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IMPOSES NEW WORK RULES
If your clearances are a little
clipped, your handoffs a little brisk, it could be the controller
working your flight is a little hot under the collar -- the collar he or
she likely now has to wear while at work. Now, it's hard to tell if the
agency was sending a message to the National Air Traffic Controllers
Association (NATCA) or whether senior brass were oblivious to organized
labor's affinity for this particular statutory holiday but the FAA's
choice to impose hated new work rules on the Labor Day weekend was not
lost on the union. "It's like getting fired on Christmas. It's the
worst, punch-in-the-gut blow to the morale of this workforce
imaginable," said NATCA President Pat Forrey. "But our position is very
simple: We do not consider the imposed work rules [which include a dress
code] to be valid because they were not negotiated and have not been
ratified by the NATCA membership." More...
GOOD, EVEN IF THEY DON'T FEEL WELL
The contract clamps down
on areas of alleged abuse by the union, including the entitlement to
sick pay. Whereas controllers have, in the past, self-certified their
medical fitness on a day-to-day basis, in addition to the mandatory
medical checkups, the new rules appear to require supervisors to judge
whether a controller can get through a shift. The union says safety will
be compromised by forcing controllers to work when they say they don't
feel well or are too tired to. Another change apparently does away with
the usual break after two hours on position. But perhaps what rankles
controllers most, on a personal level, at least, is the formal dress
code being introduced. More...
A UNION TO DO?
While the battle inside the towers and centers
may (to outsiders) have its whimsical side, the practical impact of the
new regime could be significant. NATCA appears determined to fight each
and every violation of the new rules cited by management. In a memo to
controllers at a major center (we do know which one), union leaders are
urging members to exercise their rights to the letter. "If a supervisor
tries to talk with you regarding the way your are dressed, it
constitutes a formal meeting," the memo reads. "Stop the conversation
immediately and ask for a union representative. The same approach should
be used on any other changes in your working conditions, ask for a rep
immediately. The Agency has a legal obligation to comply."
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MEMO DEFIES STAFFING ABILITY?
The unidentified manager of the
Lexington tower was apparently trying to solve a staffing shortage by
shifting responsibility for radar control of aircraft when Flight 5191
crashed off the end of the airport's GA runway. According to The New York Times, the FAA issued a
memo to managers nine months ago specifying that towers with operative
radar consoles be staffed by a minimum of two controllers, one to
monitor the radar and one to look out the windows. A single controller
was on duty the morning of the crash, in seeming defiance of that rule,
but it apparently wasn't for lack of trying. More...
THAT BE ONE CONTROLLER, OR TWO?
The Lexington tragedy had
reporters all over the country phoning their local airports trying to
determine if such a catastrophe could happen in their town. In Akron,
Ohio, the local paper discovered that Akron-Canton Regional Airport had
only one set of eyes looking out for air traffic in the wee hours, but
was assured by the FAA that it was OK. FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said
that at midnight, radar responsibility shifts to Cleveland Center. "If
the radar isn't up, there's no reason for someone to be standing there,"
he said. "It's a waste of taxpayers' money." Interestingly, Akron-Canton
has about 12 flights during the early morning hours compared to
Lexington's six or so. More...
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CITES COMAIR CRASH IN PROMOTING NEW GEAR
Marion Blakey said the crash of Comair Flight 5191 might have been
avoided if the CRJ-100 had been equipped with Automatic Dependent
Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). Blakey told reporters at a news
conference at UPS's headquarters in Louisville that ADS-B's LCD screen
(not unlike a host of vastly more affordable products currently
available to the private pilot) tells pilots which runway they're on and
that might have alerted the crew in time to avert the disaster. Blakey
was in Louisville to tout ADS-B as the next-generation air navigation
system, something UPS has already committed to. More...
