Number 50b — December 15, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From
AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
AIRCRAFT MUST BE "PROPERLY REGISTERED" BY FEB. 1...
Aircraft owners and operators must ensure their aircraft registration
information and security waivers are properly completed and up to date
by Feb. 1, 2006, or they "may be denied access" to the National
Airspace System, the FAA said in a notice published in the Federal Register on
Friday. The notice states that the FAA and the Transportation Security
Administration will "revitalize and refocus" their airspace-monitoring
capabilities to ensure that the requirements are met, "in the
interests of national security and aviation safety." The FAA says it
has provided numerous notices to aircraft owners over the last few
years to emphasize the need for them to update their aircraft
registration so both the FAA and aircraft manufacturers can notify
them of safety and maintenance-related information. If you might be at
risk, the FAA claims to know and offers some simple ways to check
yourself (and them). More...
ENFORCEMENT AND COLLATERAL DAMAGE
AOPA has "concerns" about the FAA notice, based on an initial reading,
spokesman Chris Dancy told AVweb yesterday. "AOPA has already
pressed the FAA on one issue -- aircraft renters," Dancy said. "Would
they be denied access to the NAS because the owner of the aircraft
they've paid to rent has failed to comply with registration
requirements? AOPA absolutely opposes anything that would impede a
renter's ability to fly." Dancy added that the FAA has assured AOPA
that renters would not be denied access to the NAS or face any
enforcement action, although their departure on a flight in a rented
aircraft could be delayed as the issue is sorted out. He also said the
FAA has indicated that if owners do not comply with current
registration requirements, the agency may consider requiring
re-registration every three years. "They tried that in the 1990s,"
Dancy said. "AOPA fought it then." More...
AIRCRAFT SPRUCE OFFERS TELEX
50-D HEADSETS WITH $100 SAVINGS
Purchase your Telex 50-D
Headset at Aircraft Spruce by December 31, 2005 and save
$100. This headset features slow recovery foam ear cushions that
conform to the user's head, extra thick cushions and pad that reduce
tension and provide a luxurious feel, an enhanced fit by patented
Comfort Cam tension adjustment, dual volume controls, auto
shutoff, failsafe mode (in the event of a power failure), stereo/mono
switch, and a collapsible design with carrying case for portability.
Power the headset with battery or panel power, depending on your
needs. To order, call 1-877-4SPRUCE, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/spruce/avflash.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS BACK TO WORK...
Eleven air traffic controllers at the New York Terminal Radar Approach
Control (TRACON) on Long Island who were fired by the FAA last August
have been reinstated. The controllers had been fired for allegedly
failing to report on their FAA medical forms that they'd sought
treatment for job-related stress. "The case was so one-sided in our
favor that we didn't call a single witness," said John Carr, president
of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. "NATCA did not
even put on a defense, relying solely on the agency's witnesses to
exonerate our people. The FAA folded like a cheap tent." The
controllers will have letters of reprimand placed in their files for
the failure to properly complete the forms and most will lose five
days' pay. More...
CITES "ZERO TOLERANCE"
"The taxpayers have a right to expect high standards of conduct from
all civil servants," FAA spokesman Greg Martin told AVweb on
Tuesday. (Your mileage may vary.) "The accuracy and integrity of these
medical forms are essential to aviation safety. We felt this was an
important case to pursue. There must be zero tolerance for actions
that could affect aviation safety." The controllers were fired by the FAA in August and had appealed that
decision. The dispute was resolved when both parties agreed to a
settlement during arbitration. "We consider the matter closed," Martin
WRECK RAISES SPECIAL CONCERNS...
A Cirrus SR22 crashed in Minnesota on Sunday night, killing the pilot
and two passengers. When rescuers reached the crash site, questions
arose about the safety of approaching the wreck. "There's an explosive
charge that sends that parachute up, that hampered the investigation
to some degree," Lincoln County Sheriff Jack Vizecky told the local KeloLand TV. Such concerns are legitimate,
according to Bill King, a Cirrus vice president who oversees investigations.
