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SAYS KY TOWER WAS UNDERSTAFFED
There should have been two
controllers on duty in the Lexington, Ky., control tower instead of just
one, on the morning that a Comair Bombardier CRJ-100 commuter jet crashed after
trying to take off from the wrong runway, the FAA said on Tuesday. Of
the 50 people on board the Comair flight, 49 were killed. FAA
spokeswoman Laura Brown said the FAA has required two
controllers in all towers on all shifts since November 2005, after a
near-collision of two aircraft near Raleigh-Durham Airport in North
Carolina. The Lexington tower will now have at least two controllers at
all times, one on radar and one on the tower position. Early Sunday
morning, the controller on duty, who had 17 years of experience, cleared
the Comair flight for takeoff on Runway 22 (7,003 feet), then turned
away to perform some administrative tasks. The jet took off on Runway
26, which is only 3,500 feet long. However, Brown said, a second
controller wouldn't have necessarily made any difference.
OF ACCIDENT CLARIFIED
"[The controller] expected the flight
to take off from Runway 22," according to Debbie Hersman, of the NTSB.
"He said the pilots didn't seem confused or disoriented" when he talked
to them. The CRJ hit the grass off the end of the runway but then became
airborne and was starting to climb when it crashed into trees. The jet
reached a speed of 158 mph. The lone survivor of the crash, co-pilot
James Polehinke, was at the controls, but it was the flight's captain,
Jeffrey Clay, who had taxied the aircraft into position, the NTSB said.
Clay then handed off the controls to Polehinke for takeoff. It was about
an hour before sunrise, and Runway 26 was not lit, but the longer
runway, 22, did have lights on, the NTSB said. Polehinke had landed at
the airport two nights earlier, when the lights on Runway 22 were out of
service, according to Reuters, but other reports said neither
pilot had landed there since changes to the taxi routes in the last week
or so. More...
As in all fatal crashes, questions have
arisen about what could be done to prevent similar accidents in the
future. USA Today cited hundreds of cases since the 1980s
when pilots tried to take off or land on the wrong runways. Suggestions
have ranged from installing better signage and runway markings, to
requiring that controllers monitor aircraft movements. Capt. Terry
McVenes, of the Air Line Pilots Association, told USA Today the union has been lobbying for
better signs and lights for years. "For $8 a gallon for paint, you can
solve a lot of problems," he said. Technology is available that would
allow pilots to monitor their position, superimposed on an airport
diagram displayed on the instrument panel (similar to the moving maps
now increasingly common in new cars). Honeywell also has a system that provides aural alerts, telling the crew
which runway they are lined up on. Pilots also can check the cockpit
compass heading to ensure it agrees with the expected runway heading,
but while many pilots make this part of their routine, it's not clear
that it's included on pre-takeoff checklists. More...
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AMENITIES DETERMINE VLJ SALES?
Adam's A700 very light jet has
a lavatory on board, and Eclipse's VLJ doesn't. Is that going to be what
drives sales for one, and not the other? As the first wave of VLJs
prepares to debut on the market, a story in Monday's New York Times explores the "battle of the
bathrooms." Adam Aircraft CEO Rick Adam told the Times, "People are not
going to get on a plane without a bathroom, or at least they're not
going to do it more than once." Naturally, Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn
differs. "How often do you have to go?" he asked. Most air-taxi flights
will only be 40 to 80 minutes long, he said. "Lots of people commute by
car that long and don't have to stop." Eclipse is expected to start
deliveries later this year, while Adam expects certification early in
NEW PLAYER ENTERS THE VLJ SCENE
The Times also reported that
a new air-taxi operator, Magnum Jet, plans to launch next year with a
fleet of Adam A700 jets. Jim Burns, who founded Magnum Jet in a
partnership with ubiquitous FBO operator Million Air, said
he wanted to keep a low profile until he was sure the airplanes would be
available. The company will start service in Texas and the Southwest,
with plans to expand to New York and the East Coast, then to California.
Magnum Jet placed orders for 50 Adam A700s and options for 51 more, plus
another 50 orders and 50 options for Embraer's Phenom 100, which is
expected to start flying next year. More...
MARKET WATCHERS PROGNOSTICATE
Delays and security rules at
the airlines could prove a real boon to the VLJ market. James Coyne,
president of the National Air Transportation Association, said charters
experienced 20-percent growth since 9/11 and a 20- to 70-percent bump
since Aug. 10, when carry-on liquids were banned from airline cabins.
Tim Spahr, director of charter sales for Pinnacle Aviation based at
Scottsdale (Ariz.) Airport, told the Arizona Republic that sales have jumped 45 percent
since the latest rules took effect. "It's incredible," Spahr said. "And
we've had a significant number of first-time callers who specifically
sight [sic] airport security hassles as the reason for considering
charter." AVweb recently discussed the VLJ market with Teal Group
analyst Richard Aboulafia. More...
