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DOWN IN LEXINGTON, KY Crash investigators in Lexington,
Kentucky Sunday gathered information from the wreckage and data
recorders of a Comair CRJ that crashed and burned during a pre-sunup
takeoff shortly after 6 a.m. at Lexington's Blue Grass Airport.
Forty-nine of the 50 people onboard died in the wreckage, one -- the
co-pilot -- was pulled free. The airport offers crossing runways: 3,500
by 75-foot Runway 26, and 7,001 by 150-foot Runway 22. The aircraft
damaged an eight-foot fence and scarred earth off the end of Runway 26.
It came to rest less than a mile from the end of that runway.
Bombardier's CRJ-200 (and -100 series -- Delta and Bombardier
information on the crash aircraft Sunday were in conflict) does not have
leading edge slats and takeoff distance under standard conditions at
maximum weight is listed at 5800-feet. When questioned about the
clearance given to the flight, an NTSB spokeswoman said yesterday,
"there were references to Runway 22," and stated that data indicates the
aircraft aligned to 260 (matching the shorter runway) for the takeoff
roll. She declined adding more details (analysis of voice and data
recorders will begin in earnest, today). The one controller scheduled
for duty at Lexington early on Sunday mornings would end his shift at
6:30 a.m, according to the St. Petersburg Times. More...
MISHAP AVERTED According to the Aviation
Safety Network, it was at least the second time an airliner crew had
initiated a takeoff roll on the shorter runway. According to ASN's
report of Sunday's accident, an airliner lined up for takeoff on the
shorter Runway 26 13 years ago but a controller caught the error and
cancelled the clearance. A report of the 1993 incident, reported on the
NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System and quoted by ASN says, "Possible
contributing factors were poor visibility and wx (rain), confusing rwy
intxn and twr's request for an immediate takeoff." More...
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NEW CONTROLLERS OVER NEXT 10 YEARS The FAA says it will
actually have 200 more air traffic controllers on duty two years from
now compared to today's figures as it tackles the "retirement bubble"
created 25 years ago when President Ronald Reagan fired two-thirds of
the agency's controllers. However, a report (3.5 Mb file) on the necessity of hiring
11,800 controllers over the next 10 years also notes that given the
agency's penny-pinching of late "it will be extremely challenging to
sustain the long-term hiring and training to meet the projected
controller staffing requirement." Despite the challenges, the FAA says
it's on track to keep the consoles manned and it's doing so with a
combination of efficiency and ramped-up hiring. "The controller
workforce plan ensures that the FAA will have the right number of
controllers in place at the right time to address the controller
retirement bubble," FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said in a news
release. "We are focusing on all aspects of the process, including
recruitment, hiring, training and staffing requirements."
SAYS TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE The National Air Traffic
Controllers Association says the FAA's math is a little fuzzy (or
selective) and the reality is there are now almost 1,100 fewer
controllers (or 7 percent) on duty today than there were three years
ago. "And that's a problem, because we certainly have not seen a
7-percent decrease in traffic volume," NATCA spokesman Doug Church told
AVweb. "Quite the contrary, in many locations. So you have fewer
controllers working more traffic than ever before. Church said the FAA
also seems to underestimate just how upset the membership was when
working conditions (the FAA's contract) were imposed on them in June.
Church predicts many members will head for the door as soon as their
retirement numbers add up. More...
In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has
Everything That Keeps You Flying
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail),
including no-cost access to Trade-A-Plane's web site,
which is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and
mentioning this AVwebFlash, or subscribe online.
FLAMEOUTS PROMPT WARNING Three dual engine flameouts on
Beechjet 400 bizjets, including one that resulted in a dead-stick
landing, have prompted the NTSB to urge immediate action to resolve the problems that
are causing the failures. "Dual-engine flameout is an unacceptable risk
that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible," NTSB Chairman Mark
Rosenker said in a news release. The flameouts occurred on July 12,
2004, near Sarasota, Fla.; Nov. 28, 2005, near Jacksonville, Fla.; and
on June 14, 2006 near Norfolk, Va. (There was also one in Brazil in
2000.) In two of the U.S. incidents, the pilots were able to restart at
least one engine but the crew of the third Beechjet had to glide to a
landing. All the landings were without injury. More...
