Vol. 9, Issue 06b
Thursday, Feb. 6, 2003
This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by GARMIN
International. From takeoff to touchdown, GARMIN is changing
the course of aviation: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/garmin
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated
News Coverage At
CHANGING THE RULES
The FAA says it's time for its charter regulations to catch up with the times. The agency issued a notice Monday that it's doing a wholesale review of FAR Parts 125 and 135. "Industry dynamics, new technologies, new aircraft types and configurations and current operating issues and environment mandate a comprehensive review and rewrite of Parts 135 and 125," said the notice, which appeared in the Federal Register. More...
...WITH A COMMITTEE TO OVERSEE THE PROCESS...
The FAA will establish a part 135/125 Aviation Rulemaking Committee to conduct this regulatory review and make recommendations as necessary. The committee will act only in an advisory capacity and make recommendations to the FAA "to assist the agency in establishing a regulatory framework that will address industry trends and dynamics and issues, and to enhance safety in this segment of the industry." More...
...AND THE 12-5 COMPLIANCE DEADLINE IS EXTENDED
Another set of rules concerning business aviation is taking effect as well, this time for the benefit of charter operators. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has advised industry groups the compliance deadline for the so-called Twelve-Five Security Program has been moved back to April 1, 2003. The deadline was relaxed after it became clear that many Part 135 operators would not be able to fulfill all requirements of the rule by the original deadline of February 1, 2003, and that the TSA hasn't finished designing a training program required under the plan. More...
STARS CUT BACK AGAIN
The FAA has scaled back its controversial Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) again, this time chopping the number of deployments this year from 18 to seven. Air traffic control employees got the news last Friday. FAA spokesman Greg Martin confirmed Wednesday that the agency doesn't have the money to install all the copies of the long-overdue, over-budget and often-criticized system it had planned to deploy this year. More...
...GAO SLAMS FINANCIAL CONTROLS...
It could all be a coincidence, but the STARS cutbacks came just as the General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report on the financial controls that suggests the FAA has lost control of the program. According to the report, the FAA hasn't the faintest idea what STARS will finally end up costing, and the forecasting methods are reliant on old data and figures. More...
...BUDGET "MAINTAINS" FUNDING LEVELS
All this was happening as the Department of Transportation released its budget for the coming year. Although the FAA says it doesn't have the money to install the STARS systems it planned, the budget highlights say it perhaps should have. "The president's [fiscal year] 2004 budget request maintains current levels of aviation infrastructure investment ..." the DOT release reads. More...
D.C. RESTRICTIONS EXTENDED FOR TWO YEARS
Three Washington, D.C., area airports got news they expected, but didn't necessarily want to hear, Tuesday from the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA will extend Special Federal Airspace Regulation 94 until February 2005. The regulation, which has banned most GA operations in the Washington area and severely curtailed operations at College Park, Washington Executive/Hyde Park and Potomac Airports, has been in effect since Sept. 11, 2001. A spokeswoman at College Park, who asked not to be identified, confirmed airport management was notified of the extension late Tuesday. More...
LITTLE JETS, TIME AND MONEY
As AVweb reported Monday, Eclipse Aviation gathered some of its customers together last week to update them on the complications caused by abandoning the Williams EJ22 engine. The company issued a news release Monday detailing the facts and figures released during that meeting. The Eclipse 500 will cruise at 375 knots, an increase of 20 knots over the previous 355 knots max cruise speed. That's thanks to a boost in thrust to 900 pounds a side from its new engines. The maker of the new engines wasn't released but an announcement is said to be imminent. The payload is increasing by 250 pounds, but most of that is reserved for fuel for the thirstier engines. Weight isn't the only thing on the rise, however. More...
FAA GOOFS ON APPROACH PLATE
Imagine the surprise, and the annoyance, of passengers and airport officials last week when an FAA error caused 33 flight delays and diversions and generally messed up operations at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia. It seems the FAA recently published an approach plate for an ILS there which had not yet been certified for use. The approach in question has caused many problems at the airport and part of the plan to fix it was installation of a new localizer. The ILS work got bogged down, however, and the airport told the FAA of the delay. Big Brother, apparently, wasn't listening. More...
AIRBUS MAY BUILD TANKERS IN WICHITA
While Boeing may think that it has the U.S. military market secured, Airbus seem to believe that there is opportunity for it to capture part of this coveted aircraft market. BusinessWeek magazine is reporting that Airbus might set up a plant to make U.S. military tankers in Wichita, Kan. The magazine's article adds that up to 1,000 workers may be hired. According to the report, EADS, Airbus' parent company, has set aside $10 million for a feasibility study, which is currently underway. Officially, Airbus officials deny any interest in setting up a tanker plant, but it has been widely reported -- and confirmed by company officials in some instances -- that Airbus wants to carve a niche out of the U.S. military aircraft pie. More...
A "WARPED" DESIGN
Hollywood has often portrayed flying machines the morphed into various shapes and sizes. In the not-too-distant future, some of that technology may move from the silver screen to the wild blue yonder. Lockheed Martin was recently awarded a multimillion-dollar U.S. Air Force contract to study technology that would allow the development of an aircraft that could change shape as flight conditions or missions change. The company's Palmdale, Calif., plant won the $9.3 million contract. More...
