Number 39a — September 26, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From
AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
RITA, THAT'S KATRINA BACKWARDS...
With Hurricane Katrina's mass destruction fresh in everyone's mind,
the approach of Rita with Category 5 winds triggered a massive
response -- only this time, instead of waiting till after the storm,
the chaos began even before the storm hit. Along the Texas coast, air
ambulances and other aircraft from across the South converged to
evacuate patients from hospitals, but dozens of flights were delayed,
grounded, diverted, and some simply turned back. Fuel supplies
dwindled, heavy traffic gridlocked Houston Hobby Airport, and
coordination efforts failed. "Hurry up and wait doesn't get the job
done," a frustrated Renae Taggart, a Fort Worth nurse, told a KRT reporter as she waited for a flight to get her
to Houston to pick up young patients. Airplanes were backed up 15 deep
on the taxiways at Hobby Airport, and two- to three-hour delays to
take off or land were common, KRT reported. More...
CONFUSION, HELP GETS THROUGH...
In Beaumont, Texas, air traffic controllers in the tower worked
overtime to help the military airlift 4,000 people, many of them sick
and elderly, out of danger before Rita hit, the FAA said. Operation Brother's Keeper, which organized relief
flights after Katrina, offered to help aircraft owners to relocate
their aircraft out of harm's way in advance of the storm. By the time
Rita hit the coast, it had weakened to Category 3 and veered to the
north, sparing some of the more populated regions. But it also dumped
enough wind and rain to do plenty of damage. As of Saturday morning,
four airports were listed as closed by the FAA. More...
FEDERAL FUNDS TO REPAIR STRICKEN AIRPORTS
U.S. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi last week introduced legislation that would quickly make
available up to $20 million right away to make emergency repairs at
airports in the Gulf Coast region damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The
money would help to jump-start repairs as Congress works to allot
millions more in the 2006 fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, Lott said.
The money will go to public-use airports in Mississippi, Louisiana and
Alabama. The bill also permits grant funding to cover emergency
operating costs incurred as a result of Hurricane Katrina by these
airports. "Rebuilding and repairing our airports is critical to the
economic development, vitality and quality of life of our communities
devastated by Hurricane Katrina," Lott said. More...
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-- THE NOSEGEAR PROBLEM...
While last week's A320-stuck-nosegear incident attracted nonstop (some
might say breathless, excessive and overblown) live TV coverage, it
was hardly an unprecedented event. It's happened at least six times
before to Airbus aircraft, and each time the pilots made safe landings
and nobody was hurt. Considering that about 2,500 A320s are flying,
the number of incidents is not of concern, FAA spokesman Greg Martin
told The Associated Press last week. Records show that
previous problems were blamed on a software glitch, on aging O-ring
seals, on a malfunctioning landing-gear control-interface unit, and on
an improperly installed shock absorber, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. More...
THE JETBLUE CREW EXPERIENCED
The crew of the JetBlue flight that got all the attention took off
from Burbank, Calif., bound to JFK in New York, last Wednesday, with
146 passengers and crew on board. The flight crew observed
illumination of a caution light upon retracting the landing gear after
takeoff, the NTSB said. They consulted with officials from the airline
and Airbus while holding for about three hours to burn off fuel, and
flew by a tower to get a visual check on the condition of the landing
gear. It was decided to land at LAX, at least partly because JetBlue
has a maintenance facility there. News reports followed the incident
live, and the reports were watched by the passengers on board, who
were told to prepare for a bumpy landing. More...
TIMES FOR AVIATION LABOR...
The contract negotiations between the National Air Traffic Controllers
Association (NATCA) and the FAA that started in July promise to be difficult and
contentious -- the two sides were far apart going in, and dueling
press releases already have been fierce and frequent. Now they are at
odds over the schedule for the talks. NATCA last week rejected the FAA's
request to meet five days a week and conclude negotiations before
Christmas. The ending date is "arbitrary and artificial," said NATCA
President John Carr, and would violate the ground rules agreed to by
both sides. The FAA's proposal followed a complaint by NATCA on Sept. 8 that the FAA was
setting a "slow pace" that was "disruptive and counterproductive."
THOUSANDS OF JOBS DISAPPEAR
Delta Air Lines said last week it will eliminate up to 9,000 jobs
-- about 17 percent of its work force -- by the end of 2007, as it
struggles to restructure under Chapter 11. The staff cuts and other
belt-tightening measures will save $970 million annually, the company
said, which is about one-third of the way to its cost-cutting goal.
Pay scales will also be cut by 7 to 10 percent for most workers. The
fleet will be reduced by 80-plus aircraft by the end of 2006, and the
number of aircraft types in operation will be cut from 11 to 7. The
airline has already cut 24,000 jobs since 2001. Captain John Malone, chairman of the Delta pilots'
union, said the pilots are being asked to bear a disproportionate
share of the cuts. More...
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NEW DAWN FOR GA IN CHINA?
China (which might ban news services like AVweb) will likely
lift a longtime restriction on flying below 3,000 meters (about 10,000
feet) as soon as 2010, Zhang Hongbiao, the president of China Aviation
Industry Corp II, said last week, China Daily reported. China's official air-traffic
agency declined to comment on the statement. The strict control over
low-altitude airspace has long been regarded as a bottleneck in the
country's aviation development. Zhang said the infrastructure is now
in place to allow for air-traffic management at those altitudes, and
predicted that opening the airspace would trigger a huge demand for
helicopters and light airplanes in both the private and government
REPORT CRITICAL OF FAA MEDICAL OVERSIGHT
The NTSB last week cited the FAA's "inadequate medical
certification ... and follow-up" as a factor in an Alaska crash that
killed a pilot. The pilot was flying alone carrying cargo in a twin
turboprop Beech C-45H en route to Kodiak in June 2004. After holding
for 45 minutes waiting for weather to improve, he was cleared for an
ILS approach, but he never landed. Searchers found the airplane had
impacted a nearby island. The NTSB blamed the pilot's failure to
follow the correct missed-approach procedures, but also noted traces
of cocaine, alcohol and over-the-counter cold medication found in his
system. The FAA knew of the pilot's substance-abuse problems and
should have done more to follow up, the NTSB said. More...
