Number 52a — December 26, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
TO ISSUE SB ON BRAKE OVERHEATING, FIRES
Cirrus Design plans to issue a Service Bulletin on all its aircraft in
response to a spate of brake fires (the most recent of which occurred
Dec. 9) that have caused serious damage to at least five aircraft. The
SB will call for the installation of color-changing temperature
sensors on the brake components so that pilots can tell -- during the
preflight -- if the brakes have been previously overheated. Cirrus
spokesman Ian Bentley said overheating can cause failure of an O-ring.
Failure of the O-ring allows flammable brake fluid to leak onto
potentially hot parts. If they're hot enough, the brake fluid ignites
and causes a stubborn fire that can really make a mess of a low-wing
plastic airplane. More...
BRAKE USE TO BLAME, SAYS CIRRUS
Bentley said Cirrus has studied the incidents extensively and
determined there are no design or equipment faults at work, and for
Cirrus this leaves only "operator error" as the cause. Unlike many
aircraft pilots may be transitioning from, Cirruses have a free
castering nosewheel and are steered only with differential braking,
plus some positive or negative contribution from the rudder (dependant
on relative wind). Bentley said some pilots may have a tendency to
overuse the brakes to compensate for excessive power settings or may
simply be riding the brakes. Last June, the company e-mailed all its
customers (click here for a pdf
version) with an owner service advisory that warned them not to
overtax the brakes, which Cirrus also says are more than adequate for
an airplane with the performance and weight of a Cirrus.
LOOKS AT PREVENTION FIRST
Bentley said Cirrus is doing everything it can to prevent
brake-related fires. "We do take these things very seriously," he
said. In most cases, he said, the fires have occurred on club or
rental aircraft that see a lot of different pilots (the most recent
incident was an exception). Cirrus believes the heat sensors will be
most beneficial in those cases because they'll give pilots an
indication of whether the brakes have been abused by those before
them. And, although Cirrus says the factory-installed brakes are a
common installation on aircraft of similar size and exceed design
standards, the company will be offering -- as retrofit kits only --
higher-capacity brakes. More...
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PARACHUTES RILE PEOPLE WITH GUNS
The manager of a small airport near St. Louis says he just wants to
"try to open up the lines of communication" between local hunters and
pilots since a recent confrontation between the two. Tracy Smith,
manager of St. Charles County Smartt Airport, said he'll look
into allegations that an unidentified man pointed a rifle or shotgun
at one of two powered parachutes setting up to land at the field
earlier this month. Although he hasn't heard about the alleged
incident, Smith said he is aware of some discontent by hunters who
claim low-flying aircraft are scaring away (but have not yet become)
their quarry. More...
MADE, SAY PILOTS
The pilots in question (we know who they are but have decided not to
identify them) claim they were on final approach to the south of the
airport, over private property next to a conservation area, when a man
standing on a levee pointed a gun at the lead aircraft. "As I was
flying over this field at low altitude I noticed a guy standing on a
levee about 150 yards in front of me pointing a shotgun or rifle right
at me," the pilot of the lead aircraft wrote in an e-mail forwarded to
AVweb. The pilot hit the power and turned out of potential
harm's way with his flying buddy watching in amazement from about
1,000 feet back. According to the pilot, the confrontation wasn't
over, however. The pilots said the man with the gun then met them at
the airport and threatened to shoot them if they flew over his
property again. More...
OPERATE LEGALLY, SAFELY, SAYS MANAGER
Smith said he's spoken with the parachute pilots about the hunters'
concerns and is convinced they are doing everything possible to avoid
trouble. He said he's worked closely with them to design safe
operating procedures that keep them from conflict with regular
aircraft and to his knowledge they've been completely cooperative. The
pilots have not chosen to take a literal stance on the procedures and
regs and used them as justification for harassing the neighbors, "But
they have to come in and land," he said. Since the gun-pointing
incident, at least one of the pilots said he's started climbing
steeply on takeoff and is avoiding all areas that might cause trouble.
When he returns, he said he drops directly into the airport from
GAINS ON ECLIPSE
While development of Cessna's Mustang entry-level jet appears to be
slightly ahead of schedule, Eclipse Aviation has announced another
delay in getting its revolution-starting very light jet (VLJ) to
market. The FAA granted Cessna Type Inspection Authority last week,
several weeks earlier than scheduled. TIA signifies the time when the
flight hours accumulated on the test aircraft start counting toward
certification. Cessna is now saying first deliveries will be late in
2006. Eclipse has been going through active certification for some
time but it's a supplier's certification problems that are forcing a
delay, according to Eclipse. The new best guess for first deliveries
of the Eclipse 500 is now sometime in the second quarter of 2006
(instead of in the first quarter, as previously planned).