RECOMMENDS 10-YEAR PHASE-IN
AOPA is a big supporter of ADS-B
as long as it includes free weather and traffic information and the cost
of the electronics is reasonable, AOPA's government affairs expert Andy Cebula told an "Industry Day" on ADS-B hosted
by the FAA last week. "AOPA has worked on ADS-B for more than a decade,
and we're convinced it will improve safety and utility for GA pilots and
reduce costs for the FAA, if it is developed and implemented correctly,"
said Cebula. He said it's understood that ADS-B will eventually become
the minimum equipment standard for flying in controlled airspace but,
before that happens, AOPA wants a nationwide system to have been in
place for 10 years before it becomes mandatory. More...
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SPORT FIRST -- FOR A GOOD CAUSE
A Cincinnati pilot hopes to
become the first to touch down in a Light Sport aircraft in all 48
contiguous states later this month but it's the worried parents of sick
children who will benefit. Preston Bentley, 26, who works at Blue Ash
Aviation and Charter, will fly a T-II Sky Skooter on the epic 8,000-nm
flight, which he hopes to finish in 30 days. Along the way he'll be trying to raise
$500,000 for Cincinnati's Ronald McDonald House, one of 259
comfortable places for families of sick children to stay while the kids
are in the hospital away from home. "I want to do something good for
this world, and I want to see and experience as much of it as possible
in the process," Bentley said. More...
AD ON BEECH 1900S
The FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) on Friday
ordering operators of all Beech 1900s to inspect wings for cracks. The
AD came after reports of cracks in two 1900s. No accident have been
reported. Beech spokesman Mike Turner told The Associated Press that the
company had already notified owners and most of the 350 aircraft,
generally used for short-haul commuter flights, had already been
inspected. It's not known if any more cracked wings were found.
According to the AD, the cracks found in the two 1900s were significant
and, in one of the aircraft, may have occurred after the detailed
inspection that is required after 17,500 hours. 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
. To find out more about the program, contact your
Cessna Sales Team Authorized Representative
. Offer expires on October
31, 2006. Complete program details online
PRODUCTION SEAWIND TAKES FLIGHT
What seems to enthusiastic
onlookers like one of the longest aircraft development programs,
Seawind, hit a major milestone last week with the first certification
test flight of a Seawind
amphib built at the factory in St. Jean sur Richelieu, Quebec.
Details of the flight weren't released. But until this flight, all other
Seawinds, including the well-worn demo plane flown from air show to air
show, were built from kits. The company now says it hopes to have
Transport Canada certification for VFR within four months. IFR and other
certifications will follow, including full authority digital engine
control (FADEC) on the big Continental 550 that rests on a pylon
protruding from the tail. More...
INCENTIVE OFFERED BY AVEMCO
Avemco Insurance is offering new pilots up to 10
percent off premiums (including non-owner coverage) if they learn to fly
in a Cessna Pilot Center training program. Avemco says the Cessna
program goes beyond the FAA minimums for flight training and that's a
cornerstone of its incentive program. Students get a 5-percent discount
just for enrolling. Completing the course extends the discount another
year and if the student also takes a Practical Risk Management Course
from King Schools, the discount is 10 percent. The incentive is part of
Avemco's Safety Rewards Program started in 2002 and Jim Lauerman,
Avemco's VP of Insurance Operations, said the results are encouraging.
"With three years of solid claims data there is no question this program
has helped to reduce accidents and stabilize insurance premiums,"
Lauerman said. "Our underwriting results are better for customers who
have participated in one or both aspects of the program."
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LOCKED OUT OF COCKPIT
A bizarre incident aboard an Air Canada
Jazz flight last week has raised questions about just how terror-proof
those new bullet-proof (and apparently pilot-proof) cockpit doors are.
With 30 minutes left in the flight from Ottawa to Winnipeg, the captain
left the cockpit to use the washroom in the rear of the CRJ-100. When he
got back, the door lock had apparently malfunctioned and he was unable
to get back to his post. Now, the first officer was up front and fully
capable of landing the plane but the captain apparently insisted on
being in his seat. In front of 50 passengers, he and the cabin crew
popped the hinges on the door. More...
