilot Mystique"; a "Learning IFR" series; and all the
columnists you've come to respect and rely on. Order your personal
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|MICHAEL MAYA CHARLES RELEASES NEW BOOK, ARTFUL
There's more to flying than safely getting the
plane from point A to point B, and more than shooting the perfect ADF
approach or crosswind landing. There are deeper levels of engagement.
Artful Flying shows how to fully experience those levels
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