Number 42b — October 20, 2005|
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REOPENS TO GA -- SORT OF...
A chartered Hawker 1000 jet landed at Reagan Washington National
Airport (DCA) on Tuesday morning, the first GA aircraft to land there
since September 2001. The jet, operated by New World Jet of Teterboro,
N.J., landed at about 7 a.m., taxied beneath welcoming arches of water
sprayed from two fire trucks, and parked at the Signature Flight
Support hangar at the south end of the field. The passengers,
including James Coyne, president of the National Air Transportation
Association (NATA), were greeted by airport officials and
representatives from Congress and the federal government. "This day
has been a long time coming," said Coyne. More...
MUST FOLLOW STRICT RULES
Under the new GA access rules, the operator of any private aircraft
must submit passenger and crew manifests to the TSA 24 hours in
advance of landing, and the TSA will conduct background checks on
everyone. Only corporate aircraft with professional crews need apply.
In addition, the airplane first must land at one of 12 "gateway
airports" where the TSA will inspect the plane, passengers and
baggage, charging a fee of over $500. And an armed law enforcement
officer must be on every flight. "We definitely would like to see the
rules made a little more workable," said Dan Hubbard of NBAA. "The
whole advantage to business aircraft is time. It's an efficiency
aircraft. Once you've made the stop [at a gateway airport], now you're
not getting the trip done any faster than if you just flew into
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LOOKS FOR AGE-RELATED PROBLEMS...
The number of FAA-certified pilots age 80 and up has increased by 73
percent in the last five years, to about 3,800, even as the number of
pilots overall declines. So how does that affect safety? A study by
AOPA, due out next month, aims to find out. Insurance companies have
routinely hiked their premiums for older pilots, presuming that their
skills deteriorate with age. "AOPA members tell us that the cost and
safety of flying is very important to them," said AOPA President Phil
Boyer. "This study is directly related to both of those issues." The
study is overseen by James Deimler, who was the program manager for
the FAA's Age-60 Rule study. The United Flying Octogenarians, a group
with over 500 members, is participating in AOPA's study.
HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG?
At the other end of the spectrum, private pilots can be certified at
age 16, which occasionally raises questions about judgment and maturity. Such
a case occurred last week, when police in Marshfield, Wis., filed
charges against two 16-year-old boys who allegedly buzzed a packed
stadium during an after-dark high-school football game. Witnesses said
the small aircraft flew as low as 150 feet above the ground, and
passed over the stadium three times, moving very slowly and rocking
the wings. The student pilot at the controls reportedly had never
flown at night before. "Given the minimal experience this pilot had, I
am convinced this community dodged a catastrophic event," Marshfield
Police Chief Joe Stroik told the Wausau Daily Herald. Recent studies have shown
that the brains of those 16 to 25 years old are still developing in
the regions that control judgment and risky behavior.
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EAGLES FLIGHTS CONTINUE AFTER FATALITIES...
"With 500,000 flights and 1.2 million kids safely flown as Young Eagles, we
think our safety procedures are pretty sound," EAA spokesman Dick
Knapinski told AVweb on Tuesday. "But we are working with the
NTSB on their investigation and if they turn up anything they think we
could do to enhance safety even further, we will certainly do whatever
we can." The deaths of two young girls near Seattle last Saturday were the first since the program
began in 1992. The instrument-rated pilot was well-qualified,
Knapinski said, and had flown Young Eagles in the past. "As far as we
know now, there was nothing unusual about the flight, or the pilot, or
any of the procedures on that flight," he said. More...
CLASSMATES HONOR THEIR FRIENDS
The pilot was David Eugene Hokanson, 67, of Mercer Island. The two
girls, Brittany Boatright, 15, and Kandyce Cowart, 14, were close
friends. Both attended Aviation High School in Everett and aspired to
careers in aviation. Others among the school's 200 students told The Seattle Times they will continue to pursue
their dreams. "I thought my mom would never let me fly again, [but]
she told me she wants me to go up very soon," sophomore Keiko Hiranaka
said -- like getting "back on the horse after you fall down." In a
letter written to Kandyce on Monday, classmate Irina Verevkina wrote
that she will go flying again when she gets the chance, "because it's
what you would have wanted if you were still here." More...
MANUFACTURER SKYSTAR FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
Kitfox aircraft kit manufacturer Skystar Aircraft Corp. has filed for bankruptcy
under Chapter 7, EAA reported on Tuesday. According to documents
obtained by EAA, the filing took place on Friday, Oct. 14, in Idaho.
