AVflash Vol. 9, Issue 10a Monday, March 3, 2003
This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by
Trade-A-Plane, the world's largest general aviation
resource, at: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap .
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated
News Coverage At http://www.avweb.com/newswire/9_10a/complete/183097-1.html.
CIRRUS LAUNCHES SAFETY STUDY...
As Cirrus Design rolled out its first two full glass cockpit-outfitted SR22s last week, Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier told AVweb the company is bringing together a group of experts from industry, government and universities to explore how improved technology and aircraft safety may affect the pilots who fly the airplanes. What Cirrus hopes to determine is whether easier-to-fly, more comfortable and technologically advanced airplanes lower the guard of those flying them. The group will study a string of Cirrus accidents, which (except the famous dangling-aileron incident in Texas last fall) seemingly had nothing to do with the airplane itself. "It's not good enough to say that it's pilot error and it's not our problem," said Klapmeier. More...
...ACCIDENTS VERSUS CUSTOMER PROFILE...
Klapmeier said Cirrus thoroughly examined the backgrounds, ages, and flight experience of its more than 700 customers and was unable to find any common threads. "The data is all over the place," he said. Klapmeier rejects the often-suggested theory that the existence of the parachute causes pilots to take more chances. "It's much more subtle than that," he said. Of the six fatal crashes, Klapmeier said five resulted from controlled flight into terrain, four of which were in IMC. However, only in one instance does the NTSB's preliminary report indicate the pilot held more than a private certificate. More...
...AND HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO WORK
Against the backdrop of tragedy, there is one shining example of technology and pilot working together for the best possible outcome. Last October, as Lionel Morrison was flying his Cirrus home from a maintenance stop at Addison Airport in Texas, the left aileron partially detached. Morrison's response was by the book. He could still control the plane marginally so he got it to a safe altitude over an unpopulated area and pulled the parachute. The aircraft settled, nose down, in a bushy area beside a highway and Morrison walked away virtually uninjured. More...
MATCHING TFRS TO THE THREATS...
Federal officials are considering canceling the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the Washington, D.C., area now that the Department of Homeland Security has lowered its terrorism threat posture. FAA spokesman Greg Martin said the agency is meeting with the appropriate federal departments and it's possible the flight restrictions will be relaxed. On Feb. 27, the threat level was reduced from "orange," or high risk, to "yellow," or elevated risk, which has become the standard threat level since 9/11. "I think it was our intention all along that [flight] conditions would match up with the threat level," said Martin. More...
...SAFETY, NOISE CONCERNS PROMPT RESTRICTIONS
Although it might seem like it these days, it's not just the threat of terrorism that imposes flight restrictions on GA. The FAA has issued final rules on air traffic restrictions over the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls that any air tourists considering visiting those areas should be familiar with. In the case of the Grand Canyon, the FAA is delaying implementation of restrictions in the east end of the national park because of a court decision in favor of the U.S. Air Tour Association, which questioned the noise-measurement criteria established by the FAA in designing new air routes. In Niagara Falls, air traffic patterns that are currently recommendations will soon be law. More...
FAA FUNDING LOOKS TO TRUST FUND
Reducing major airport congestion and refocusing on aviation safety goals underpin a $14 billion reauthorization budget for the FAA for fiscal year 2004. The budget, which is marginally larger than the $13.6 billion budget for FY 2003, will take a bigger bite out of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund but there will be no new user fees. The budget has been proposed by the White House and must now be debated and ratified by Congress. Deputy Transportation Secretary Michael Jackson said it's now time to pick up the pre-9/11 focus on safety. "We cannot take our eye off the safety goals [to] reduce aviation fatality rates by 80 percent over the period 1996 to 2008," Jackson said. More...
ADAM HOSTS ONLINE SEMINAR
You've seen it all over the aviation press and you've heard it's a new airplane that's apparently all that it's cracked up to be. Now's your chance to find out for yourself and pose your toughest questions to the president of the company. On Wednesday, starting at 2 p.m. Eastern, Adam Aircraft CEO Rick Adam will host a 30-minute online interactive seminar on his company's A500 piston twin. The innovative centerline-thrust twin is well into its test-flight program and Adam is anxious to share the results with anyone with an Internet connection. More...
