Number 41b — October 13, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From
AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
FINDS NEW HOME...
The owners' group that bought the assets of Commander Aircraft Company
(CAC) has found a home. The Commander Premier Aircraft Corp. (CPAC) will set
up shop in Cape Girardeau, Mo. "It's a wonderful location for our new
company," CPAC President and CEO Joel Hartstone told members of the
Commander Owners Group at their annual fly-in in Sedona, Ariz., last
week. Although the new company, made up of 50 Commander owners, bought
all the assets of the previous manufacturer, the deal didn't include
the lease on the factory at Wiley Post Airport in Oklahoma City, Okla.
FIRST, PLANES LATER...
If the poetic sounding name of the community rings a bell, it's
because Cape Girardeau was previously touted as the site of the
resurrection of the Luscombe 8F. In fact, the 52,000-square-foot
building Commander will occupy was built, by the city, especially for
Renaissance Aircraft's bid to relaunch the storied
taildragger. Plagued by expensive legal battles (which it won)
Renaissance was not able to raise the investment money necessary to
make the payments on the Cape Girardeau facility and the company was
evicted last April. Hartstone said the facility will also house a
service center and the company is also leasing another 23,000 square
feet for shipping and receiving. Plans are to start making parts as
soon as possible to fill the void left by CAC's demise more than a
year ago. The new company hopes to build 15 $600,000 Commanders in
2006 and 30 a year after that. More...
LOOKS AT CALIFORNIA SITE
Renaissance may be out of Cape Girardeau but it may not be out of the
airplane business. When AVweb last talked to company President
John Dearden in April, he was scouting sites. He may have found one in
Tulare County, in California's Central Valley. According to the
Central Valley Business Times, Renaissance wants to lease a
county-owned hangar at Sequoia Field for the factory. Dearden's
company has the type certificate and all the tooling needed to start
building the planes again, both hard-won in a court battle that ended
two years ago. More...
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PILOT CHARGED IN CITATION THEFT...
A 22-year-old commercial pilot with multi and instrument endorsements
and a C/IA-Jet type rating (according to the FAA's airmen database)
has been accused of taking five passengers on a "joy ride" from St.
Augustine, Fla. to Briscoe Field in Gwinnett, Ga. in a $7 million
Citation VII. The man, from Buford, Ga., is facing felony theft by
receiving charges and five misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct.
More federal charges are expected. Gwinnett police spokesman Darren
Moloney said Wolcott wasn't qualified to fly the plane "but apparently
is a talented and gifted pilot." The plane, reportedly owned by
Pinnacle Air, of Springdale, Ark., (it's registered to a Carrollton,
Texas corporation) was reported stolen from St. Augustine on Saturday
by the crew that flew it there and left it unlocked on the ramp.
PASSENGERS TAKEN FOR "JOY RIDE"
Moloney told reporters that five people who flew on the plane from St.
Augustine all contacted police and were interviewed. None were charged
because they were apparently unaware the plane had been stolen. "They
were just enjoying the ride," Moloney said. He said all indications
are that the theft was "just a joyride." Wolcott is apparently a
familiar face around the airport and may have worked part time at some
airport businesses. "This is such an odd occurrence, I wouldn't even
want to speculate why someone would do this," Gwinnett Airport Manager
Matt Smith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. More...
ISSUES WEATHER WARNING...
Not enough pilots are talking about the weather and the NTSB wants the
FAA to do something about it. The NTSB issued a series of recommendations to the agency on Tuesday
aimed at clearing up what it apparently believes is our foggy
knowledge of weather. It wants greater emphasis on weather in the
written exam, including the requirement that a specific number of
weather questions be answered correctly in order to pass. And it wants
weather training to be ongoing on several fronts. Specifically, the
NTSB wants the FAA to make the gathering, assessment and
decision-making skills regarding weather to be part of the biennial
flight review for pilots who don't take weather-related recurrent
training within the two years. More...
Winter weather is on the minds of the leaders of three major business
aviation organizations. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association
(GAMA), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and the
National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) have jointly signed a
letter to their members reminding them of the extra precautions needed
for cold-weather flying. NBAA President Ed Bolen said the
organizations felt it appropriate to "inform or remind aircraft
operators about the industry-leading practices" to prevent winter
flying accidents. A glance out the window to check for frost or ice on
the wings isn't enough, according to the letter. More...