ICING TO BLAME? In its news release, the NTSB says an FAA
engine icing specialist notes that thunderstorms blow a lot of ice
crystals into the upper-airway altitudes. Pratt and Whitney did a study
on the phenomenon and discovered that if pilots don't turn on the engine
anti-icing gear when this is going on, ice can build up on the front
inner compressor stator and cause a surge and/or a flameout. The NTSB
wants the FAA to make sure pilots are aware of the potential problem and
what to do to avoid it. More...
Cessna Offers to Cover $15,000 in Fuel
From now until October 31st, Cessna is stepping in to cover the cost of
your fuel! With the purchase of a new Skylane or Turbo Skylane from a
participating dealer, Cessna will provide a $15,000 Multi-Service
fuel card. To find out more about the program, contact your
Cessna Sales Team Authorized Representative or call
1-800-622-7495. Offer expires on October
31, 2006.Complete program details online.
V-8 MAKING COMEBACK? A Texas group in the Midland/Odessa area
is revving up plans to build the Orenda 600, a geared aircraft engine
based on an 8-cylinder big-block Chevy racing engine. Trace Engines
holds all the rights to the engine, which went into production in the
late 1990s in Nova Scotia but was dropped by Orenda Aerospace's parent
company Magellan Aerospace about five years ago. According to the Odessa
American, Trace Engines now expects to spend about $20 million to
set up a manufacturing plant for the engine, which previously achieved
certification but has yet to make much impact on the commercial market.
When originally developed, the engine was touted as a low-cost
replacement for turbine and radial engines in the 600-hp range -- Trace
says that market still exists. More...
STARTS PAPERLESS TRANSITION The FAA has announced it will no
longer mail certain airworthiness-related documents to affected owners
and operators as the first stage of its program to eventually distribute
all of this kind of material electronically. According to Helicopter
Association International, starting last Friday, the agency stopped
mailing corrections to Airworthiness Directives that don't trigger a new
amendment number or AD number. The corrections will continue to be
published in the Federal Register and on the FAA Web site. More...
AviationClassifieds.com Releases New Site
Format and Offers Complimentary Ads AviationClassifieds.com has released a new site format and is
offering complimentary 90-day ads with photos. Ads automatically display
on multiple sites at no cost. The site offers new anti-fraud and
anti-spam protection and has hundreds of fresh, up-to-date aircraft
listings. Ads automatically display at Tailwheel.com, USAviation.com,
BuyAPlane.com, FindAPlane.com, and AircraftNow.com. Go to the site now for more information.
CITATION CERTIFIED Sierra Industries has obtained a supplementary type
certificate (STC) to install modern engines on a classic bizjet. The
company says that by putting Williams FJ44-2A engines on the Cessna
Citation 500 and 501 series, the 30-year-old jets can compete with
modern designs in terms of performance and endurance. It calls the
faster-climbing, faster-cruising, longer-legged creation the Stallion.
"The Stallion offers the exhilarating performance that comes with a
substantial power increase and provides owners with choice when it is
time to overhaul engines," Sierra CEO Mark Huffstutler said in a news
"AIR-PORT" TO CLOSE The iconic airport labelled as the first
to use that particular term will close next month. Development pressure
and what appears to be an almost complete lack of community support has
sealed the fate of Bader Airport in Atlantic City. A local newspaper
reporter was credited as the first to use the term "air-port" in
describing the facility in 1919. The name stuck. Bader has been in
continuous operation since 1910, making it one of the oldest in the U.S.
(College Park in Maryland opened in 1909) and saw its share of firsts,
including being the launch point for the first attempt to cross the
Atlantic by air. Development of Atlantic City International Airport 15
years ago shifted interest and business from Bader (though Bader is
closer to and a few minutes from casinos and beaches) and there are now
only about a dozen aircraft based there. More...
The Best Aviation Weather Service for Cell
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BANS AERIAL COMMUTING Scottsdale, Ariz.'s planning commission
has passed a motion that would ban landing aircraft in residential
areas. Commission spokesman James Heitel said legislation with that
intent has been on the books for 20 years but the motion passed last
week clarifies the old law and makes it "black and white" according to a report in The Arizona Republic. The
new rule fixes a problem that might hardly exist. The Republic states,
"Scottsdale planners say that to date, only a handful of residents have
landed aircraft on their properties," but the community's apparent
failure to deal with another planning issue has prompted the pre-emptive
strike against those who might want to change that condition.