REPORT RAPS USER FEES
A report commissioned by the National Air Traffic Controllers
Association says a user-fee-based system of revenue generation for the
FAA could actually hurt the airlines that are campaigning for it. The
report, written by Darryl Jenkins, a visiting professor at
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, says that the FAA could actually
miss revenue that the current taxation system captures if it goes to a
user-fee system. Airline ticket prices are on the rise because of
increasing fuel prices and taxes currently assessed on the tickets are
rising accordingly. He said all indications are that revenue raised
from tickets and fuel taxes will increase in coming years, rather than
decrease as the FAA seems to believe. More...
ZULUWORKS IS NEW AND
Zuluworks has not only treated themselves to a
little digital makeover, but have re-tooled their product line as
well. The new Gazelle is the ultimate flight bag with 3,200
cubic inches of versatility and style. Zuluworks has also added
the super-popular Mini-Z kneeboard at 50% smaller than the
original Zuluboard, but still packing the same punch. And the
original Zuluboard has never looked so good, with new styling
and sixteen new color choices. Click on the web site and take a look
GROUNDS FLEET, PAYS VICTIMS FAMILIES
Chalk's Ocean Airways has grounded its remaining Grumman Mallards
after it was revealed that undetected fatigue and stress cracks
existed in the wing spar of one of its airplanes prior to the crash a
week ago. All 20 people aboard died when the turboprob-powered amphib
went down near Miami after the right wing separated shortly after
takeoff. Although fatigue cracks were found, NTSB Acting-Chairman Mark
Rosenker said not all the cracks in the spar were caused by age. He
also said they would have been hard to spot without a dye penetration
test and that he presently believes Chalk's didn't know about the
SHOW PILOTS TO MEET WITH FANS
EAA AirVenture will offer air show fans the chance to meet and greet
their favorite pilots during the 2006 version of the big event. In a
news release, EAA President Tom Poberezny said that at various times
during the show, which runs July 24 to July 30 at Wittman Regional
Airport in Oshkosh, pilots will be set up in booths on AeroSell
Square, in the heart of the exhibit area. "EAA AirVenture attendees
have often asked us for ways to meet their favorite air show pilots in
person," Poberezny said. "EAA will host these popular air show pilots
and their airplanes, as well as other aviation personalities, at
AeroShell Square, which is the true crossroads of the event."
LAUNCHED IN MIDWAY CRASH
A Chicago law firm that specializes in aviation-related suits has
announced it's launching an action against both Southwest Airlines and
the city of Chicago over an accident earlier this month at Midway
Airport (which is owned by the city). The Nolan Group is representing
Bonnie James, a passenger on the Boeing 737-700, which skidded off a
runway and onto a road while landing in a snowstorm. Attorney Donald
J. Nolan said the flight should have been diverted and he also pointed
out the absence of a runway overrun arresting system at Midway. "What
makes this accident even worse is that runway overruns such as this
are preventable with technology already in place at similar urban
airports," Nolan said in a statement. More...
HITS TRUCK, TRUCK'S INSURANCE PAYS
The legal definition of a four-letter word (and not any of those you
might be thinking) determined a Michigan truck owner's insurance must
pay to replace an airplane that hit the truck while the pilot was
trying to land it on a grass strip near Cedar Springs in 2003. According to the Insurance JournalKevin Gould was
legally driving the truck, owned by Dean Wall, on a road when the
two-place Cessna "bounced "off the truck and flipped over. No one was
injured in the accident and the owner of the airplane filed a claim
against Wall's insurance company. So far, the $18,000 claim has been
upheld by two Michigan courts. The crux of the case has been the
definition of the word upon. More...
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AOPA is running five different television ads...
personal jets) announced new members to its board...
The FAA has
awarded type certification to the King Air C90GT...
opening a sales center in China. More...
NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
Don't be shy. If it caught your ear, it will probably interest
someone else. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want
to know about, let us know. Submit news tips via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part
of our team ... often, the best part. More...
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Pilot's Lounge #95: Amazing! There Are TFRs That Make
Turns out there is a procedure in place to allow general
aviation aircraft to provide relief in disaster areas, and the folks
who created and manage the procedure know what they are doing. AVweb's
Rick Durden is already helping plan for the next disasters with this
month's column from The Pilot's Lounge.
"BRAND-NEW" OR BUZZ WORDS? NO OTHER WORDS COMPARE
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FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES
AVmail: December 26, 2005
Reader mail this
week about what you want in your airplane, in your record books, in
your restricted airspace and more. More...
ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME YOU CHOOSE SOMETHING
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ATTENTION, BARON AND CESSNA 310 OWNERS NEWS FROM
A new STC has been approved to McCauley
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A slow day at the FSS?
I'm a student at Daniel Webster College, and one particularly nasty
winter morning last year I was calling the briefer before my 7AM
Me: Good morning this is N---DW, I'd like a standard VFR
brief for the Nashua area and ...
Briefer (cutting me off): You're not going anywhere this
morning except back to bed.
... Still want your briefing? More...
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|QUESTION: REPAIR, REPLACE, OR EXCHANGE?|
LIGHT PLANE MAINTENANCE
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