If you're interested in learning more on your own, consider the FAA's
Wings program. With three hours of flight training and one
aviation seminar -- several of which are offered for free online by
the AOPA Air Safety Foundation -- you earn a
get-out-of-jail-free card on your biennial flight review. Since the
flight training includes an hour of instrument maneuvers and the
ground study offers several weather seminars to choose from, you just
might learn more that what the NTSB's suggestions impose -- while
having fun doing it. (Plus, the Wings program rewards you with a lapel
FIELD GA PILOTS FEAR SQUEEZE FROM SOUTHWEST
GA operators at Seattle's Boeing Field say Southwest Airlines' bid to
relocate to their airport would push out small aircraft. However,
airport management claims that GA could coexist with an influx of
737s. Southwest is pushing for a move to Boeing Field because it
claims the costs of operation at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
are too high. If Southwest is allowed to move, it could spell the end
of an FAA exemption that allows the simultaneous use of parallel
runways at Boeing that are too close together under normal standards.
And that, claims the Friends of Boeing Field, will mean the end of GA
at the airport. More...
SAYS FUEL TAXES, NOT (MORE) USER FEES
The National Air Transportation Association says the current system of
fuel taxes is the fairest way to raise money for the FAA. Last month,
the agency sent out a questionnaire to aviation groups, saying the
current system needs to be replaced with a funding formula that links
revenue to use of the system. The questions seemed heavily slanted
toward the implementation of user fees and NATA says that would be a
mistake. "It is critical that both Congress and the FAA are aware that
overall, a system of user fees could add greater confusion and
inefficiency to the air transportation system, cause a bureaucratic
nightmare for both government and industry, jeopardize safety and
ultimately result in less revenue than in the current system," said
NATA President James Coyne. More...
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PILOTS PONDER RETIREMENT TO SAVE PENSIONS
Pilots are used to taking calculated risks but some American Airlines
pilots may be cashing in their chips early. The Allied Pilots
Association, which represents American pilots, says it's getting more
inquiries from pilots growing tired of the pension crapshoot. They're
considering retiring early out of fears American will follow other
major carriers in dumping its pension plan. But union president Ralph
Hunter said he believes the airline's pension plan is sound, at least
for the short term, and some bills before Congress promise help to
stabilize it even more. "We understand that some guys are a little
antsy, but there's really nothing that has changed," Hunter told the
Fort Worth, Texas, Star-Telegram. "Your risk of losing your lump-sum
benefits are the same as they've always been." More...
"AIRPORT" HOME FEATURED
As a boy, John Travolta dreamed what many have dreamed: that there
would be an airplane parked in everyone's backyard. A few have
achieved that dream, but hardly any as spectacularly as Travolta. The
veteran actor can now walk out of his airport-style home near Ocala,
Fla., and hop aboard his personal Boeing 707 for a flight to almost
anywhere. Travolta's Florida getaway is at a fly-in community called
which features a 7,500-foot runway. Travolta bought a nine-acre lot
for his aviation compound, which includes a house that resembles an
airport, complete with a tower-like observation area. "This is a house
that says dreams are possible. Everything is possible," his wife Kelly
Preston told an Architectural Digest forum at the Smithsonian Museum
of Natural History last week. More...
LOWER THE COST OF FLYING AND WIN PRODUCTS TO HELP YOU
AOPA has found a way to lower the cost of flying!
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on most purchases from Sporty's Pilot Shop. What's more, while
you're at AOPA's Expo, visit the MBNA booth and enter a daily drawing
for a handheld Garmin GPS unit. Call 1 (866) 438-6262 to apply,
or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopafuel/avflash.
Japanese aerospace officials are optimistic the $10 million test of a
model of a future supersonic airliner was a success. Well, at least
they got their model back this time. A similar attempt three years ago
resulted in the model's separating prematurely from its booster rocket
before boring a smoking hole in the Australian Outback. The Japanese
Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), in cooperation with a French
agency, is hoping to develop a Mach 2, 300-seat replacement for the
Concorde by 2025. In last Monday's test, the 38-foot model was
strapped to a rocket and flown to an altitude of 11 miles.
PUSH LIFELINE TO RECORD
Pilots set a record for flights in their efforts to help the
victims of Hurricane Katrina. The volunteer pilots' group recorded a
65-percent increase in the number of missions booked and accomplished
during the month. It was the most flights recorded in the group's
24-year history. Lifeline normally flies people who don't have enough
money for commercial flights to specialized medical care available
only outside of their hometowns. But in the case of Katrina, the
policy manual was forgotten. While medical flights remained a
priority, Lifeline pilots also carried out supply missions, delivering
food, water and medical supplies to stricken areas. More...
