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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News
Coverage At AVweb's
TO ALLOW MILITARY UAVS IN CIVILIAN AIRSPACE
The FAA and the
Air Force have reached a preliminary agreement on procedures that would
allow unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to be deployed in civilian
airspace during emergencies, InsideDefense.com reported last week. "If a national
disaster is declared, we will be able to use unmanned aerial systems
such as Predator and Global Hawk over a disaster area," said Maj. Gen.
Scott Mayes. The UAVs would likely be used to provide real-time images
and data to first responders and relief efforts. The FAA has softened
its stand that UAVs must have "see and avoid" capability before
being allowed to share the civilian airspace, according to Inside
EUROPE AND CANADA, PLANS ARE UNDERWAY
Last week in Paris, a
conference on UAVs worked to hash out plans for integrating the vehicles
into civilian airspace by 2008. Four demonstration projects are
currently being planned, focusing on affordability, propulsion,
logistics and an integrated system demonstration, Flight International reported Tuesday. Meanwhile,
Canada's Department of National Defence is working to award a contract
by the middle of next year for five systems of between six and 10 UAVs
each to be in service by 2008. The systems would comprise four offshore
operations: one each located on Canada's Atlantic and Pacific coasts,
one in the north and one for training purposes, Flight International reported. More...
L.A., THEY'RE ALREADY HERE
The Los Angeles area has some of
the busiest airspace in the world, so when reports began to surface that
the Sheriff's Department was evaluating a four-pound UAV to use for
surveillance, pilots quickly raised an alarm. Staff at AOPA rang the FAA, and the FAA quickly made it clear
to the sheriff that as a public operator, a certificate of authorization
and an experimental airworthiness certificate would be required to fly a
UAV, regardless of size, in the National Airspace System. Those are the
same rules that apply to the larger UAVs being flown by the military and
Department of Homeland Security. But the case is not closed.
The SJ30-2 Is
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SAFETY MARGIN REQUIRED FOR SNOWY CONDITIONS
Winter is still a
long way off, but jet operators need to think about it now, in light of
a new policy published by the FAA last week. The
policy mandates that jet operators -- whether operating under Part 91,
123, 125 or 135 -- must have a plan by Sept. 1 to ensure that a
full-stop landing -- with at least a 15-percent safety margin beyond the
actual landing distance -- can be made on the runway to be used, in the
conditions existing at the time of arrival. The policy means that if
conditions deteriorate while en route, the crew or dispatcher must
refigure the landing minimums, and divert if the conditions can't be
met. The policy results from the overrun of a Southwest 737 at Midway
last winter, in which a 6-year-old boy was killed when the jet ran off
the runway onto a road and hit a car. More...
ON BUSINESS JETS: NBAA OPPOSES FAA ACTION
Both the National
Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the National Air Transportation
Association (NATA) have already expressed opposition to the FAA's rule
and its method of announcing it. NATA President James Coyne called it
"an abusive interpretation of the regulations," and called on the FAA to
use the standard rulemaking procedures and solicit comment from
industry. NBAA agreed, and also found fault with the nature of the
change. "The proposal suggests that only one factor -- runway landing
distance -- matters in aircraft landings," spokesman Dan Hubbard told
AVweb on Tuesday. "In fact, a whole host of factors are involved,
including pilot judgment, aircraft weight and other aspects of landing."
BUST FOR MIDWAY, A BOON FOR VLJS?
Worries already are
spreading that older airports in the wintry parts of the country could
be hard hit by the changes, though airport operators so far are denying
it. More flights could be cancelled or be forced to divert. One side
effect of the policy, if it does prove problematic, is that it could
make smaller jets more attractive to business flyers. If CEOs are having
to divert in their big Gulfstreams and Citations, will they take another
look at nimble little Adam, Cessna and Eclipse jets? Aviation expert Joe
Schwieterman of DePaul University told CBS2 in Chicago that the new procedures will require
tough choices to be made quickly under stressful conditions.
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KILLER" TO BE UNVEILED IN NOVEMBER?
One of the U.S.'s leading
aviation gear dealers says he's been told the long-awaited
next-generation Cessna single will be unveiled at AOPA Expo in Palm
Springs next November. Hal Shevers, of Sporty's Pilot Shop, told AVweb that Cessna "announced" the
unveiling recently but it's not clear to whom that announcement was
made. Messages left with the Cessna communications department were not
immediately returned. Shevers made the comment as part of a wide-ranging
in-depth podcast interview that you can hear in its entirety on Friday.
Shevers, who's never one to pull punches on aviation topics, has plenty
to say about the TSA, the FAA, user fees and the fizzle he thinks the
very light jet market will be. More...