Fly in Ultra-Comfort with LightSPEED
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Bing Lantis, President of Columbia Aircraft
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SURVIVE WITH CIRRUS CHUTE
Pilots may debate the value of
on-board parachutes for small aircraft, but one of the scenarios that is
always cited in their favor is, "What if something happens to the
pilot?" The value of a chute in that circumstance was proven on Monday,
when the pilot of a Cirrus SR22 suffered an apparent stroke while in
flight with three passengers on board. The passengers were able to
deploy the chute, and all survived. The Cirrus landed in a drainage pond
in a subdivision near Indianapolis, and residents rescued the
passengers. The airplane had taken off from Eagle Creek Airport on the
city's northwest side and was en route to Hilton Head Island, S.C. The
pilot, Robert Edesess, 66, was killed in the crash. More...
GLIDER COLLIDE, ALL SURVIVE
A Hawker XP800 corporate jet
flying about 300 mph at 16,000 feet near Reno, Nev., on Monday afternoon
collided with a Schleicher sailplane. The collision damaged the nose and
landing gear of the jet, but the crew was able to make a safe belly
landing at Carson City. The pilot suffered minor injuries, but the
co-pilot and three passengers were fine. Meanwhile, glider pilot Hirao
Akihiro, 58, bailed out over the Pine Nut Mountains, landed safely, and
hiked about three miles until rescuers found him about 6:45 p.m. Other
than some cuts and bruises, he was unhurt. The wreckage of the glider
has not been found. On Tuesday, a local pilot said jets approaching Reno
shouldn't be directed over the mountain range, which is a popular site
for gliders. More...
The SJ30-2 Is the World's Fastest Light
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SERVICE BULLETINS NOT MANDATORY
If a manufacturer wants an
owner to do something with his aircraft, the FAA has to approve it --
that's the bottom line, AOPA said on Monday. A manufacturer's Service
Bulletin doesn't carry the same weight as an Airworthiness Directive,
which has gone through a complex, public rulemaking procedure. AOPA has
always held that position, but sought clarification recently after an
NTSB judge issued a ruling a couple of months ago that clouded the
issue. Now, the FAA says AOPA is right. FAA Assistant Chief Counsel for
Regulations Rebecca MacPherson issued an interpretation of the
regulations to answer a question raised by Cessna Pilot Association's
Mike Busch almost a year ago. More...
BANS AIRCRAFT KIT PROJECTS
A city ordinance that was passed
in June in Jacksonville, Fla., bans home-based construction of aircraft,
EAA says. The building or restoring of anything that
flies is forbidden. The ordinance aims to solve a dispute between an EAA
member and some of his neighbors, who contend the project was noisy and
an eyesore. "We can imagine the outcry from the public if Jacksonville
passed a rule saying residents could not work on automobiles, boats or
motorcycles at the their own homes," said Earl Lawrence, EAA's vice
president of industry and regulatory affairs. "It seems quite unfair
that an aircraft builder could not quietly fit two parts together while
his neighbor might be able to rebuild and engine test a muscle car next
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TO EXPAND WORLDWIDE
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will open
branches in Asia and South America and boost its operations in Europe,
the Orlando Sentinel reported Tuesday. The school is
scheduled to announce its plans today. The global plan will include the
construction of a new international headquarters near its main campus in
Daytona Beach, Fla., to be completed in 2008. The school aims to train
workers in aircraft and airport management to meet booming needs in
China, India, Brazil, Spain and Ireland, according to the Sentinel.
Embry-Riddle currently operates a second residential campus in Prescott,
Ariz., as well as 130 branches in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.
AIRCRAFT EXPANDS IN NORTHEAST
Diamond Aircraft on Monday named Columbia Aircraft Sales as its exclusive
distributor in New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The
group operates FBOs throughout the region, providing aircraft sales
and fuel, with a staff of over 100. The company also provides
maintenance, charter and management services for jet, turboprop, and
piston-powered aircraft. "Columbia brings more than 25 years of aviation
experience and deep familiarity with aircraft sales and customer service
across nearly every segment of the market," said Peter Maurer, president
Aircraft, in a news release. More...
Garmin 396 vs. Flight Cheetah with XM Weather
How does the Garmin 396 really compare to the
Flight Cheetah with XM Weather? Check out this link
to find out.
Belvoir Media Group (AVweb's parent company) is
seeking an aviation writer/editor for a staff position at Kitplanes
magazine (AVweb's sibling). We're looking for someone with a proven
track record in writing, reporting and editing. The ideal candidate --
we know youre out there -- should have a good working knowledge of
experimental (amateur-built) aviation as well as a broad-based
background in general aviation. Familiarity with Adobe InDesign page
layout software and advanced flight ratings are a plus. Contact email@example.com.