Those documents show the company's claimed assets totaled about $1.1
million, with liabilities of nearly $1.7 million. Skystar President
Frank Miller could not be reached, but the company's bankruptcy
attorney, David Kras, told EAA that plans are to liquidate company
assets and pay off the creditors. Individuals who paid Skystar for
kits or parts that were never delivered may be entitled to file a
priority claim, which could give them a better chance to recover at
least some portion of their payment, EAA said. More...
SYSTEM AIMS TO TRACK WAKE VORTICES
Tests have been extended for another six months of an experimental
acoustic technology system that could detect and track wake vortices.
The sensor, called Socrates, is being developed by Flight Safety
Technologies together with Lockheed Martin, with funding from
NASA. The system employs an acoustic technique borrowed from
underwater sonar that uses lasers as microphones to pick up sound
generated by the vortices. Listening posts are set two miles north of
Runway 16 Left at Denver International Airport, and aim to detect
changes in the air within 1,200 feet of the surface. If the system
proves reliable, it could help busy runways to handle up to 25 percent
more traffic by eliminating unnecessary wake turbulence spacing.
NEWS -- GLASS COCKPIT IN EUROPE, FLY-IN IN N.M.
Industries announced on Monday that the European Aviation Safety
Agency has certified its single-engine diesel-powered DA40 TDI Diamond
Star with the G1000 glass cockpit. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Diamond Aircraft Pilots
and Owners Organization (DAPO) will host its First Annual
Southwest Fly-In on Oct. 29 at Double Eagle II Airport in Albuquerque,
N.M. Seminars will be held on Diamond aircraft maintenance, Southwest
mountain flying, and G1000 cockpit tips, tricks, and shortcuts.
Diamond aircraft will be on display, and on Saturday, tours of the
Eclipse VLJ factory are offered. The event is free. More...
GLOBAL TRIP OFF TO ROUGH START
Aviator Gus McLeod launched on Sunday for a second try to
circumnavigate the world crossing both poles -- a flight he attempted
once already -- but a gear malfunction has delayed his plan for at
least a week. McLeod took off from Gaithersburg Airpark in Maryland,
and heard a rattling noise from his experimental Firefly aircraft. He
made a precautionary landing in Frederick, about 30 miles away, and
upon touching down, the nose gear collapsed on the runway. "The bolt
supporting the nosegear suffered metal fatigue and broke," McLeod
said. The gear will be rebuilt with stronger support, and the trip
should continue next week. More...
PILOT HELPS IN TORNADO PILOTS' RESCUE
Flight instructor Syd Utting was 45 minutes into a training flight in
Scotland with former Navy pilot Keith Thomson on board last Friday
afternoon, when air traffic controllers asked for his help. Two Royal
Air Force pilots based nearby had ejected from an F3 Tornado at about
10,000 feet, about 10 miles offshore, before the jet fell into the
cold North Sea. Utting headed for the area and spotted an oil slick
and a dinghy, then saw a red flare shoot up from the waves. Utting
circled above the stranded pilots for over an hour in the dark,
according to The Sunday Mail. "It was reassuring for them to
know their rescuers wouldn't have to waste even more time searching
for them," Utting said. More...
DON'T WRITE OFF LEGACY CARRIERS
It's no secret that the major legacy airlines have been struggling for
years, but now the high cost of fuel is putting even some of the
better non-legacy performers -- like Southwest Airlines and some of
the regional operators -- closer to the edge. "It's getting harder and
harder to find any winners among the nation's airlines," James May,
president of the Air Transport Association of America, said at an aviation forecast conference in Savannah, Ga., on
Monday. "All of them are hurting." Analysts for the Boyd Group, which
organized the conference, say the operating advantage may soon revert
to the legacy carriers, as they emerge from Chapter 11 with their
labor costs under control and revenue streams intact.
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A Columbia 400 crashed Monday in southern California, three people
Two survivors of a plane crash called for aid via text
The second Airbus A380 completed its first flight on
Passengers refused to board a Helios jet with mechanical
A second satellite to support WAAS for GPS was launched
on Sunday. More...
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to know if you've taken the time to comment on Docket
#17005 the proposed rule to make the D.C.-area ADIZ a permanent
feature of Washington's airspace. (For more on the Docket and
the proposed rule, see the links in "Stress Points" at AVweb's home page.) More...
MIKE BUSCH'S SAVVY SEMINAR IS COMING TO A CITY NEAR
During the next 12 months, aircraft maintenance expert
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
It's a good time be the de facto "Picture of the Week" editor.
Submissions are coming through in healthy (but not overwhelming)
numbers, and the quality of pictures really is at an all-time high. It
can put a bit of a dent in your workday when you have to ogle 75 or
100 great aviation photos and try to narrow the field down to a few
worthy contenders but it sure makes for a fun distraction.
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