Number 40a — October 3, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From
AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
TAKES OVER FLIGHT SERVICE...
Lockheed Martin officially takes over operation of the nation's flight
service stations as of tomorrow ... presuming that last-ditch efforts
by a workers' union prove futile. The National Association of Air Traffic Specialists
(NAATS), which represents the FSS staffers, last week sent out a
letter to all members of Congress seeking support for stopping the
takeover. The letter asks FAA Administrator Marion Blakey to delay the
takeover until Congress has a chance to complete its 2006 budget
process. "If the FAA proceeds on October 3 and is subsequently
directed by Congress to suspend or reverse implementation, it could
mean significant additional expenses to the FAA," the letter says.
SEES A BETTER FUTURE...
AOPA is in favor of the change, expecting that Lockheed's version of
flight service will be better for pilots than what we've been getting
from the FAA. During the transition period, Lockheed and the FAA will
operate a 24-hour operations center that will act as a point of
contact to ensure continuity of services, AOPA said last week. Lockheed also has assured
AOPA that extensive contingency plans are in place should any
last-minute issues arise. Phone numbers and frequencies will remain
the same, says AOPA, and so will (many of) your local FSS specialists,
at least for a while. "We are in regular communication with the FAA
and Lockheed, and they understand the importance of maintaining
service to pilots throughout the transition period," said AOPA
President Phil Boyer. More...
ENHANCED SERVICE PROMISED
By April 2006, AOPA says, Lockheed is expected to launch the Flight
Service 21 (FS21) Web portal for pilots to obtain preflight briefings,
file flight plans, store user profiles, and get graphical flight
planning and weather products. The first FSS hub, in Leesburg, Va.,
also is scheduled to open in April, with two other hub facilities --
Fort Worth, Texas, and Prescott, Ariz. -- to open by next October. The
other 17 facilities that will remain after consolidation -- down from
58 today -- should be upgraded with FS21 technology by July 2007.
After the 18-month transition is complete, pilots' telephone calls
must be answered within 20 seconds and radio calls within 15 seconds.
ANTI-ADIZ EFFORT INTENSIFIES...
Pilots need to speak up -- and loudly -- and the FAA needs to listen,
AOPA says, regarding the Air Defense
Identification Zone (ADIZ) now eating up the airspace around
Washington, D.C. The FAA wants to make the ADIZ a permanent fixture,
and AOPA has asked for several public meetings to be held before any
decisions are made. "The opportunity to provide oral comments in a
public forum will allow FAA and Homeland Security officials to hear
directly from members of the general aviation community about the
practical difficulties and economic hardships the ADIZ causes to
pilots operating in the National Capital area," said AOPA President
Phil Boyer. More...
PR PUSH ON THE HILL...
Kathleen Roy, a media and public-affairs specialist for AOPA, gave a
demo flight in a Piper Archer to a reporter from The Hill, a local D.C. newspaper widely read by
legislators and politicos. "Although Roy had filed a flight plan
before takeoff, as required, she was denied access initially because
air traffic control could not identify her plane," Hill reporter
Jackie Kucinich wrote. "She circled outside the area [for 15 minutes,
according to AOPA] while calling in her second
attempt. Finally, she was given a four-digit transponder code that
identified her aircraft as clear to enter the airspace." Landmarks
that identify the ADIZ boundaries were difficult to identify in the
haze, Kucinich wrote. More...
TO SPEAK UP (OR YOU COULD BE NEXT)
That's AOPA's warning to pilots across the country. "In the Washington
ADIZ, the operational horror stories come in to AOPA daily," Boyer says. "The FAA has tracked more than 1,900
ADIZ violations since 2003. None of the incidents has been determined
to be terrorist-related and all but one violation have been
inadvertent." Changing the D.C. area Class B airspace into a permanent
new designation only sets the precedent for this to be duplicated
elsewhere, he said. You have until Nov. 2 to express your opinion to
the powers that be. Go to the docket for a copy of the proposed rule. The list
of comments, already over 600 strong, can be reviewed at this link. Click on "Comment/Submissions" to add
your own thoughtfully composed input. More...
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PUSH A NEW SUPERSONIC AGE
We have lived to see a day without commercial supersonic flight. But
it's an idea that won't go away, despite the demise of the Concorde.
The French and Japanese are working to launch a test model of a supersonic aircraft in the
Australian desert this Friday -- presuming they have fixed an
"anomaly" with the aircraft's signal processor that cropped up during
ground testing in August. Meanwhile, Airbus is developing a design for
a 250-seat plane that could fly close to 1,500 mph with a 6,000-mile
range, London's Sunday Times reported last week. During a recent
conference at Cambridge University, researchers
said that new supersonic passenger jets could by flying by 2015, and
by 2050 supersonic travel could account for 20 percent of all flights.
Aircraft makers Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Dassault,
Gulfstream and Sukhoi have all announced plans for such airplanes, the
Times said. More...