AND NATCA, FAR FROM THE LAST WORD
We had asked the FAA to
comment for our Monday issue on the latest remarks from NATCA President John
Carr ("we will fight") regarding the failure of Congress to act on the
FAA-controller contract, but when we heard back from spokesman Geoffrey
Basye it was after deadline. He told us, "From Day One the FAA has
adhered to the legal framework guiding the negotiations process; a
framework already established by Congress in 1996. That process has
wrapped up and effective Monday, June 5, in accordance with law, the FAA
announced that it would move promptly to implement the new contract,
which raises current average compensation and benefits for controllers
from $165,900 to $187,000. So to close on this point, the FAA did not
'snub' Congress, it followed, in a good-faith manner, the established
law set by Congress in 1996," Basye said. More...
Zuluworks Adds Three New Bags to Its
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VS. GA -- WIN ONE, LOSE ONE
While one church in Arkansas is
glad to see a neighboring airfield shut down, a congregation in South
Dakota goes out its way to invite airplanes in to visit. In Benton,
Ark., the congregation at Holland Chapel reluctantly took down its
steeple some 20 years ago to accommodate the traffic pattern at the GA
airport next door. Last week, the Chapel bought the airfield, putting in a bid for $850,000,
and now plans to replace the steeple. A bigger airport is being built
nearby. Meanwhile, Dave Klawiter, pastor of a separate (Lutheran) church
in Springdale, S.D., closed a road on Sunday to let an assortment of
small airplanes and a helicopter land and entertain the flock.
FINDING REASSESSED -- CASE TO REOPEN, DECADES AFTER...
Piedmont Airlines 727 and a Cessna 310 collided over North Carolina in
July 1967, all 82 people on both aircraft died in the crash, and the
pilot of the Cessna was blamed. But Paul Houle, a truck fleet manager
whose hobby is historical research, looked into the facts and came to a
different conclusion. Now, the NTSB has agreed to take another look at
the midair. It's unusual for someone who has no relation to a case to
have their petition heard by the safety board, especially after so much
time has elapsed. Houle claims it was the 727 crew (which may have been
dealing with a fire in an ashtray) and air traffic controllers who made
mistakes, not the Cessna pilot (who radioed a heading and apparently
held it). Houle also questions the impartiality of the safety board at
the time, finding some potential conflicts of interest not immediately
defensible to the casual observer. More...
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COMMUTING NIGHTMARE -- A NICHE FOR VLJS?
flight crews in the U.S., commuting to work can be a job in itself. With
airlines cutting back on flights and more jets flying at capacity,
professional pilots and crew who need a ride to work are finding it
tough. "Sometimes it takes me two days," Jason Miller, an Airbus 320
captain for JetBlue Airways, told The New York Times. Miller lives in Wichita but is
based out of New York. Some crew members spend frequent nights away from
home sleeping in the airport and eating in the food court. Commuting is
not always by choice -- some workers were transferred after nearby
operations closed, or have moved to less expensive areas to save for
retirement, not trusting their pension plans. But the droves of very
light jets headed for the market could be just what they need.
CREWS AT THEIR BEST ... AND WORST
The pilots of a South
Korean Airbus 321 who managed to land safely last Friday after the jet
was badly damaged by two-inch hailstones were honored with commendations for saving the lives of
their 200 passengers, including 177 children on a school tour. The
nosecone containing the jet's radar was blown off, the autopilot
malfunctioned, and the cockpit windscreen became opaque with cracks and
impact marks. Although the safety glass remained intact, the pilots were
unable to see forward during the landing. The airspeed indicator also
was damaged, so the Asiana Airlines crew got airspeed readouts from
radar controllers. Meanwhile, over Europe, the crew of a Boeing 777 that
flew silently through Eastern European airspace has been accused of napping in the cockpit. More...
Do You Know Who Aviation Insurance Brokers
The fact is that many private pilots don't
understand that brokers do not represent Avemco
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say they represent the entire aviation insurance market. Avemco wants to
make sure that the aviation insurance consumer understands that they
have a real choice. Call Avemco
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BUILD A PLANE JOIN FORCES FOR STUDENTS
Are you one of the
thousands of pilots who owns an unfinished kit project, or an old
airplane growing rusty at a tie-down? The FAA has partnered with Build A Plane to
help match those assets with high-school students to help them learn
about aviation maintenance, math, science and engineering. The owners
get a tax deduction, the students and their teachers get a great
resource. "This program has the potential to help build the next
generation of world-class American aerospace workers," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. The two
organizations will work together to promote teacher workshops, career
expositions and conferences, and develop a computer-based aircraft
construction and flight-testing program for students. More...
