Number 51b — December 22, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
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SOCAL IS WORKING TO BAN DIVERSITY
EAA says it's making progress in reversing or modifying restrictions
on experimental aircraft imposed on four busy California airports by
the Van Nuys Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).
In April of 2004, then-FSDO Manager Robyn Miller issued a memo
that effectively barred some experimental aircraft from regular
operations at Van Nuys (yes, of One Six Right fame), Whiteman, Burbank and Santa
Barbara airports. Most experimentals are homebuilts but many warbirds
are operated in the experimental category, also. The memo says that
"phase II and 'normal' operations [by experimentals] will not be
allowed" at the four airports although "exceptions may be made based
upon current office policy, certification category, aircraft type and
operator experience." More...
DISCRIMINATORY, SAYS EAA
EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski said the organization has been aware of
the memo since it was issued last year and has worked behind the
scenes to help individual pilots at the affected airports. However,
Knapinski said the memo is fundamentally flawed in that it can only
apply to aircraft that the local authorities are familiar with. "The
way it stands now, there's nothing to stop someone from flying an
experimental aircraft in from somewhere else, overnighting and taking
off the next day," said Knapinski. "It creates two different levels of
enforcement." ... And perhaps enforcement by personal interpretation.
In addition to helping pilots at the affected airports, Knapinski said
EAA has been lobbying FAA officials on the matter. More...
Van Nuys FSDO Manager Richard Swanson said his office is merely
spelling out a policy that has been directed by the FAA administrator.
Swanson said all offices were asked to review their policies with
respect to the operating limitations that come with flying an
experimental aircraft. He said the limitations vary depending on
aircraft type and use, but, in general, experimental aircraft are not
supposed to fly over congested areas and the four California airports
are all in heavily populated areas with busy airspace. But he noted
that doesn't necessarily mean that all experimentals are banned from
using the airports because many homebuilts have an exception in their
operating limitations that allows them to fly over developed areas and
in congested airspace for landing and takeoff. "Each pilot has to be
aware of the operating limitations of the aircraft," he said.
PILOT'S CERTIFICATE IN A WEEK
As with any new category of anything, the "firsts" keep piling up for
Sport Pilot and Light Sport Aircraft. However, a 26-year-old magazine
editor has set a record that may well stand for a while. A couple of
weeks ago, Davin Coburn, a science editor for Popular Mechanics,
climbed into the left seat of an LSA for the first time ever at
Mid-Atlantic Sports Planes in Bayse, Va. One week and 22 hours of
flight time later, he passed his Sport Pilot ride. "This was a working
vacation," Coburn wrote in his daily blog. "It's one I'll remember for the rest
of my life, but at no time did it involve lounge chairs or drinks that
come with umbrellas." More...
STUDENT WITH A MISSION
Since Coburn's goal was to complete his training in a week, he did as
much advance preparation as he could, including passing the written
before he even stepped in the airplane. His instructor, Nathan Mayers,
said it would have been more comfortable for all concerned for Coburn
to have taken two weeks to complete the course but noted that Coburn
was an exceptional student. "He was intensely focused, highly
motivated and a quick study," Mayers said. "Life would be easier with
two weeks instead of one, but Davin proved that it can be done." But,
as any freshly minted pilot knows (or should know), getting the
certificate is a beginning, not an end, to learning.
IT MEANS FOR SPORT PILOT
Although there's an undeniable thread of showmanship to Coburn's feat,
those involved in the fledgling Sport Pilot and LSA industries say
there's an important lesson to be learned from the effort. "The
national average for a Private Pilot's license [sic] is 72 hours and a
lot of people are taking nearly a year to accumulate that much time,"
said Sportsplanes.com CEO Josh Foss. "Now someone can enjoy the
freedom to fly in a week." (Which is a lot easier to fit into a
vacation.) Foss said the quick training makes getting a Sport Pilot
certificate affordable for just about anyone and that bodes well for
aviation in general. "I have little doubt that people like Davin will
continue to log hours and eventually upgrade to Private Pilot status
and perhaps IFR," Foss said. More...
AIRCRAFT SPRUCE CARRIES ColorEyes
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FOUND IN CRASHED MALLARD'S SPAR
Investigators have found a major fatigue crack in the spar of the wing
that separated from a Chalk's Ocean Airways turboprop Mallard on
takeoff from Miami on Monday. The wing was recovered Tuesday and
fatigue was quickly apparent. "We've seen fatigue. We don't know why
that fatigue appeared. That is what we're trying to determine," Mark
Rosenker, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board,
told reporters Wednesday morning. "This crack appears to extend
through a majority of the spar at the location of the separation." A
total of 19 passengers, most of them from the Bahamas, and the pilot
WRECKED BY TRUCK
An accident involving a collision that destroys all or part of two
aircraft would normally make headlines across the country but this
unfortunate mishap slipped below the media radar, perhaps because it
was a pickup truck that did the damage. Thanks to an AVweb
reader, however, we're able to tell you the sad tale of an accident at
Compton Airport in California that destroyed the fuselage of a
pristine Beech Staggerwing that was being restored in a hangar. "The
owner now has everything for the airplane except a fuselage," said
hangar owner Jack Kenton. It also wrecked the fuselage of a J-4 Cub
and a single-place experimental Cassutt. More...