"As a practical matter, we would rather that if the first responders
don't need to go in, that they didn't," he told AVweb on
Tuesday. "We don't want somebody to get hurt." More...
AIRBAG, (BALLISTIC) CHUTE DANGERS
The concern is not only about the parachute, but also the airbag
seatbelts, which are standard on the newest Cirri. "First responders
have been hurt by airbags in the past," said King. "So we will ask
them to stand down until we can get there. Or if that's not possible,
if they need to act, we will walk them through how to deal with the
airbags and parachute to be sure they're safe." In the case of the
Minnesota crash, where there were no survivors, everyone on the scene
did the right thing, King said. It's best to disturb the site as
little as possible until NTSB investigators arrive, he said.
"TRADE UP" YOUR LIGHTSPEED HEADSET AND GET COMPLIMENTARY
Save money this holiday season while giving the
perfect headset and complimentary ground
shipping! Until 12/31/05, trade in your LightSPEED
XL or K headset toward a Thirty 3G headset and get the quietest
headset on the market with 28-30dB Active Noise Reduction (ANR).
LightSPEED's Thirty 3G is the ultimate ANR headset, providing superior
comfort, cell/music interface, and up to 30 hours of ANR. Retailed at
$599, with this "Trade-Up" program, you may want to buy a second
headset. For more info, contact LightSPEED at (800) 332-2421
during business hours (PST) or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/trade/avflash.
TAKES ON VLJS WITH TURBOPROP
EADS Socata will soon be offering its EASA-certified six-seat TBM 850 for sale in the U.S., the company
announced Tuesday in Washington, D.C. The pressurized single-engine
turboprop's performance will compete directly with very light jets
(VLJs) while its operating costs will be lower, Socata said in a news
release. The TBM 850 is based on the 15-year-old TBM 700 design, but
with a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D engine. It will
cruise at a maximum 320 knots at FL260, 20 knots faster than the 700.
Deliveries will begin early in 2006, after FAA certification is
complete. Base price is set at $2.5 million, which -- in
billionaire-speak -- is about where Cessna hopes to tag its Mustang VLJ
twinjet and not quite twice the cost of an Eclipse
GALACTIC TO BUILD HQ AT NEW MEXICO SPACEPORT
Virgin Galactic will locate its world headquarters and Mission Control
in New Mexico, in a deal with the state that will launch the creation
of a $200 million spaceport on a 27-square-mile site in a remote part
of the state. Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic, announced the deal on Tuesday, saying New Mexico
is an ideal operations base, with a favorable climate, uncrowded
airspace, low population density, high altitude, and stunning scenery.
"Our activities will prove the commercial viability and excellent
safety technology behind private personal spaceflight and give birth
to a new industry in New Mexico," he said. More...
MOVING TO OKLAHOMA
which has been working to develop its single-engine Sport-Jet in
Colorado Springs, Colo., since 2002, announced on Monday that it will
be moving to Guthrie, Okla., in a deal that will pump up to $5 million
in financing into the company. "We've completed negotiations and
Excel-Jet will be relocating its facility to Guthrie within 90 to 120
days," said company President and designer Bob Bornhofen in a news
release on Tuesday. The money was put together from local and state
sources by the Guthrie Industrial Development Authority. It will be
enough to bring the Sport-Jet well into the flight-test phase and
start certification work next year. More...
MARTIN TO BUILD GIANT AIRSHIP
Lockheed Martin will build a prototype High Altitude Airship (HAA)
under a $149.2 million contract awarded by the Missile Defense Agency,
the company announced on Monday. The ship will be 400 feet long and
about 140 feet in diameter with a volume of 3.7 million cubic feet,
and will operate at altitudes up to 60,000 feet. The prototype is
slated to fly in 2009. It will demonstrate launch and recovery,
station-keeping and flight-control capabilities while carrying
mission-reconfigurable payloads. It will be built in Lockheed Martin's
facility in Akron. "The HAA delivers a persistent surveillance
capability unmatched by any other platform," said Ron Browning,
Lockheed Martin's leader of the project. More...
