Number 36a — September 5, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
AVIATION PILOTS AND KATRINA -- THE IMPORTANT LINKS
Click through to find links, phone numbers, and contact information
for aid organizations and efforts that may make use of your special
skills as a pilot and aircraft owner. Find also information on
airports affected by hurricane Katrina and relevant TFRs.
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AID PILOT, IN HIS OWN WORDS
GA is being called upon to help thousands of people who seem forgotten
in the hurricane relief effort. Dozens of small communities in the
path of Hurricane Katrina have been virtually cut off for a week. "One
of our planes was diverted to Poplarville, Miss., yesterday and it's a
city of 40,000 people that's had no water and no food for a week,"
said Doug Towns, a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight Georgia. "The
sheriff there said people are dying every day." Angel Flight was
planning to send three aircraft packed with essential supplies to
Poplarville on Sunday but there are undoubtedly numerous other smaller
communities in the same situation. Thomas Marino, a volunteer
coordinator for GA efforts in Baton Rouge, told AVweb that
pilots who want to help should just pick
an airport, load up their plane with food, water, and medical and
baby supplies and go there. "Chances are they're going to be welcomed
with open arms," Marino told AVweb. (Your mileage may vary --
there may be very little ground support, or fuel. Call ahead.) "I
think we could really do some good there." Of course, pilots must
respect the TFRs that are restricting GA operations in many areas but
Marino said there are plenty of hard-hit areas not under the TFRs.
GROUPS TAKE FLIGHT...
Angel Flight Georgia spokeswoman Jeanine Biron said at least 50
volunteer aircraft are already involved and the need will expand.
Interested pilots (who must be IFR-rated) can call 770-452-7958, ext.
0 to register and should have their documentation in front of them.
Gail Pinckney, a spokeswoman for Brother's Keeper, a group operating
out of Atlanta Dekalb-Peachtree Airport, said the group is also
accepting volunteers who can register online or by phone at
770-939-0396. It's currently only accepting aircraft with six seats or
more. Brother's Keeper grew (with help from your response to
Thursday's mention in AVweb) from Pinckney's original plan to
match homeless families with vacant vacation homes, mostly in Florida.
COULD DO SO MUCH MORE...
While GA is making a difference in the massive humanitarian effort,
much more could be done if government authorities would simply tap the
huge resource at its fingertips. "Literally thousands of pilots are
members of volunteer pilot organizations and many wish to help," Rol
Murrow, head of the Air Care Alliance, told AVweb on Sunday.
"However the magnitude of the disaster and terrible communications,
combined with well-intentioned attempts to control traffic, have
slowed utilization of the volunteer groups." Morrow said some groups
have found roles in the relief effort but the vast majority of work is
being done by government aircraft and a valuable resource is being
WITH FRUSTRATION FOR SOME
Although the situation at the smaller airports is likely different,
volunteer pilots who show up without a game plan in Baton Rouge are
likely to be disappointed. Marino said a lot of well-meaning
volunteers who arrived unannounced have left in frustration. "You see
these people coming in with the best of intentions just stopped cold,"
he said. Marino said he's been overwhelmed by the generosity and
willingness of people in the GA community to help out but they must
make some previous arrangements if they want to be part of the main
relief effort. More...
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IRON: OPERATION AIR CARE
It's being billed as the largest airlift in U.S. history and it's
bringing relief to tens of thousands of Hurricane Katrina's victims.
Operation Air Care swung into high gear over the weekend, with dozens
of commercial airliners, flying VFR, bringing tons of food, clothing,
medical supplies and other necessities to storm-ravaged New Orleans.
Then, the planes are loading up with passenger to take them to refugee
centers as far away as Chicago. "Starting virtually from scratch,
we've worked to put together the largest air lift on U.S. soil in
history to get supplies in and take people out of New Orleans," said
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. "We are going to keep at this
for as long as necessary to make sure we get as many people safely out
of New Orleans by air as possible." More...
AIRLINES DONATE PLANES...
Of course, without the planes, the airlift would be impossible and the
Air Transport Association gets the credit for organizing the aircraft.
Member airlines, many of them on the ropes financially, have pitched
in with only vague assurances that some of their costs, such as fuel,
might be covered. Crews are flying voluntarily and company executives
are also helping out. "This extraordinary civilian airlift is
unprecedented in U.S. history and is a shining example of how America
can come together to help those in need," ATA President James May told
The Associated Press. However, even in the midst of catastrophe,
security is not taking a back seat. More...
The airspace around New Orleans and the Gulf coast is complicated,
crowded and no place for aircraft that don't have a role in the relief
effort. That's the clear message being sent by the federal government
as the evacuation, rescue and resupply missions escalate. There are new TFRs up
for New Orleans and the Mississippi coast and any civilian aircraft
operating within them must be in contact with airborne early warning
aircraft now patrolling the area. The whole area now falls under the
Joint Task Force Katrina Airspace Control Plan,
which is a combined effort between the military and FAA to keep planes
from hitting each other. More...
