Number 51a — December 19, 2005|
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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Zuluworks
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
AIRFIELD BACK IN BUSINESS
Airfield, just outside of Washington, D.C., is open again, about
six weeks after being shut down by the TSA. The airfield opened up for
business on Friday afternoon, after owner David Wartofsky agreed to
follow more strictly the TSA's rules. (He acknowledges he had made
some changes to TSA-approved procedures, but said those procedures
were outdated and his changes enhanced security.) Wartofsky said a
useful dialog has been prompted by the disagreement. "More
communication is going on now about some operational realities," he
told AVweb. He said he's hopeful that within the next month or
so the various agencies involved in securing the airspace will begin
to hold productive discussions and improve the security procedures for
pilots in the region. More...
BACK TO NORMAL
Pilots meandered in and out over the weekend, Wartofsky said on
Saturday. "We've lost only one aircraft, which was moving away anyway.
The rest are all coming home, and new pilots and aircraft are coming
in. Our pilots understand and respect the objectives of this effort,
however temporarily inconvenient it was. There is real dialogue now on
real issues," he said. The TSA now has heard from members of Congress
about how it is handling GA security issues, and that's helpful.
"There are no bad guys here," Wartofsky said. Stirring the pot a bit
can help attract attention to the issues and get everyone talking.
"That's how you make change." More...
PILOTS FACING "PAY-AS-YOU-GO" PRICING
Annual fees paid by Canada's private pilots would go from a current
$72 (Canadian) to up to $1,272, under a new proposal from Nav Canada that is vehemently
opposed by the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA).
Daily fees would apply for the first time each day that an aircraft
departs from any of the eight major airports in Canada: Vancouver,
Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.
The fees would be in addition to the $72 annual fee now required, and
would begin to phase in next September, with hikes each year through
2008. Nav Canada is under pressure from the airlines to make private
aviators pay more, COPA says. More...
RALLIES FEE OPPOSITION
Although it might seem that most smaller aircraft don't often depart
from those busy airports anyway, COPA warns that it is the first step
on a slippery slope. "It is clear from other countries where
pay-as-you-go is in place that the impact on private aviation is
severe and largely responsible for its decline," COPA said in a
statement last week. "COPA is committed to not let that happen here."
COPA says the new proposal would violate laws that mandate fees must
not discourage pilots from flying safely and that charges for
recreational and private aircraft must not be unreasonable. COPA says
that rather than rate hikes, Nav Canada should be reducing the annual
fee, considering the cuts in service that have already been made.
CANADA SAYS FEES ARE "FAIR"
Nav Canada says in its proposal that it "seems fair and reasonable"
that even small aircraft, if they want to use the busiest airports,
should pay an additional charge. The charge would also serve as an
incentive for small aircraft to use reliever airports instead. Nav
Canada said in a news release that its aim is to better balance the
charges between large and small aircraft, better reflect the impact of
new technology and better absorb the financial impact of fluctuations
in air traffic. The proposed changes would be revenue-neutral overall.
INSECURITY -- PERCEPTION, BOMBS, AND FEAR
Although many nationally broadcast early reports said the man shot
dead by federal air marshals in a Miami jetway on Dec. 8 cried out that he had a bomb as he ran down
the aisle of an airliner -- as officials had told reporters --
follow-up reports have recently highlighted that no quoted passengers
recalled hearing any such threats (a point AVweb was careful to
note in its
initial next-day coverage). The Orlando Sentinel reports that seven passengers
interviewed from the front and rear of the passenger cabin said
Rigoberto Alpizar was silent as he ran past them on his way to the
exit. "I can tell you, he never said a thing in that airplane. He
never called out he had a bomb," said Orlando architect Jorge A.
Borrelli. "He never said a word from the point he passed me at Row 9.
He did not say a word to anybody." John McAlhany, who was
seated several rows in front of Alpizar, told The Associated Press: "The first time I heard the
word 'bomb' was when I was interviewed by the FBI." More...
