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THOUSANDS OF PILOTS, INFORMATION AT RISK
A laptop computer
that contains personal information about 42,792 Florida pilots was
stolen from a government-owned vehicle in the Miami, Fla., area on July
27, the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (OIG) said yesterday.
The laptop was password-protected, but it contains a database that
includes names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth. No
financial or medical information is on the laptop, the OIG said. Pilots
who obtained their airmen certificates after March 2003 are not
affected. Also, although the database was being used by special agents
in connection with an investigation into the use of fraudulent
information to obtain pilot certificates, the list did not name
individuals under investigation but instead was a general list of airman
certificate holders in the state of Florida, the OIG said.
TO DO NOW
While special agents and the Miami-Dade Police
Department work to recover the laptop, pilots who believe their personal
data might be at risk can call OIG's Hotline Complaint Center at
1-800-424-9071 or go to the OIG Web site for more information. The OIG also said
it will establish a reward for information leading to the laptop's
recovery. The OIG added it has no reason to believe that the laptop was
targeted because of its contents. "We are making every effort to recover
the stolen laptop and resecure the data it contains," said Acting
Inspector General Todd J. Zinser. "We seriously regret this matter and
take our responsibilities seriously. We have taken action and will
continue to take steps necessary to prevent this from happening again."
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HONDA AIRCRAFT COMPANY
Honda Motor Co. made clear last month
at AirVenture that aviation is in its future, and this week the giant
corporation officially introduced a new subsidiary in the U.S.,
called the Honda Aircraft Company. The new company will be responsible
for the further development, sales promotion and production of the
HondaJet. It will be based at the Piedmont Triad International Airport
in Greensboro, N.C., where the prototype was built more than three years
ago. Michimasa Fujino, the chief engineer who led development of
HondaJet, was named president and CEO. Honda will begin taking orders
for the jet this fall, with the goal of delivering the first customer
copy in 2010. More...
ENTERS A CROWDED MARKET
The HondaJet will be late getting
into the VLJ market, with both Eclipse and Cessna expected to start
deliveries in the next few months. It's likely that by 2010 it will be
clear if the demand will materialize for the thousands of VLJs that some
envision, or if the market niche will prove much smaller. Much depends
on the success of the air-taxi industry, which accounts for about
two-thirds of the VLJs now on the order books. However, Honda's move may
be more about image than sales. "They might just want to dabble in it
just to show what they can do from a technology standpoint," Richard
Aboulafia, an aircraft analyst with the Teal Group, told the Greensboro (N.C.) News-Record. More...
MAYBE THERE'S ROOM?
A couple of small operators already
flying may provide some insight into how the market will develop for
future VLJs. Eos
Airlines began in 2003 to offer one "premium" flight every day
between New York and London, and this week the company said it will add
a second flight each day, starting next month. Eos flies a Boeing 757
fitted out with only 48 seats to serve the needs "of the international
business executive looking for the ultimate in space, comfort, service
and convenience," the company says. Some may say that sounds like the
kind of customer the VLJ makers may be looking for. Eos staffers greet
all passengers at the airport curb to help with luggage, check-in, and
security clearance, allowing them to arrive just 45 minutes prior to
departure. Another niche operator, Linear Air, based near Boston, Mass., and flying
smaller aircraft, also has been growing. More...
PowerLink FADEC Certified on Liberty
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CONTROLLERS CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER
Eight employees of the
Swiss Skyguide air navigation service were charged with manslaughter on
Monday in connection with the July 2002 midair collision of a Russian
Tu-154 airliner and a DHL 757 over Germany that killed 71 people,
including 45 Russian schoolchildren. The Russian crew obeyed a
controller's advice to descend although the collision avoidance system
said to climb. There was only one controller on duty at the time, and he
was killed two years ago by a Russian man whose wife and children died
in the crash. All the workers charged this week denied any
responsibility for the incident. More...
KILLED IN MIDAIR OVER CANADA
Like a recent event near San Diego, the sky was bright
and clear on Friday afternoon, when a Cessna 182 and a 172 collided
above the Canadian countryside. All three men on board were killed.