AIRLINE PILOTS, MECHANICS RAP TSA RULE
Airline pilots and mechanics are the latest to weigh in on a new regulation that allows the Transportation Security Administration to order the FAA to suspend and revoke airman's certificates for security reasons. "We have serious concerns about the problems of due process this rule poses as well as the vague standards of evidence it contains," said Capt. Jon Safley, president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots' Associations. Brian Finnegan, president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association, also said the criteria for suspending a certificate are not specific enough. "There is absolutely no room for error," said Finnegan. "These airman certificates represent significant livelihoods on which families and reputations depend." More...
PENGUIN PUZZLE FOR TSA
"Can you raise your wings, please?" Transportation Security Administration staff are puzzling over a proposal to reinstate a marketing plan that Southwest Airlines used to feather the nests of SeaWorld Parks in San Antonio, San Diego and Orlando. Before 9/11, the airline would fly a pair of tame penguins owned by the parks to various cities as a promotional gimmick. More...
ON THE FLY...
NAFI announced latest group of CFIs to attain Master Instructor status...
Air France pilots held a four-day strike, causing flights to be cancelled...
NBAA tells FAA that a proposed tower would affect safety in EWR and TEB.
AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 90 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, David Staten, of League City, Texas. Davids picture is very fitting, as it captures the mourning of the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Columbias crew. David tells us that this picture captures area residents paying respects at an impromptu memorial to STS-107, outside the main gates of the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. This photo was taken the day after the loss of the spacecraft and crew. Great picture, David! Your AVweb hat is on the way.To check out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go to http://www.avweb.com/potw.
AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK...
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 600 responses to our question last week on the TSA's new rule regarding the revocation of airmen certificates. Nearly half (46 percent) of those responding felt the TSA continues to show its ignorance with regards to aviation security. Following that group, 35 percent felt that, well-intended or not, the new rule is still a violation of basic civil rights. Only 3 percent of our respondents felt this action by the TSA is a necessary tool to weed out possible national security risks.
To check out the complete results, including comments, go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw.
*** THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
This week we would like to know your thoughts on CFI applicant requirements. Please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw to respond.
Please remember that the email address firstname.lastname@example.org is ONLY for suggested QOTW questions, and NOT for QOTW answers or comments.
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Bob Hughes, 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
As the Beacon Turns#60: Midair Over Denver
Midair collisions are relatively rare, although you wouldn't think so to
watch the TV news. The recent one in Denver was close to home for AVweb's
Michael Maya Charles, both because of proximity and because of the reaction
of the media and the politicians.
Oil Temperature Control Systems
There are several key items to check when the oil temps seem to be out of
the ordinary. But as the staff of Light Plane Maintenance recently
reported, don't wait until it's an urgent problem
Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
Reader mail this week about the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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GARMIN'S 196 GPS -- THE MOST UTILITY AMONG AVIATION HANDHELDS!
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ATTENTION CESSNA PILOTS AND OWNERS! CESSNA PILOTS ASSOCIATION (CPA) announces 2003 System and Procedure Seminar schedule. Learn from CPA's experts in Cessna systems. If you want to keep your Cessna aircraft running at its best and safest sign up for one of these seminars today. They fill up fast! Member or non-members go online for the complete schedule, or e-mail Christine and mention this AVflash.
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RYAN OFFERS THE LATEST IN COLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEMS!
Ryan International's 9900BX Traffic Advisory System (TAS) features a range over 20 miles and audible position alerting: "Traffic! 6:00 o'clock! Low! One Mile!" The 9900BX TAS will be on display at Heli-Expo in Dallas, Texas, Feb. 9-11, at Booth #2321. Come by at Heli-Expo to learn more about flying with the Ryan 9900BX, or visit them online today.
AEROX OXYGEN SYSTEMS ADD TO YOUR FLYING COMFORT, SAFETY AND PLEASURE
Use Aerox Oxygen Systems at altitudes above 8000 feet during the day and 5000 feet at night so pilots and passengers avoid hypoxia and arrive at their destinations without being tired and headachy. Aerox Oxygen Systems last up to eight times longer than other systems. Having an oxygen system onboard is simple and cost-effective. Order the right system for your flying needs.
AIR & SPACE MAGAZINE'S FEBRUARY/MARCH ISSUE IS A SPECIAL KEEPSAKE FOR flight's centennial year. It will chronicle aviation's progress from Dec. 17, 1903, to the present with historical flights, illustrious pilots, how the airplane changed the world, and much more. Order your subscription online.
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ASA offers aviation textbooks, books for pilots, books for mechanics, FAA test-prep guides, checkride essentials, FAA publication reprints, and a vast array of pilot supplies. Pilots from student to ATP, CFIs, flight engineers, and maintenance technicians will all find what they need in ASA's big online catalog. It is available online right now.
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FOR VALENTINE'S DAY, OR ANY GIFTS, LOOK TO AVWEB'S SHOPPING DIRECTORY.
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AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
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Today's issue written by News Writer Arturo Weiss:
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Let's all be careful out there, okay?