Number 46b — November 17, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
OF THE FAA, 2005...
On Tuesday, the FAA released its latest version of its Flight Plan, setting strategy and priorities for
the agency through 2010, and Administrator Marion Blakey made her
annual "State of the FAA" speech to the staff, carried by satellite to
field offices around the nation. She listed the FAA's achievements for
2005 -- coping with Hurricane Katrina, launching DRVSM (Domestic
Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums), zero airline fatalities, and
the privatization of Flight Service Stations. The failures were in
lowering the GA accident rate and reducing reports of operational
errors for Air Traffic Control. To improve the accident rate, she
said, the FAA will continue to work with the GA Joint Steering
Committee -- a government/industry group that studies accidents and
makes recommendations to improve safety. More...
MANY CHALLENGES AHEAD...
Blakey said the FAA must deal with three immediate challenges --
building a next-generation air transportation system that incorporates
new technology, operating more like a business and changing how the
FAA is financed. "They are all interrelated," Blakey said. "Each
depends on the other." She also cited the ongoing contract
negotiations with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association
(NATCA). "We cannot and will not sign a contract that we cannot
afford," she said. "The outcome of these negotiations will
fundamentally affect the future of this agency. We want a deal that's
fair and equitable. ... And we're hopeful that we'll reach a voluntary
AND NATCA RESPOND
NATCA didn't even wait for Blakey to give the speech before going on
the attack. In a news release sent out the day before, NATCA
predicted Blakey would paint a "rosy picture" of the state of the
nation's aviation system -- a picture that NATCA sees very
differently. NATCA cited inadequate staffing, outdated and broken-down
equipment, and management denials that safety issues exist. On
Tuesday, AOPA chimed in that the new Flight Plan is still
improperly focused on user fees. "There is a fundamental disagreement
between the FAA and AOPA about whether the aviation trust fund is
running out of money," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
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REGALIA IN DISPUTE...
A bright-yellow taildragger with a black lightning-bolt stripe means
"Cub" to many aviators, but with a kit industry awash in Cub-a-likes
just who has the right to use those colors and that name for
production aircraft has come into dispute. Cub
Crafters, of Yakima, Wash., has filed a lawsuit in federal court
in Texas against American Legend Aircraft Co. , claiming that Cub
Crafters has rights to the names "Cub" and "Legend," plus the
yellow-with-black design. Cub Crafters builds the Sport Cub light
sport aircraft (LSA) and the Part 23-certified Top Cub, and has been
rebuilding Cubs since at least 1986. Legend Aircraft, of Sulphur
Springs, Texas, builds the Legend Cub LSA that went on the market just
this year. More...
A LEGAL OUTCOME
Since the legal matter is pending, neither party was willing to say
much about it. Todd Simmons, spokesman for Cub Crafters, told
AVweb in an e-mail that "Our company policy is not to comment
specifically on legal matters or pending litigation. ... We are
bringing a variety of internal and external company resources to bear
on protecting the integrity of the intellectual property that we have
invested in and developed over our twenty-five year history. Any
current proceedings toward that end are consistent with similar
efforts and actions taken in the past." Tim Elliott, spokesman for
Legend Aircraft Co., told AVweb on Tuesday: "We believe that
the lawsuit and their claims have absolutely no merit. We intend to
continue our strong defense of the case." More...
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TIMES FOR AIRLINE WORKERS...
How tough is it? Well, on Friday you might have run into FedEx pilots picketing outside your local FedEx
Kinko's store when you stopped by for some copies. The pilots, who are
members of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), have been
working without a contract for more than a year. They say the
company's record profits now are going only to executives and
investors, while workers no longer get a share. Meanwhile, pilots at
Delta Air Lines are threatening to strike if the company succeeds in
an effort to void their contract in bankruptcy court. A pilot strike
would be equivalent to "murder-suicide," the company said Monday,
since it would likely shut down the carrier and put it out of business
for good. Monday, Northwest Airlines pilots chose a different
GLOBALIZATION HITS HOME
Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation has issued a Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would change the law that governs
foreign ownership and control of U.S. airlines, and the proposal has
caused an uproar. Continental Airlines called the proposal "a blatant
attempt to circumvent the law that DOT has been unable to convince
Congress to change." The DOT proposal is intended "to satisfy the
European Union that its citizens will be allowed to control U.S.
airlines," Continental said in a news release. ALPA's president, Capt.
Duane Woerth, agreed, and added that members of Congress are "very unhappy
with the administration's jurisdictional grab." More...
IN STORE FOR LAX FSDO
Flight Standards District Offices in Southern California are slated
for consolidation, and this will mean moving about two dozen
inspectors out of the FSDO at Los Angeles International Airport, the
FAA said yesterday. "No jobs are being lost nor is headcount being
reduced; we are simply going to be moving our aviation inspectors
closer to where the work is -- which is generally not at LAX but
elsewhere in Southern California," FAA spokesman Donn Walker told
AVweb. The announcement has caused some concern among staffers
at LAX, according to an inspector who spoke to AVweb.