Instructor Ryan Sumere, 28, and Vinoo Abraham, 26, a private pilot, both
of Mississauga, had taken off from Brampton Flying Club in the 172 and
collided with 57-year-old David Morton, who launched from Burlington.
Everette Ruggles was just sitting down for an afternoon coffee at his
kitchen table when the accident happened. "It landed 60 to 70 feet away
from my kitchen window . . . it really freaked me out," he told the Canadian Press. More...
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FURY, ALIVE IN NEW MEXICO
Aviation, based in Vero Beach, Fla., will soon start building a
100,000-square-foot production plant at the Belen airport in central New
Mexico, the Albuquerque Journal reported last week. The company,
which for years has been in the aviation business as LoPresti Speed
Merchants, plans to start production on the LoPresti Fury, a sporty
two-seat airplane that cruises at about 175 knots. The airplanes are
expected to sell for about $295,000. LoPresti's vice president for
operations, Arjay Siegel, told the Journal that Belen, which is about 30
miles from Albuquerque, rated highest among 75 communities in a national
search. The company needed a site with a long runway that was located
near a major transportation hub and with access to a good labor force.
CRASHES RAISE SAFETY CONCERNS
Several crashes this year of
unmanned aerial vehicles have raised questions about their safety, as
the drone aircraft continue to proliferate. According to a USA Today
story this week, a Customs and Border Protection Predator B drone, which
is 36 feet long with a max weight of 10,000 pounds, crashed within
several hundred feet of homes in Arizona on April 25; a prototype of a
2,000-pound tilt-rotor crashed during tests April 5 in Texas; and a
3-pound drone carrying cameras crashed while being demonstrated for the
media by a Los Angeles County sheriff on June 16, a flight that took
place without FAA permission. Both the Air Line Pilots Association and
AOPA have said safety protocols for UAVs are inadequate.
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MORE FISHERS OF FRESH PILOTS
Monday's AVweb story about the lack of new pilot
starts drew a response from multiple sources, including the folks at Pilot Journey,
who have been busy thinking up multiple ways to help flight schools keep
busy. Latest from the Nashville, Tenn., company is an effort to help
international students locate and apply to U.S. flight schools. Pilot
Journey will facilitate the official paperwork, find English lessons,
and match the student to schools that offer whatever kind of training
they want. The company, established in 2001, also offers a $99 Discovery
Flight at over 800 flight schools, and says it's been signing up about
1,000 people a month. More...
TO EASE RESTRICTIONS ON WARBIRD FLYING
Warbird pilots got
some good news from the FAA during EAA AirVenture last month. "The FAA
has proposed removing the proficiency area requirements currently in
place for warbirds," said EAA Warbirds of America (WOA) Executive Director
Bill Fischer. "It will mean that a civilian pilot who flies a military
or surplus aircraft can fly it anywhere that a civil aircraft can go."
Current FAA regulations restrict most warbird flights to 600 miles or
less from their home bases. WOA has been involved in a "continuing
dialog" with the FAA to try to ease those restrictions for qualified
pilots, Fischer said. More...
Avidyne TAS600 Because Two Antennas Are
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AOPA BLASTS PRIVATIZATION POLICY
The Australian government's
policy to hand over airport control to private operators is bad for the
nation's aviation system, the Australian Aircraft Owners and Pilots
Association (AOPA) said in a news release this week. "AOPA does not believe these
operators have the interests of aviation or the local community at heart
and see the airport simply as land to be developed," the statement says.
"Airports are affected across Australia ... all Australian airports are
potentially at risk; property developers see only dollars, not national
assets." The federal Transport Department failed to properly investigate
the issues involved with privatization, the group says.
HEAR THE STRANGEST THINGS
You dropped what from 6,500
feet? We were able late last week to speak with an individual who makes
this story from AirVenture complete. During an AVweb "Meet the
Editor" session at Oshkosh this year, pilot Ray Walker approached with,
"Man, have I got a story for you!" ... and so it began. Ray was flying
his float-equipped ACA Scout at 6,500 feet (and a blistering 100 mph)
out of Texas for Oshkosh when the unusual struck. Ray's wife was "asleep
in back" when suddenly a window popped open. In the brief mayhem that
followed, Ray successfully convinced his wife (who temporarily lost her
headset) they were not crashing, but also lost his cellphone, forever
... or so he thought. More...