JET FIRST FLIGHT
With two Williams Int'l FJ33-4-17M Turbofan Engines, ATG's little
Javelin Jet expects to climb at 10,000 feet per minute and top out at
.9 Mach. Two-hundred-twenty gallons of fuel would carry the jet 1220
nm with reserves. The two-seater prototype flew for the first time on
Friday. Test pilot Robert Fuschino took off at 7:50 a.m. from Runway
17L at Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colo., and climbed out at
3,000 fpm. Flying with 10 degrees of flaps and the gear down, the
airplane reached 180 knots and 12,000 feet. After 30 minutes of
testing, it made a smooth straight-in landing. "ATG has achieved a
great milestone today," said ATG Chairman George Bye. "We will now
begin the process of correlating the Javelin prototype's performance
against predicted engineering values." More...
TOLD TO FLY COACH
You wouldn't think all those Ph.D.s at NASA would need a study by the Government Accountability Office to
tell them it's cheaper to fly coach than to operate their own fleet of
aircraft, but nothing is so convincing as hard numbers -- in this
case, $20 million worth of numbers. That's how much NASA could have
saved, the GAO said, if its staff had traveled by airline in 2003 and
2004, instead of using its own aircraft and charter services. Granted,
those services can save time, are more flexible for staff scheduling
and "provide other less tangible and quantifiable benefits," the GAO
admits. But the GAO doubts those benefits justify an added $10 million
a year in taxpayer money, not to mention an additional $77 million
that NASA is planning to spend to upgrade and expand its fleet.
GPS SATELLITE LAUNCHED
A new GPS satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral last week, adding new
technology to the current system that will provide greater accuracy,
enhanced resistance to interference from the earth's ionosphere, and
other improvements to performance. The two-ton satellite will replace
an aging unit that was launched in 1993. What does it mean for GA
users? "The latest launch represents a firm commitment to satellite
navigation and demonstrates that there will be plenty of assets in
space to ensure that the GPS signal is always available," said Randy Kenagy, AOPA's senior director of
advanced technology. "That's especially important for general aviation
as more GPS-based wide area augmentation system (WAAS) approaches are
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EMISSIONS CAUSE CONCERN IN EUROPE
In Europe, where worry over climate change due to industrial pollution
is widespread, the emissions emanating from aircraft have again
attracted attention. A recent study found that with the amount of air
travel in the United Kingdom expected to double over the next 25
years, it will be impossible for the country to meet its goal of
cutting carbon emissions 60 percent by 2050. "The failure of all
governments to think about [emissions from] international aviation and
shipping has led to a serious underestimation of the actions
necessary," says researcher Simon Shackley, of Manchester University.
All other sources in the country would have to reduce carbon emissions
to zero in order to meet the goal while allowing aviation to expand,
researchers said. More...
AIRPORTS GET CASH INFUSION
Four airports in Texas and Louisiana damaged by the recent hurricanes
will get at least $16 million in federal help to make repairs,
Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta said last Friday, a day after he
visited the region. Mineta said he would also try to change some of
the rules for the use of Airport Improvement Funds so money can be
used for repairs to terminals and hangars. Mineta saw firsthand the
hurricane damage at the Southeast Texas Regional Airport in Beaumont
and Louisiana's Lake Charles Regional Airport. "Regional airports and
the general aviation flights they support are absolutely vital to the
economy of this area," Mineta said. More...
A320 NOSEGEAR, THE PHOTOS
In case there was any doubt that the damage to JetBlue's A320 was
slight, despite all the media attention and melodrama surrounding its
live-televised landing with a twisted nosegear last month, we have pix of the aftermath. So for
your own edification, feel free to click through for a look. You also might enjoy
the take offered by Salon Magazine's Patrick Smith, who deconstructs
the events in his "Ask The Pilot" column. As for the poor passengers,
some of whom were terrified and feared the worst, "JetBlue's seatback
TV screens deserve much of the blame," says Smith, for "beaming in
reckless live reportage from several large networks."
TELEDYNE-CONTINENTAL MOTORS IS BUSY BECOMING
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Call Air Power, a totally consumer-oriented company, at (800)
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J. Roy Shoffner, who helped recover Glacier Girl P-38, has
Questions raised about jackscrews at Alaska Air, FAA is
A fired worker says A380 is unsafe, the builders
FAA OK'd $7.5 billion expansion at O'Hare, but work
Machinists ended a month-long strike against
A T-65 owned by U.S. govt. shot down in Colombia, the
Garmin got an STC for the GFC 700 autopilot in
WMU will retire its 172s and switch to a fleet of
No more jumpseat rides for most FedEx workers,
100th anniversary of Wrights' Huffman Prairie
flight is Wednesday...
SpaceShipOne to take its place at NASM with
a ceremony Wednesday. More...
ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME YOU CHOOSE SOMETHING
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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...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Pilot's Lounge #92: Hey,
FEMA! GA Is An Asset ... Use Us
So many pilots want to help in
the hurricane relief -- but the national agency charged with
coordinating relief doesn't seem to realize the power of volunteer
pilots. AVweb's Rick Durden has some tough words for political
appointees and some suggestions for frontline organizers.
ATTENTION, BARON AND CESSNA 310 OWNERS NEWS FROM
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FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
October 3, 2005
Reader mail this week about fuel prices,
FSS closures, SIC type ratings and more.
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While waiting to enter the taxiway in ONT, (California) an Airbus
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ONT Twr: Airbus 1234, where are you going today, sir?
Airbus 1234: Right where that 727 is, and, uh, be
advised our tail might be a little bit over your runway.
Boeing NABC: Don't worry. A little tail never hurt
Airbus 1234: ... Wish I could say that.
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