FOUNDER DIED IN CRASH Geoff Peck, whose software creation
evolved into one of the most popular flight planning services on the
Internet, died earlier this month when the Piper Arrow he was flying
crashed in the mountains of Colorado while he was returning to his
California home from EAA AirVenture. Peck, a computer scientist, devised
a program to translate weather information into plain language. That
breakthrough evolved into Enflight. According to the preliminary NTSB report, Peck was making a forced
landing at the 12,000-foot level of the Rocky Mountains near Salida,
Calif., on Aug. 7 when one of the Arrow's wings hit a tree and the plane
skidded to halt in rocky terrain. An unidentified passenger in the plane
was injured. More...
If Exxon Elite Protects Peter's Piper
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NEWS For AVweb subscribers who prefer their news
straight from the horse's mouth, AVweb posts fresh audio news
issues each Monday, plus interviews, Friday. We call them podcasts, but
no iPod is required. Check our audio news index and hear what you've been
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.
Nonin FlightStat Pulse Oximeter At
The Nonin FlightStat is the world's smallest and lowest-cost
precision instrument for measuring oxygen saturation in the bloodstream.
Think of it as a "hypoxia meter" that warns when you're
becoming hypoxic and measures precisely how much supplemental oxygen you
need to avoid impairment of your pilot skills. Aeromedix carries
Nonin's full line of prescription-only pulse oximeters. Aeromedix is one
of Nonin's largest distributors, and nobody beats their pulse-ox prices.
Order by calling (888) 362-7123, or go online.
Join NAA and Help Shape the Next Century of
It's a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association
(NAA), the nation's oldest aviation organization. At $39 a year,
NAA membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast! Members
receive the Smithsonian's Air & Space and NAA's Aero
magazines, plus access to aviation records, product discounts, and much
more. Call (703) 527-0226 to become an NAA member, or sign up online.
Gordon Richardson II writes, "We stopped at MKO
with a flight of Texas bound AT-6s on the way home from Oshkosh, and
what a treat! The operators gave us some courtesy cars to go get some
lunch. They were friendly, helpful, and had great fuel prices. Not to
mention a nice airport." Now that sounds like a
Attention, Cessna Owners
Do you need to modernize your old, tired RT359A or RT459A transponder?
Narco Avionics proudly announces the availability of their
all-new AT165/C and AT165/C Value Series digital display transponders.
The AT165/C and AT165/C Value Series are designed as direct slide-in
plug & play replacement transponders for the old ARC units. Both
units feature instant VFR recall with quick and easy one-knob code
entry. The AT165/C also features pressure altitude display with hold
alert, along with three independent timers with audible alert. For more
information, visit Narco Avionics online.
BUSINESS AVFLASH 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/More...
Award-Winning VFLITE Computer-Based GPS
Training Just FAA-Adopted
Now in use at FSDO's nationwide for FAA Inspector training, the
VFLITE standard and advanced GNS 530/430 eLearning programs are
the ideal solution for both initial and recurrent training. Featuring
scenario-based, guided simulation; get the most from your GPS the quick,
easy, and safe way. Manufacturer-recommended, VFLITE programs are also
available for popular Garmin® and Lowrance® portables. Prices
start at $49.95. Order online.
AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU
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ASO Is Giving Away a Week of
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AVweb's Flight Explorer 5.0 Available
at Same Low Price! Version 5.0 is now available at the same low price! New features
include FAA Airport delays; enhanced terrain/elevation map depictions;
updated Airways, NAVAIDs, Fixes, Special Use Airspace, and Flight
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Knowledge Is Power; Knowledge Is Also a
Safety Factor When Flying IFR
The IFR environment is constantly changing. You need to keep informed.
IFR Refresher is the publication for you if you're serious
about flying IFR. No other publication can help maintain your flying and
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Sundowner, Musketeer Owners: Power Flow Is
Now FAA-Approved Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System is now FAA-approved for the
Beechcraft 23 series with Lycoming O-320 & O-360 engines. More RPM,
better climb, saves fuel at current speeds. First shipments by February
2007. $400.00 pre-production discount ends
12/31/06. Place your deposit now. Complete details online.
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 Russ Niles (bio).
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