While automotive gasoline has been in short supply in some areas,
because of hurricane-related refinery closures, the supply of avgas
seems secure. In fact, one of the major producers of avgas, the Exxon
Mobile plant in Baton Rouge, is running at full capacity and ensuring
an ample supply of fuel for the hundreds of airplanes staging out of
the Baton Rouge airport, which is right next door. While supply
doesn't seem to be a problem, paying for the fuel is getting more
unpleasant every day. Like car gas, the price of avgas is skyrocketing
in the aftermath of Katrina as oil markets respond to the tightened
supply caused by the hurricane (never mind that the fuel being sold
now was refined long before the storm hit). And there's speculation
the corresponding hike in jet fuel prices will be the final straw for
some cash-strapped airlines. More...
YORK CONTROLLERS GET "RETRAINED"
Some of the FAA's most experienced and capable air traffic controllers
are going back to school. The agency has mounted a massive retraining
program for 220 controllers at the New York Terminal Radar Approach
Control (TRACON) in Westbury to curb a rash of operational errors,
some of which might be attributable to controllers being overconfident
and taking shortcuts, according to the agency. "We found that there's
been a New York way of doing business," Bruce Johnson, the FAA's vice
president of terminal services, told Newsday. Johnson also noted that
the errors spiked after the agency imposed a new schedule aimed at
slashing overtime at the facility. More...
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PM TRIGGERS AIRBORNE POLITICAL STORM
Take a wisecracking pilot, a cranky prime minister and a planeload of
impatient passengers (some of them the PM's political rivals) and you
get a political scandal, New Zealand style. There's no equivalent of
Air Force One for New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark so she flies
commercial. On a recent Air New Zealand flight to Christchurch, the PM
was among the last few passengers to board and the pilot quipped that
it was not the way to show support for the national airline. Most
passengers took it for the joke that it was. But not Clark and her
cronies. She went to the cockpit to give the pilot a prime ministerial
dressing-down and the pilot went on the PA system to apologize, to the
amazement and bemusement of the other passengers. More...
WANTS FIELD APPROVAL PROCESS STREAMLINED
AOPA says the field approval process needs to be changed to stop
months-long delays in the installation of new navigation gear on
airplanes. A shortage of FAA inspectors means those who want the
latest stuff on their panel can wait a long time before it's legal to
switch it on. AOPA says the agency has put field inspections of
private aircraft alterations low on the priority list and it's
preventing pilots from using the latest and greatest improvements in
navigation and situational awareness. AOPA is suggesting that
mechanics be able to sign off on these types of installations as long
as the plane is unpressurized and weighs less than 12,500 pounds.
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WANTS RJ AILERONS CHECKED
The NTSB is asking the FAA to require more frequent inspections of
aileron linkages on Bombardier regional jets after its investigation
of a 2003 incident in which the crew briefly lost control of an RJ and
had to make an emergency landing. The NTSB looked at 79 aircraft
similar to the CL-600-2B19 in the incident and found that 19 percent
of the planes had too much slop in their aileron linkages. The FAA
currently requires inspections every 4,000 hours. More...
WRECKAGE FOUND IN LAKE
After a two-year search, a dive team has found the shattered wreck of
a TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bomber on the murky bottom of Clear Lake in
northern California. The discovery could end 60 years of discomfort
for 96-year-old Morton Pinz, whose younger brother Lt. Robert Pinz was
flying the plane. The body of radio operator David Herget washed
ashore a few days after the crash on Dec. 4, 1944, but the Pinz family
was always distressed that the pilot's body was never recovered. The
body still hasn't been located but divers may return to the wreck to
see if it's there. More...
NBAA moved convention to Orlando from New Orleans...
FADEC-controlled Continental engine...
Headset allows pilots to
switch between cellphone and music source. 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, too. Submit news tips via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part
of our team ... often, the best part. More...
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FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
September 5, 2005
Reader mail this week about user fees,
airport security, the D.C. ADIZ and much and more.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Pilot's Lounge #91: To Fly;
Perchance To Starve
In the minds of many of the "great
unwashed," general aviation is the realm of the very rich. After
looking into the cost of getting a Private Pilot certificate, some
potential student pilots might tend to agree. AVweb's Rick Durden
tries to bring those costs down in this month's column.
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All in a day's work...
I was working at LAN FSS prompting a new student through the flight
plan form. When we got to the bottom fo the form I asked the student,
"Number on board and color."
Student: One white male. More...
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|GAMI CUSTOMERS RAVE ABOUT A SMOOTHER RIDE AND SAVING
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|THANKS FOR THE MANY FANTASTIC COMMENTS AT ROD'S OSHKOSH
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|PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED
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