STREAMLINES STC PROCESS
Obtaining a simple Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) could become a
relatively painless completion of a checklist supplied by the FAA ...
maybe. The agency has issued an Advisory Circular providing compliance checklists
for common STC projects. "The standard compliance checklists show
typical methods of compliance with the regulations and
cross-references related guidance material," said the notice published
in the Federal Register. The checklists are expected to make the STC
process a little easier. According to the notice, some of the
checklists may contain complete certification requirements while
others will be used as a starting point for more complicated STCs that
are beyond the scope of a checklist. More...
SUGGEST CONFUSION BEFORE MIDAIR
The pilot of a Beaver floatplane that collided with a Cessna 150 near Renton, Wash.,
last August may have been confused by a tower controller's report of
the Cessna's position as the two aircraft neared the Renton airport.
According to an analysis done by the King County Journal, the
tower controller was recorded as telling the Beaver pilot that the
Cessna, which he was to follow for landing, was "ahead of you and to
your right'' when the radar tapes indicate the Cessna was actually to
the Beaver's left and about 400 feet lower. The Beaver descended on
top of the Cessna while setting up for a landing. The Cessna crashed
into an empty school and both occupants died. The Beaver was able to
make a safe emergency landing. More...
"TRADE UP" YOUR LIGHTSPEED HEADSET AND GET COMPLIMENTARY
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IMPLICATED IN AUSSIE CRASH
The Australian Transportation Safety Board says it suspects a
malfunctioning autopilot is to blame for the events leading to an
in-flight breakup of an Aero Commander in Tasmania in February of
2004. The board's report says the plane, flown by a
21-year-old pilot who was ferrying it from Hobart to Davenport,
suddenly lost altitude and, in the subsequent dive, both wings and the
empennage came off. The wings were found more than a kilometer from
the main crash site. The ATSB said it could not conclusively pin the
crash blame on the autopilot but said the evidence points that way.
ESCORT PILOTS NAMED
Combine the innocence of youth, a misprinted phone number and a
quick-thinking air defense officer and what do you get? A 50-year
tradition of Santa being tracked and guided into North American
airspace by folks whose usual duty is to scare away unidentified
aircraft. Yes, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is
again providing regular updates of Santa's progress as he makes
his North American rounds. While the operation is headquartered at
NORAD's underground surveillance center in Colorado Springs, Canadian
military pilots will make first contact with the target, easily
distinguished by the bright red nose at the head of the team of
reindeer pulling the sleigh. CF-18 pilots Capt. William Radiff and
Lt.-Col. Patrice Laroche, of 3 Wing Bagotville, and Capt. Dave Monk
and Maj. Alex Day of 4 Wing Cold Lake, are this years official escort
pilots. The tradition began with a mistake in an ad in a Colorado
Springs newspaper in 1955. More...
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Thielert says demand is strong for its diesel engines...
Onex Corp. hit with age discrimination suit...
A New Jersey man may
have picked the wrong target for his laser pen. More...
NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
What's going on where you are? If it caught your eye, it will
probably interest someone else, too. If you've heard something that
130,000 pilots might want to know about, don't be shy. 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
The Savvy Aviator #26:
Interpreting Your Engine Monitor
The modern probe-per-cylinder
digital engine monitor is a marvelous tool for keeping tabs on your
engine's health and troubleshooting its maladies. Here are some tips
for figuring out what those bars and digits mean.
FAA ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS ARE ON THE
Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased
over 150% all requiring legal counsel. That's why pilots
enroll in the AOPA Legal Services Plan for affordable,
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rules. The AOPA Legal Services Plan provides protection in a
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aviation matters covered by the Plan, annual review of key aviation
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than $30 per year. Enroll in AOPA's Legal Services Plan BEFORE
you need it! Call (800) USA-AOPA (800-872-8672), or go
online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopalegal/avflash.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice monthly Business
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|DOES SANTA NEED A P2 SKY BUDDY? YOU BET HE
Sky Buddy makes a great gift for any aviator.
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
It's Christmas time. What tops your airplane's wish list this year?
PLUS: Results of last week's follow-up question about the American
Airlines shooting. More...
MIKE BUSCH THE SAVVY AVIATOR IS THE
PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT
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|ASO A BETTER WAY TO SELL YOUR AIRCRAFT
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
'Tis the week before Christmas, and AVweb readers must be settling in
for their long winter's nap submissions numbers were down to a
modest 50 entries this week. As longtime readers know, that's not
unusual for the last couple weeks of the year. Even pilots and
photographers have holidays to celebrate, as demonstrated by the large
number of holiday lights, flying Santas, and prop wreaths we saw in
this week's batch of photos. So, in the interest of celebrating the
season, we're running the top five holiday photos this week and
rolling over our non-holiday submissions (all 29 of them) to next
week's contest. This will give us more photos to choose from next
week. In the meantime, kick back with a cup of eggnog and see what
your festive fellow readers have been up to! More...
GIFT-GIVING MADE EASY
Visit AVweb's Holiday Shopping
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|THE SHORT STACK HAS ARRIVED FOR PIPERS & GRUMMANS AT
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|PHOTON MICRO-LIGHT SPECIAL IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY
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|SOME PILOTS SEEM TO HAVE IT TOGETHER, WHILE YOU LACK
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CDs JUST IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY GIVING GOTTA HAVE
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