DELTA'S PILOTS, IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE
Pilots for Delta Air Lines struck a tentative deal over the weekend,
averting a possible strike that the airline had characterized as a
"murder-suicide" scenario. "The pilots came out on top of this
skirmish, but I've been around for a long time and I know who is going
to win the war -- Delta," industry analyst Terry Trippler told the Associated Press. Delta had been asking the
pilots for $325 million in concessions, but under the new deal the
pilots will concede less than half that amount. The cuts include a
14-percent wage reduction for pilots, on top of a 32.5 percent cut
agreed to last year. The pilots union says it is not backing away
altogether from its strike threat, but putting it on hold for now
while the two sides continue to negotiate. More...
CELEBRATES WRIGHTS' FIRST FLIGHT AND 70 YEARS OF DC-3S
In a poll of pilots' all-time favorite airplanes, the DC-3 would
surely come out in the top tier, so when we hear about a special event
to honor these venerable fliers, we like to let you know. This
Saturday is not only the 102nd anniversary of the Wright brothers'
first flight but also the 70th anniversary of the first flight of the
Douglas DC-3, in 1935. Within five years of the DC-3's introduction,
passenger miles flown in the U.S. increased five-fold. To celebrate,
the Prairie Aviation Museum's famous Ozark Airlines DC-3 will visit
the 1940 Air
Terminal Museum at William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas. The
event will be held in conjunction with the airport's monthly Wings &
Wheels Saturday and will feature lunch, museum tours, new DC-3
exhibits, vintage aircraft displays, and many other special
AIRCRAFT INSURANCE, THERE IS AN OPTION GO DIRECT TO
Many insurance agents say they represent "all the
markets," implying once you call them you needn't bother with any
other aircraft insurance provider. What these agents don't tell you is
that there is an option Avemco. Avemco is the ONLY
direct writer of general aviation insurance in the country and the
only insurance company you can contact directly to purchase insurance.
You always have an option with Avemco, offering mid-term premium
discounts, storage options, credits for training, same-day service,
and multiple payment options. Call (888) 241-7891, or go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.
Nine aircraft destroyed in a fire at Arlington (Texas) Airport...
House bill set fine and prison time for pointing lasers at
19 ultralight-led whooping cranes migrated to Florida
Security-enhanced certificates coming for all pilots,
NATA distributing $13,000 to victims of
Hanscom Field will host New England's first AirShares
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 email@example.com. You're a part
of our team ... often, the best part. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
As the Beacon Turns #96: Who You Calling Heavy?
morning departure from San Francisco in his nearly half-million pound
heavy jet reminds Michael Maya Charles of the value of looking
carefully at aircraft performance when you are confronted with
something out of the ordinary.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice monthly Business
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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. With a
one-year membership for $39, 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) as they build
the ultimate Cessna association. The CFA is located on the Waupaca
Municipal Airport in Wisconsin, just 35 NW of Oshkosh. For more
information (and to request a sample copy of the magazine), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cfa/avflash.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to hear more of your opinions on the shooting
of Rigoberto Alpizar by Federal Air Marshals. Plus: Results of our
initial poll about the incident. More...
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
AVweb readers were cooking with gas this week contributing just
over 100 photos to our "Picture of the Week" contest. Those are pretty
high numbers for the slow period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
More amazing still, almost half of the photos you submitted were
pushed through to the final round of selection! After much debate, we
decided to award this week's top spot to "Barrell Roll," a photo that
turned to be from frequent "POTW" contributor Lassi Tolvanen.
Congratulations, Lassi we'll be sending an official AVweb
baseball cap your way early in the week. (As for the rest of you
now's a great time to dust off those old Polaroids and digital
memory cards and send us your pictures!) More...
GIFT-GIVING MADE EASY
Visit AVweb's Holiday Shopping
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|IFR MAGAZINE'S JANUARY ISSUE
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