SAFETY AND COLLATERAL DAMAGE
While most reports and editorials since the incident place no blame on
the air marshals, who apparently acted in accordance with their
training, other questions have been raised. A columnist in Editor & Publisher critiqued the "media docility"
that quickly spread the official version of the story without checking
the facts. Others have questioned the training itself, and the
thinking behind it. But some feel it is how things ought to work in
the post-9/11 world: David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers
Association, told The Associated Press he thinks the shooting may
prove more "reassuring than disturbing" to the traveling public.
UNAPPROVED PARTS ALERT AFFECTS "ALL AIRCRAFT"
Raw metal that was sold as meeting certain specifications for aviation
use, sold by M&M International Aerospace Metals of Fort Lauderdale,
Fla., in fact did not meet those specs, the FAA said last week. The metal was sold to various
distributors, type certificate holders, production approval holders,
experimental aircraft distributors, and a variety of military and
commercial entities. The metal certifications may have been
deliberately altered in order to satisfy customer requirements when
the company knew that the material did not meet the full requirements,
the FAA said. The following changes were found by investigators:
Specification numbers were added, quantities were changed, heat-treat
certifications were altered, chemical analysis requirements were
added, hardness test results were changed, and names of required mills
were changed to match purchase order requirements. More...
TO LAUNCH FROM SPACE CENTER IN FEBRUARY
The Kennedy Space Center in Florida will be the takeoff site for Steve
Fossett's next attempt to set a record for the longest flight of an airplane, NASA announced on Friday. Fossett plans to fly Virgin Atlantic's GlobalFlyer aircraft around the
world and then across the Atlantic a second time, solo, without
stopping or refueling. "Launching from the Kennedy Space Center at
NASA will give both pilot and aircraft the ultimate launch pad for
this ultimate flight," said Sir Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin
Atlantic Airways. "We're excited to be able to partner with NASA on
this attempt, as it is a perfect combination of innovation and
aspiration." The GlobalFlyer is scheduled to arrive at Kennedy for
preflight preparations on Jan. 6. More...
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MAKE FLYING EVENT A SPECTATOR SPORT
When New Zealand's Gliding Grand Prix launches above the Southern
Alps next month, spectators will have a whole new view of the action,
thanks to state-of-the-art real-time 3D animated computer graphics
created by Animation Research Ltd (ARL). The New Zealand company
developed graphics for the America's Cup and also designed simulators
to train air traffic controllers. "In most sports we can look and see
who's winning and losing but in gliding, as in yachting, there's no
sense of the field," said ARL managing director Ian Taylor. "But we
can create that field, even when it covers thousands of square miles."
The box for the glider competition has a radius of over 50 miles and a
height of 20,000 feet, making it tough to follow the competition
TURBOPROP EASA CERTIFIED
The Ae 270 "Spirit" single-engine turboprop, in development in the
Czech Republic for close to 10 years, last week won its EASA
certification. FAA certification is expected to follow shortly ... but
it will likely be another two to three years before the aircraft is
ready for the market. Ibis Aerospace, with partners Aero Vodochody and
AIDC of Taiwan, said it plans to continue work on the aircraft to
further improve its performance characteristics. The 270 is aiming for
a cruise near 270 knots at 30,000 feet with up to 10 aboard for more
than 1300 nm. "This redesign effort will be greatly aided by the
recent certification of the existing aircraft," the company said.
Those changes will focus on changes to the wing and empennage, Wayne
Plucker, who represents Ibis in North America, told AVweb
AEROMEDIX'S NEW MINI LOW-LEVEL MONOXIDE
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PAINS FOR "BABY BRANSON" AIRLINE
Martin Halstead attracted international attention last month when he started up his own airline in
the U.K. at age 19, booking flights between the Isle of Man and
Edinburgh. Dubbed the "Baby Branson" for his youthful
entrepreneurship, Halstead's AlphaOne airline has so far been off to a
rocky start, facing delays and cancellations. Maintenance problems
caused a switch from 18-seat Jetstreams to a lone Navajo Chieftain.
The Navajo was grounded last week after a part was found to be out of
date, and the company's Web site is still not fully functional. Halstead
said last week he still plans to move forward with the venture, expand
routes, and add the Jetstream next year. More...