ECI CONNECTING RODS
We erred in last Monday's edition by stating that the FAA had issued
an Airworthiness Directive (AD) on connecting rods made by ECi. As ECi's
President Ed Salmeron pointed out, the FAA has only issued a Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and the company intends to file comments on
the proposal. "We disagree with the NPRM and are preparing our case
since we believe there is no evidence for a Safety of Flight concern,"
Salmeron said. We apologize to our readers and ECi for the error and
will keep you informed regarding the FAA's final action on the matter.
Tullahoma, Tenn., attracted about 200 people and 81
U.S. trade negotiators seek satisfaction over subsidies
paid to Airbus...
FAA to investigate runway incursions at
An F6F Hellcat crashed on the median of a highway in
Tenn., the pilot was killed...
Albuquerque International Balloon
Fiesta survived the rain...
An aircraft made a safe landing on I-5
north of Los Angeles, 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...
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.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Motor Head #9: Does Racing Really Improve The Breed?
Cook's ears are still buzzing from a long weekend at the Reno Air
Races, where all sorts of internal-combustion mayhem takes place. Some
of it may actually trickle down to average GA Joes.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice monthly Business
AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on
the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make
headlines in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must
read. Watch for a Business AVflash regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA
IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/
PILOT GETAWAYS' SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER ISSUE TAKES YOU
White Sands, NM for dunes, rockets, balloons, and sand
boarding; Santa Monica, CA for sunbathing, surfing, and sushi;
Columbus, OH to show off flowers, the John Glenn Institute, and the
Jack Nicklaus Museum; Bar Harbor, ME, which sports colorful island
views, fishing, biking, hiking, and kayaking; Astoria, OR, where Lewis
and Clark met the Pacific and where history abounds today; Dolores
Point, CO for hundred-mile views; and Winter Haven, FL for a tour of
Jack Brown's Seaplane Base. Don't miss a single issue of Pilot
Getaways. Order your subscription online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/avflash.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
General aviation costs continue to rise. This week, AVweb wants to
know if you've been priced out of flying. (Yet?) PLUS: Results of last
week's question on eye surgery, corrective lenses, and other methods
of improving your vision (both the FAA-approved and the
not-so-FAA-approved varieties). More...
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Since our last edition of "Picture of the Week," AVweb readers have
bombarded us with a steady stream of amazing aviation photos. By
Wednesday night, we had well over 100 submissions almost of all
of them considered for one of our top spots this week. We know you've
heard this before, but the quality of photos we've received over the
past few weeks is truly amazing. Whatever you guys are doing
taking photography classes, or just going to a lot of really good air
shows keep it up! The only downside to this upswing in "POTW"
submissions is that we have to leave behind a lot of eye-popping
photos. So, before we take off into the skies with this week's top
winners, we'd like to remind you that we ooh and ahh over every single
"POTW" submission, and we take the time to read through your comments
when each week's contest is done. Many of you have contributed
outstanding photos and may never have won a hat or even heard back
from us we're really busy, honest! but we'd like you to
know how much we appreciate your time and support. Now, on to this
week's pretty pictures! More...
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|ATTENTION, BARON AND CESSNA 310 OWNERS NEWS FROM
A new STC has been approved to McCauley
Propeller Systems for installation of a new three-bladed
propeller. Replace your old threaded propellers with the new
Blackmac propeller. The Blackmac provides operators with
an average weight savings of 10 pounds, longer TBOs, and fewer ADs
than other propellers available today. The Blackmac also comes
with a standard three-year warranty. For more information and an
authorized service center near you, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mccauley/avflash.
|STOP WONDERING OR WORRYING WHERE YOUR
FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE!|
Do you have friends or family
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MACHADO'S INSTRUMENT PILOT'S SURVIVAL MANUAL RECEIVES
Greg Brown, 2000 National CFI of the
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|THE SHORT STACK HAS ARRIVED FOR PIPERS & GRUMMANS AT
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
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|ATTENTION, MECHANICS! SOFTWARE FOR YOUR
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+ Engineering Manual Companion has been a mainstay of mechanics
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For complete details and to order (U.S. only), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyranch/avflash.
|IFR MAGAZINE'S NOVEMBER ISSUE IS SEEING STARS
AT TRACONS & TOWERS|
IFR magazine takes
a look at how new features in color radar at TRACONs and towers may
have some big implications for pilots. Also in the November issue:
Tricks for talking with ATCs; a revisit to Aviation Digital Data
Service for icing predictions; medevac flying isn't that easy;
bureaucracy and landing fees are the tough part in planning a flight
across the Atlantic; and being patient and creative can help in going
paperless. Plus, secret tales of crossing the border, NTSB's new BFR
recommendations, beating a bum approach vector, and icing returns to
the quiz. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ifrmag/avflash.
We Welcome Your
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