FIND YOUR LOCAL NUKE PLANTS -- AND STAY AWAY
Flying around nuclear power plants has always been a bad idea but the Transportation Security Administration has just made it somewhat perilous. At the TSA's prompting, the FAA has issued an advisory NOTAM notifying pilots that if they are seen flying "suspiciously" around nukes, they can expect to be tracked down by the police or FBI. Pilots who can't satisfy the cops that their actions were innocent could end up on the TSA's incident reporting system database. The advisory appears to be a compromise alternative to closing the airspace within 10 nm of nuclear plants, as proposed by some security officials. More...
FBI PLANE MISTAKEN FOR TERRORISTS
Well, now just what did the FBI expect? After more than a year of urging people to be on the lookout for anything suspicious, airborne or otherwise, the feds seemed surprised when the folks in Bloomington, Ill., started worrying about their Cessna 182. Never mind that the same plane has passed overhead repeatedly at various times of the day and night since Feb. 19. At first the FBI denied it was their plane but finally fessed up when pressed by reporters. Agent Thomas V. Fuentes and agent James H. Davis admitted the 182 was being used to keep track of foreign nationals in Bloomington. More...
SPENDING BILL'S GA GOODIES
The FAA has been ordered to provide more graphics of TFRs and other NOTAM information in a federal spending bill signed by the president last week. "... the committee believes that advisory graphics can be conveyed through direct user access terminal system (DUATS) and other sources including the Internet," reads part of the bill, which included a host of other goodies for GA. For instance, flight service stations are getting full funding to install Operational and Supportability Implementation System (OASIS) computers to replace the 1970s-era machines that now provide weather and other flight briefing data. More...
THE TAXMAN COMETH ... SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Flying is expensive enough without giving more than your share of hard-earned dollars to Uncle Sam. Pilots are reminded to consider all their basic business expenses, training deductions and sales and use taxes. Commercial operators (more than 50-percent business use) can look into the new "bonus" depreciation option for new aircraft and aircraft equipment purchased in 2002. New depreciation rates for new business aircraft or major upgrades to used aircraft have also been introduced. Out-of-state pilots can also get refunds on fuel taxes paid in Delaware, Maine, Indiana and New Jersey. More...
ON THE FLY...
Lancair's production line is once again turning out airplanes...
Glacier Girl documentary on History Channel tonight...
Hooters Air's first pair of flights launch March 6...
Jeb Bush's King Air was hit by lightning, wing holed, no one hurt...
Bombardier asked to open contract, union worried about precedent...
Passenger risk-threat system to undergo tests...
First online pilot safety seminar planned.
A pilot was sitting in his seat and pulled out a .38 revolver. He placed it on top of the instrument panel, then asked the navigator, "Do you know what I use this for?"
The nav replied timidly, "No, what's it for?"
The pilot responded, "I use this on navigators who get me lost!"
The navigator proceeded to pull out a .45 and place it on his chart table.
The pilot asked, "What's that for?"
"To be honest sir," the nav replied, "I'll know we're lost before you will."
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Steve Tanner, this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
email@example.com. Rules and information are at
New Articles and Features on AVweb
Wake Turbulence -- An Invisible Enemy
Although all pilots are taught to avoid wake turbulence, planes still get caught in it, and once in a while even professionals lose control. How can this be? As AVweb's Linda Pendleton shows, maybe it's more sinister that we thought, and maybe there are more avoidance tactics that your CFI didn't teach you.
Where Should I Run My Engine? (Part 4 -- Descent)
After a short discussion about whether running engines the factory way or the skydiving way will hurt or help engines, AVweb's John Deakin settles in for the descent. And, yes, there are more old wives tales to be debunked, and better control settings to use.
Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
Reader mail this week about airline cash flow vs. safety, Tuskegee airmen and more.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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AEROSHELL RETURNS AS OFFICIAL PRESENTING SPONSOR OF THE SUN N FUN FORUMS
AeroShell will be the Official Presenting Sponsor of the 2003 Sun 'n Fun Forums with one scheduled forum presentation daily. Topics are to be announced on Shell's site. Plan on being there for some great presentations.
"STRAIGHTFORWARD AND EASY TO FLY" SAYS A PILOT OF ADAM AIRCRAFT'S A500, a 250-knot, pressurized, six-place piston twin aircraft. See if this is the twin for you by visiting AVweb's brochure section online today.
MOUNTAINSCOPE FROM PCAVIONICS IS THE BEST NAVIGATION DEVICE SINCE THE GPS.
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Let's all be careful out there, okay?
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