Staggerwing Museum started the next phase of
NTSB is investigating an uncontained engine
failure on a 767 at LAX...
Van Nuys Airport in Calif. hosted its last
air show over the weekend...
Two helicopter ditchings in New York had
Airport managers cope with infectious
disease scenarios. More...
Friday: Hal Shevers, of Sporty's Pilot Shop is not one to pull
punches on aviation topics, and has plenty to say about the TSA, the
FAA, user fees and the fizzle he thinks is coming for the very light jet
market. But it's the comment he added on Cessna's "Cirrus Killer" that
got us buzzing. Check AVweb.com tomorrow for the podcast link at the top
of the page. More...
The 2006 New Piper Mirage Offers Serious
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
It's time to leave your Citation, Cirrus or
Citabria and forget everything you thought you knew about flight,
because you're going aloft, again, for your first solo. Let's begin with
the mandatory pre-solo quiz as per FAR 61.87.
It's Not What You Know But Who
You Know That Can Save You Money!
Avionics -- next to
your airframe and engine(s), avionics are the most expensive items you
will purchase for your aircraft. Don't spend more than you need to!
Before you buy anywhere else, call Bennett Avionics
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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
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Isn't It About Time You Chose Something
Pilot-inspired, German-engineered, and
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Cessna Single & Twin Owners: Learn to
Save Thousands on Maintenance
Aircraft maintenance expert
will be offering his acclaimed weekend Savvy Owner
in cities throughout the U.S., including a location within
easy flying distance of you. In one information-packed weekend, Mike
will teach you how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft while saving
literally thousands of dollars on maintenance costs, year after year.
For seminar cities, details, and to reserve your space, click
OF THE WEEK
This week, AVweb wants to know what you think of
Cessna's "Cirrus Killer." If it's for real and offers similar bang for
the buck when compared with Cirrus (or Columbia or Turbo-Mooney
aircraft), what's your reaction?
PLUS: Results of last week's
question on the most exciting G.A. stories of the year.
"Test Drive" a B-737/800 at Continental's
IAH Pilot Training Center
The Airline Training
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familiarization course designed for any U.S. pilot interested in airline
careers or flight. Presented by ATOP Inc., the course features 10 hours
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Fully TSA compliant! Check it
OF THE WEEK
As summer approaches, the
number of submissions to our "Picture of the Week" contest is climbing.
We received nearly 150 different photos this week which made it
tougher than usual to pick a winner, but somehow we managed. After
several rounds of second-guessing and moving photos around on our "POTW"
drive, we finally decided to award this week's top honor to California's
Larry Newman. Larry's contribution is
yet another entry in the growing category of "Skycrane Pictures"
possibly our favorite yet in this category. Like all first-place
winners, Larry will receive a top-quality baseball cap adorned with the
AVweb logo. For your chance to win one of these caps and the
opportunity to share your photo with tens of thousands of aviation
enthusiasts worldwide submit your own
photos here. Each week, we'll choose a first-place winner and run as
many runner-up photos as we can possibly squeeze in! More...
AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED
SUPPORT OF OUR SPONSORS,
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT
NO COST TO YOU
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FAA-Approved Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC)
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Stop Wondering -- Or
Worrying -- Where Your Friends and Family Are!
Do you have
friends or family flying in tonight? A business colleague coming in for
a meeting? Will your partner get back before you need the airplane? Find
out where in the air they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight
Explorer. AVweb subscribers can sign up for Flight Explorer at the
special price of $9.95 a month. Sign up.
IFR Refresher Now & Save!
You worked hard for
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After Reading IFR: A Structured Approach:
chapter alone is worth getting the book. It's the best instrument flying
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July's IFR Magazine
Forecasts "Tomorrow's NEXRAD" and More ...
Clearance" -- ask when planning; "Don't Bother with Rate" --
re-evaluating use of your turn coordinator; "Dinosaur in the Sun" -- new
perspective on flying with automation; "Unprepared to Deviate" -- are
you prepared? PLUS: Some serious
ADS-B, killer quiz masters say it's time to get our heads into the
clouds, IFR editors attempt to fly the unflyable approach,
and hear what southern California pilots do for fun late at night. Subscribe to IFR Magazine now.
AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles,
products, features, and events featured on AVweb,
the internet's aviation magazine and news service.
Today's issue was written by news writer Mary Grady (bio).
here to send a
letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your
letter is not intended for
Comments or questions about the news should be sent
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marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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Freedom, independence, responsibility.