KOLLSMAN WORKING ON HEADS-UP DISPLAYS FOR GA
and Kollsman, Inc., announced last week they will work
together to develop advanced heads-up displays for GA cockpits.
Initial efforts will focus on integrating Sandel's advanced displays
with Kollsman's small-footprint heads-up display, the MicroHUD, the
companies said in a news release. A follow-on program will add
Kollsman's new GAViS, a heads-down, forward-looking infrared
capability, to Sandel's display products. In both cases, the object
will be to reduce the size and cost of these advanced display
technologies, making them available to corporate and general aviation.
747-8 FAMILY OF AIRCRAFT LAUNCHED
Boeing has gone back and forth for years on the fate of its 747 line,
but Monday the company announced a decision -- they will go forward with
the 747-8, stretched and upgraded, available as a freighter or a
446-seat passenger jet. The company already has orders for 18
freighters, which will be 18 feet longer than the current 747-400
version. Those orders are worth $5 billion. "The 747-8 will use the
technologies of the 787 Dreamliner to ...offer greater fuel
efficiency, improved operating economics, and be more friendly to the
environment with reduced noise and emissions," said Alan Mulally, CEO
of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. More...
FOR SPACEDEV -- CREW SHUTTLE TO SPACE STATION
Taking the private space industry to the next phase beyond suborbital
tourist flights, SpaceDev announced yesterday that it has a plan for a
six-passenger vehicle that could provide routine, safe crew access to
the International Space Station -- replacing the Space Shuttle -- for
a fraction of the cost of traditional programs. SpaceDev said if
funding is forthcoming, multiple manned suborbital test flights could
launch by 2008, and manned test flights to orbit by 2010. SpaceDev, of Poway,
Calif., built the hybrid rocket motor that powered SpaceShipOne. CEO
Jim Benson said yesterday the ship could also be used for tourist
AIR SHOW POLICY CHANGES OK WITH EAA
The FAA has listened to the concerns of EAA and the air show
community, and an updated list of changes to air show policies shows
that most of EAA's recommendations will be included when the policies
are updated, EAA said on Monday. "We are very pleased that FAA
worked with EAA, the International Council of Air Shows and other
groups as the agency developed these policy statements," said Earl
Lawrence, EAA's vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. The
tweaks mean that warbird shows will still be able to enter the show
airspace from different directions, when flying above 1,000 AGL. Media
photographers will still be allowed to approach closer than the
general public. Also, landmarks will still be OK to use as corner
markers for airspace boxes when practical. More...
$100,000 raised for Katrina at NBAA annual meeting in
NPRM would reduce flammability of fuel tank vapors in
Update online on investigation of Air France accident
AVweb columnist Rick Durden featured in a Grist
Pilots at Sea-Tac keep mistaking taxiway for
The Sport Pilot Tour stop in Dallas drew best crowd yet.
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NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
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to know about? If it caught your eye, it will probably interest
someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to email@example.com. You're a part
of our team ... often, the best part. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
As the Beacon Turns #95: I Am The Master
Now that glass
cockpits can be found in even the most traditional of planes such as
Cubs, AVweb's Michael Maya Charles is very concerned that we're
forgetting who's actually in charge of flying the aircraft.
LATEST GARMIN GPSMAP 396!|
LEK Consulting, a leading
market research company, is running a survey exclusively for aircraft
owners and potential owners. The results will help determine the
specifications for the Next Generation Aircraft for the General
Aviation industry in the U.S. The survey should take
approximately 15 minutes to complete. Survey with terms and conditions
of entry and chance to win the GPS can be found
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|AVIDYNE'S NEW TAS600 SYSTEMS DELIVER
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OF THE WEEK ...
Lightgun signals. We all have to learn them. Sometimes our instructors
even help us remember them. This week, we want to know if you've ever
used them. PLUS: Results of last week's question on the glamour and
romance of commercial piloting. More...
GIFT-GIVING MADE EASY
Visit AVweb's Holiday Shopping
Featuring products and services from
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
The holiday season is upon us, and the spirit of giving is alive and
well among "Picture of the Week" contributors! This week saw
submissions soar upward of 100 again, with 46 photos making it into
our "final round." There were so many eye-popping, dynamic photos we
should have included a pair of 3-D glasses with this installment of
"POTW"! So what are we gabbing for? Settle into your big comfy leather
office chair, and let's look at some pictures! More...
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|GAMI CUSTOMERS RAVE ABOUT A SMOOTHER RIDE AND SAVING
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|NOVEMBER'S FLYING MAGAZINE REPORTS ON
SECOND-GENERATION PIPER MERIDIAN|
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|AVIATION CONSUMER'S DECEMBER ISSUE
Electronic flight bags, flashlights, airport
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