The 2006 New Piper Mirage Offers Serious
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TSA says a Cape Air pilot is not a security threat
after all...NASA, USAF form aeronautics research
partnership...Missile-defense systems for airliners 20 years away,
report says...The ILS at LAX failed Monday under overcast skies,
causing delays...Chalk's Ocean Airways will return to the air
Introducing New AeroShell® Oil W 80
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Online Now: Listen to, or take AVweb's
no-iPod-required audio news with you. We post fresh audio news issues
each Monday and Friday.
Find exclusive interviews featuring Cessna's
Jack Pelton on his company's LSA, TCM president Bryan Lewis, NATCA
president John Carr, New Piper CEO Jim Bass, Hal Shevers for Sporty's
Pilot Shop, Light Sport guru Dan Johnson, Excel Jet's Bob Bornhofen,
Adam Aircraft's Joe Walker, FAA administrator Marion Blakey, Cirrus
Design's Alan Klapmeier and more. AVweb's Podcast index, is online, now. You'll hear
things you won't find anywhere else. More...
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/
Do You Know Who Aviation Insurance Brokers
The fact is that many private pilots don't understand that brokers do
not represent Avemco
. Yet many brokers 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.
now at (888) 241-7891
for fast, accurate
answers about aviation insurance or for an immediate quote. You may be
surprised at what you learn. Online too
OF THE WEEK: LAKELAND AVIATION INC., ARDMORE, OK
Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions|
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon
goes to Lakeland Aviation
Inc., at KADM, Ardmore, OK.
Offering up Lakeland, Dean
Roberts told us, "New facility with excellent food, clean environment,
constantly growing airport."
those nominations coming.
here to nominate your favorite FBO and here for complete contest rules
is actively seeking out the best FBO's in the country and another one,
submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
Cessna Single & Twin Owners: Learn to Save
Thousands on Maintenance
Aircraft maintenance expert Mike Busch
will be offering his
acclaimed weekend Savvy Owner Seminar
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 here
Separate Fact from Advertising Hype with
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OF THE WEEK
This week's "POTW"
competition was fierce! We're tempted to say it wasn't pretty, but
well, the photos are kinda pretty. Especially the one from Jeffrey Austin Randall of Clyde, Texas, who
takes our top spot this week. As our weekly winner, Jeffrey will receive
an official AVweb baseball hat and the undying adoration of tens of
thousands of AVweb readers. (Don't get too excited, Jeffrey we'll
stand behind the hat, but we can't promise the adoration.)
just under a hundred photos in this week's competition, we expected it
to be a little easier to pick a winner but a full 30 shots made
it into our "final ten" round, and whittling the contenders down to just
eight photos took some work. Remember: If you'd like to see your photos
here (and maybe even in the top spot), you have to submit your own
AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU
ASO Is Giving Away a Week of
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If You Think "Bargains" Are
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Spending hard-earned money on your aircraft and its avionics can be
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anywhere else, check out Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295 or online. You'll be glad you did!
AVweb Flight Explorer Personal
Edition 5.0 Online Now!
New features include: FAA airport delays; enhanced terrain/elevation map
depictions and updated Airways; NAVAIDs; Fixes; Special Use Airspace;
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AVweb Flight Explorer 5.0 upgrade, check out the FAQ page.
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If You Fly the Gauges, You Won't Want to
Miss the September Issue of IFR Refresher
Topics include: "Somewhere Out There" visual approaches
save time and money, unless the door closes; "Attitude
Adjustment" a self-assessment for when the pressure is on;
"Almost Home" did lights from a nearby parking lot and
store help bring down this Baron?; "Through the Rocks"
Idaho's backcountry, pack a GPS and turbocharger; "Keeping
Current" legal currency is easy, practical currency requires
extra work and a good plan; and for the Quiz, "Holding
Patterns" a skill all IFR pilots must be able to master. Order IFR Refresher online for extra
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 publication.)
Comments or questions about the news should be sent
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marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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