DEMONSTRATOR FLIES AT MACH 5
A hypersonic scramjet-powered vehicle was launched from the ground at
the Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va., in the pre-dawn
hours of Saturday, Dec. 10. The launch was the first-ever free flight
of a scramjet-powered vehicle using conventional liquid hydrocarbon
jet fuel, Alliant
Techsystems (ATK) said in a news release last week. ATK, the
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval
Research are collaborating on the project. The hypersonic vehicle was
just under 9 feet long and about 11 inches in diameter. It integrated
a scramjet engine into a missile configuration. After separating from
its booster rocket at more than 60,000 feet, the scramjet engine
ignited and propelled the vehicle at approximately 5,300 feet per
second -- or Mach 5.5 -- for about 15 seconds while engineering data
was captured via on-board sensors and tracking radars.
A NEW RELEASE OF THE BEST AVIATION WEATHER SERVICE FOR
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MORE CIRRUS FERRY FLIGHTS
Cirrus Design will no longer have to fly its brand-new airplanes
across the Atlantic to its European customers, under a new arrangement
with Britten-Norman, based on the Isle of Wight in the U.K., Cirrus said last week. "Cirrus planes will still
be assembled in our U.S. facilities, where they receive their
Certificate of Airworthiness," said John Bingham, executive
vice-president of sales and marketing. "Each European-bound plane will
then be partially dismantled and carefully crated." The aircraft will
then be shipped to Britten-Norman for final reassembly and delivery.
Accelerometers are installed in the containers to keep a record if the
shipment is disturbed in any way, the company said. More...
SpaceX plans to launch its Falcon 1 rocket into orbit today...
savings cover new airplane payments for five years, says
NTSB cites thrust-reverser delay in update on 737
Northwest offer to striking mechanics called
New FAA AC has checklists for common Part 23 STC
Australia's safety bureau filed report on May crash of
a Metroliner. More...
NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
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to know about? If it caught your eye, it will interest someone else.
Submit news tips via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part
of our team ... often, the best part. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
CEO of the Cockpit #52: There Is
No Trying To Reason With The Holiday Season
You can be upset
about working on Christmas, or you can be sanquine and reminisce about
the good-old (holi)days of cooking turkey in the galley and layovers
with belly dancers. AVweb's fictional CEO of the Cockpit, looking at
imminent retirement, is surprisingly cheerful.
It's one of those things that every
maintenance-minded operator should know how to do. In fact, it's the
cornerstone of maintenance procedures as diverse as brake relining and
oil-filter changing. But many non-mechanics are fearful of tying
safety wires, because they don't know how or because they think
they're not allowed to do it. AVweb is here to help.
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/
Heard on Philadelphia Approach:
Duke 1234: Philly Approach, we're gonna begin our VFR
descent for the field.
Controller: Duke 1234, say altitude descending to.
Duke 1234: We're descending for the field.
Controller: Roger, Duke 1234, say altitude descending
Duke 1234: Well, the field elevation is 78 feet, so ...
hopefully, we won't be going below that.
Controller: Squak 1200, radar services terminated.
GIFT-GIVING MADE EASY
Visit AVweb's Holiday Shopping
Featuring products and services from
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Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by
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|LOW-COST DIGITAL REPLACEMENT
Narco Avionics proudly announces the
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|SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH
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|PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED
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|FLYING THE LEGENDARY DC-3,|
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|HIGH-ADVENTURE FLYING IN UTAH'S RED ROCK
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|FLY OFF TO GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE FOR THE HOLIDAYS THIS
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The Best of Rod Machado Live
on 14 audio CDs just released! Using his trademark "Laugh & Learn"
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Rod's popular seminar on handling in-flight emergencies, his latest
programs on defensive flying, the art of flying, and the non-pilot's
guide to landing an airplane. If you like to laugh, you'll find three
CDs containing Rod's funniest aviation humor. Laugh and learn while
driving, or take Rod running. Tell Santa that you gotta have
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|AVIATION CONSUMER'S EDITORS REVIEW AUTOPILOTS &
BATTERIES IN JANUARY|
Plus: "New Day at Lycoming" on
the right path; "Software For EFBs" reviewing software for
those electronic flight bags; "Flat-Rate Repairs" good idea
generally, but some companies have fairer rates than others; and the
"Used Aircraft Guide" highlights the Cessna 150/152. To order your
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