TO GO WINGLESS
Astronauts who make the next foray to the moon
will go and return in much the same way as their predecessors did but
they might be more comfortable. Last week NASA awarded a $3.9 billion
contract to Lockheed Martin to build next-generation spacecraft to replace the space
shuttle that look -- and function -- a lot like the Apollo capsules of
30 years ago. Gone are wings and other aerodynamic surfaces in favor of
heat shields and parachutes in a reusable craft, called Orion, that will
go to the International Space Station and the moon after the space
shuttle is retired. More...
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Take a Labor Day flight over Dallas in a DC-3 (aka
FAA will go rulemaking route with landing margin
Two MU-2s crashed in a week in Florida...
airliner crash killed 28...
Cellphone detector marketed to airlines.
If you missed Friday's audio news, you missed an
interview with a former member of the NTSB regarding the Comair crash.
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. More...
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OF THE WEEK: AITKIN AVIATION, AITKIN, MN.
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon
goes to Aitkin Aviation at KAIT, Aitkin,
Offering up Aitkin, Helen Woods told us, " My boyfriend and I
stopped in for fuel during a long cross country trip to find a beautiful
little country airport -- the type with a cub in every hanger and
folding chairs in the hanger doorways gazing out onto the runway. The
FBO manager came out and topped us off with reasonably priced fuel. They
offered three grades including MoGas, which saved us a good deal of
money. We then discovered that they had a beautiful grassy and tree
lined campsite, complete with fire ring, grill, picnic table, and a huge
mountain of firewood. They also had a 24hr pilot lounge complete with a
shower, clean restroom, and weather computer, which they offered to us
for indoor camping if we preferred. As the weather had deteriorated, we
took them up on their hospitality decided to camp in their beautiful
campsite. No sooner had we unrolled our tents than the FBO manager drove
a car over to us and handed us the keys, maps of town, and directions to
good food and enjoyable places to visit. We spent two nights at this
airport and left on a Saturday morning when we found the FBO manager
making huge pots of chilli for a vibrant volunteer airport community
that had come out to repaint the runway markings. We said our good-byes
and were handed two bags of locally grown wild rice as parting gifts
from the FBO manager as we left. All of this, except the fuel and charts
we purchased, was free of charge. If this FBO isn't worthy of an AVweb
award, I don't know what is!"
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!
Attention, Cessna Owners and
The Cessna Flyer Association
provides parts locating, tech support, a monthly member magazine, online
forums, national and regional events, an annual convention, seminars,
and more. With a one-year membership for $39
, access the needed
information to expand your knowledge and get more enjoyment from owning
and flying your Cessna aircraft. The CFA is located on the Waupaca
Municipal Airport in Wisconsin, just 35 NW of Oshkosh. Click here to request a sample magazine and 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/
Proper radio technique -- think, click,
Flying in the practice area northwest of Daytona Beach an
aircraft was giving an advisory call that went like this:
Disston traffic, Cessna 12345 is northeast ... uh, west. No, east.
[pause] Where the hell are we? More...
AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU
AVweb's Flight Explorer 5.0 Available
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Version 5.0 is now available at the same low price! New features
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Husband in Trouble; Wakes Wife While Reading
Pilots and students can't put down Rod Machado's Private Pilot
Handbook. This is a far cry from those of us who fell asleep
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Learning, refreshing, and reviewing don't have to be difficult. Let Rod
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Flying Flies Cessna's Mustang, the
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Plus, Flying tells readers how to stay safe and legal in
"The New VFR" complicated airspace; offers a review of the
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IFR's October Issue Deals Up Some
Interesting Technical Cards
"The Cloud Eraser" the technology to see through clouds
is filtering down to GA; "ATC Carping 101" don't fight,
make a difference while protecting your backside; "Cool-Earth
Fog" good clues when area forecasts fail; "A May Day
GPS Approach" that button is only as useful as the skill
with which you use it; "The Four Horsemen" it's the
little things that kill you. Plus: A killer quiz with Mexican
food and Jet A on the menu; and more. Don't miss an issue of
IFR; order 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).
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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AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click
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