A NEW RELEASE OF THE BEST AVIATION WEATHER SERVICE FOR
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NUMBER CAUSES FALSE ALARM
Pilot Harry Butler wondered why more than a dozen law-enforcement
officers surrounded his Cessna Citation 501 after he landed at
Georgetown County Airport in South Carolina on Thursday morning. He'd
lost his radios en route and returned to have them checked out, but
that hardly seemed to explain it. It turned out that when he had asked
his co-pilot to change the transponder code to 7600 to alert
controllers that he'd lost the radios, it was set accidentally to the
code for a hijacking. FBI agents and FAA officials questioned the two
for about two hours, then let them go, according to a
target="_blank">The Sun News. More...
NEIGHBORS DEMONSTRATE AGAINST AIRPORT
Over 50 people held a candlelight vigil in a parking lot across from
Teterboro Airport on Thursday night to protest the noise and publicize
their concerns about health hazards from airport operations. Most were
local residents and officials from the neighborhoods that surround the
busy airport. "What they turned this airport into doesn't belong in
the most densely populated part of southern Bergen County," protestor
Craig Lahullier told NorthJersey.com. The airport handles about 200,000
takeoffs and landings per year. That's an average of one every two
minutes, 24 hours a day, Lahullier said. The Port Authority, which
runs the airport, has promised to reduce flights by 10 percent.
|ANNOUNCING TRAFFIC ALERT WITH DIRECTION FOR ONLY
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CREW FAKES EMERGENCY TO MAKE SOCCER KICKOFF
The pilots of a chartered Lockheed L-1011 were headed for Lima, Peru,
last Tuesday when they told air traffic control they were low on fuel
and would have to divert to the northern coastal city of Piura.
Emergency crews were scrambled, and the jet landed safely ... just in
time for the 300 Gambians on board to make it to the nearby soccer
match where their home team was competing. "It truly was a scam,"
Betty Maldonado, a spokeswoman for Peru's aviation authority, told The Associated Press. "They tricked the control
tower." The Air Rum jet had been chartered by Gambian President Yahya
TONIGHT TO HONOR PUBLIC-BENEFIT FLYING
The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) will host a ceremony tonight in the U.S. Capitol Building in
Washington to bestow this year's Public Benefit Awards, which
recognize the contributions of those engaged in flying to help others.
Bill Boulton, who has flown more than 150 flights for Angel Flight in
Oklahoma, will receive the Distinguished Volunteer Pilot Award for his
work. Stephan Fopeano, of Los Angeles, California, won the
Distinguished Volunteer Award for creating the Angel Flight
Information Database System. Angel Flight West and LightHawk both won
Outstanding Achievement awards. The Champion of Public Benefit Flying
Award goes to Alaska Airlines, for contributing about $3.5 million to
Angel Flight West over the last 20 years. More...
More precise details on the Sport Pilot Tour stops...
is complete for Dulles's new 325-ft. control tower...
1,000-foot-long model of a space elevator tested successfully...
Virgin Atlantic pilot failed to show, found hanged in hotel
Evektor chose PWC PT6A-21 turboprop engines for its EV-55
Operation Brothers Keeper is launching its own Web site
as of Monday. 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...
MIKE BUSCH'S SAVVY SEMINAR IS COMING TO A CITY NEAR
During the next 12 months, aircraft maintenance expert
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Seminar in Chicago, Boston, Denver, Frederick, Atlanta, Phoenix, Los
Angeles, Charlotte, Orlando, Houston, Memphis, Las Vegas, San Diego,
and Salt Lake City. Learn how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft
while saving literally thousands of dollars on maintenance costs, year
after year. For seminar details and to reserve your spot, go to
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
September 26, 2005
Reader mail this week about fuel prices,
pay for retired airline pilots, entering the DC ADIZ in Arizona and
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
time to support a threatened airport is before it gets threatened.
That means those of you who think, ''My airport is just fine,'' had
better read what this city councilman has to say and then start
CEO of the Cockpit #49: Coonass
These days even retired airline pilots feel the
pain of broken airlines. AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit tells the story of
his southern buddy left behind by an unfeeling, MBA-managed legacy
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ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME YOU CHOOSE SOMETHING
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Heard on the tower frequency at a major Southwest hub...
Tower: Southwest 972 Position and hold runway 28
Pilot Reply: You're 90 degrees off ... (pause) ...
Northwest 972 will position and hold, runway 28 More...
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|E-OX: HIGH-QUALITY PORTABLE OXYGEN|
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CUSTOMERS RAVE ABOUT A SMOOTHER RIDE AND SAVING FUEL|
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|SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH
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|KITPLANES EDITORS FLY A SPORTSMAN 2+2|
ALASKA & WESTERN CANADA
In the October
Kitplanes magazine, they say it was the best-built
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"Skyranger II" a new take on this high-wing, trike-gear
tractor's classic design for fun flying; "See Clearly Now"
prevention and removal of window scratches; report from Oshkosh; "How
to Prowl the Homebuilt Jungle" five major facts to consider
when contemplating a partially built project; "Build Your Own
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dimpling are time-consuming, repetitive, and absolutely essential. For
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