NTSB wants FAA to require inspections of some
Cessna control wheels...
Seven died in the crash of a Cessna 401 in
Kentucky on Monday...
CFI sport pilot instruction guide free online,
Elite athlete's artificial leg lost by an
Webster, N.Y., banned private airports and outlawed
NTSB wants "urgent" action to prevent failures of jet
NASA helping pilots to fly airliners with throttles
Fewer carry-ons means faster boarding, longer luggage
A hydrogen-powered UAV is being flight-tested in
Adventurer Steve Fossett has reached 50,699 feet in a
Want a free car? Just buy an airplane from CompAir.
When It Comes to Aircraft Insurance, the Choice
The AOPA Insurance Agency is the only agency that offers the built-in
expertise of AOPA's 66+ years' commitment to general aviation and the
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More than 405,000 pilots trust AOPA for their aviation needs, so when it
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Avidyne TAS600 Because Two Antennas Are
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Whether you're flying in a busy terminal area, navigating a long
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For AVweb subscribers who prefer their news
straight from the horse's mouth, AVweb posts fresh audio news
issues each Monday, and interviews, Friday -- it's information you won't
find anywhere else. 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. 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/
Bonanza & Baron Owners: Learn to Save
Thousands on Maintenance
The 10,000-member American Bonanza Society is sponsoring a weekend-long
Savvy Owner Seminar
by maintenance expert Mike Busch
November 4-5 in Mobile, Alabama (BFM), including a TCM factory tour.
Seminars are open to all GA aircraft owners! In one information-packed
weekend, Mike teaches how to save literally thousands on maintenance
costs, year after year. For details and to reserve your space, go online
OF THE WEEK: SKYLINE AERONAUTICS, CHESTERFIELD, MO
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon
goes to Skyline Aeronautics at KSUS, Chesterfield,
Offering up Skyline, Robert Greenfield told us, "Truly the
best of the best. Great plane rentals, instructional staff, and
services! I've flown thru many FBO's in the past, but these guys bend
over backwards to help you out! Currently working on my instrument
ticket with them, and couldn't be happier!."
Keep those nominations coming.
Click here to nominate your favorite FBO
and here for complete contest
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBO's in the country
and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next
Special Offer from Pilot Journey on New FlyUSA
For a limited time, Pilot Journey is offering half off
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OF THE WEEK: RUNWAY RESPONSIBILITY
This week, AVweb wants to
hear your opinion on runway responsibility. A controller can clear you
onto a specific runway, but if you find yourself somewhere else, who
bears responsibility for that mistake?
Plus: Results of last
week's question about readers' flying pedigree. More...
You Pay More for the Unbiased Truth ... To
Ultimately Save More
Yes, Aviation Consumer
costs more than other aviation magazines.
is supported by you
, not by advertising. So the editors can be
completely truthful, to help you make the right decisions on products
and services. Order online
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's ratings-packed web archives!
OF THE WEEK
Variety is the order of the
day in the latest installment of AVweb's"Picture of the Week."
Submitters from all across the globe (notjust Illinois) sent us photos
of planes, gliders, helicopters, balloons,and even a few birds this
week. If it flies, we've probably seenit! And after sorting
through the entries, it's time to shareeight of our favorites with the
rest of the world. Headlining this week's entries is VincentCzaplyski, who will receive an
official AVweb baseball capfor his submission. Each week we award
one of these caps,to our favorite photo of the week so let
that (and the possibility ofsharing joy with thousands of AVweb readers)
be an extra incentive tosend us youramateur
aviation photos. More...
AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU
FAA-Approved Flight Instructor Refresher
Clinic (FIRC) from ASA
Attention, flight instructors! Wouldn't it be nice to renew your
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for 2 more years. Features over 11 hours of professional DVD
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tracking. You don't need to be online for the entire duration of the
course. For complete details, visit ASA's web site.
If You Think "Bargains" Are
Something Alien to Aviation Think Again!
Spending hard-earned money on your aircraft and its avionics can be
expensive. But don't think good deals aren't available in today's
marketplace. Bennett Avionics provides pilots with quality
avionics to meet their needs and maintain their budget. Before you buy
anywhere else, check out Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295 or online. You'll be glad you did!
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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Flying Flies Cessna's Mustang, the
Newest Light Jet
Plus, Flying tells readers how to stay safe and legal in
"The New VFR" complicated airspace; offers a review of the
Bartlesville biplane fly-in celebration; serves up the EAA's Q&A
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Ensure Yourself and Your Passengers' Safety
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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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