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OFFICIALS WANT TOUGHER FIRE STANDARDS FOR GA The Canadian
Transportation Safety Board is recommending the FAA and Transport Canada beef up
certification standards for small aircraft in light of a study that
shows many crash victims survive the impact only to be killed or
horribly injured by fires that start after the crash. In a report
issued, ironically, a day after Comair Flight 5191 crashed in Lexington
(at least some of the 49 who died were believed to have been killed by
fire), the TSB says occupants of small airplanes are potentially more at
risk from what it calls post-impact fires (PIF) because of the close
quarters of the cabin and the proximity of the occupants to the fuel. It
wants regulators to impose fuel-system safety standards on light
aircraft similar to those adopted for helicopters in 1994.
SAFETY STUDY: CRASHES, FIRES, FATALITIES A Johns Hopkins University study looked at the same
issue, from a slightly different perspective, and came up with similar
conclusions in 2001. The institution's School of Public Health and
Hygiene revealed in its study of Alaskan accidents that the biggest
difference between crashes in which the occupants survived and those in
which they were killed was whether or not there was a post-crash fire.
"Postcrash fire was the strongest predictor of fatality for pilots in
this study," the paper concludes, noting that "fuel systems that could
withstand impact forces more effectively and keep from igniting when a
crash occurred could lessen the number of post-crash fires, improving
FOAM IN THE FUEL TANK Foamex, a Pennsylvania company whose
main business is making cushion material for beds and furniture, is in
the final stages of an FAA-funded research project to come up with an
affordable way to make aircraft fuel tanks more fire- and
explosion-resistant. As we described in our Sept. 22 Audiocast, Foamex Technical Products has
developed a special type of polyurethane foam that, when installed in
fuel tanks, slows or prevents the rapid spread of fire within a tank and
shows promise to "reduce the effects of post-crash fires" according to a
Foamex news release. Dr. Chiu Chan, Foamex's director of research and
development, told AVweb the foam is mostly air and displaces only
three percent of the available tank volume. And, although air and fuel
flow freely through the foam, it acts as a three-dimensional fire
screen, preventing the spread of a fire. It also acts as a "plug" in the
case of a fuel tank rupture, slowing the escape of fuel.
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BACK IN BUSINESS The driving force behind a native American
bid to enter the small aircraft business has decided to go it alone.
James E. Billie, who went by Chief Jim Billie when he was chairman of
the Seminole Tribe of Florida, has taken over all the assets, including
type certificate, of the Micco Aircraft Inc. He's renamed it MICCO Aircraft Company Inc. and is moving the
operation from Ft. Pierce, Fla., to Bartlesville, Okla. "I just couldn't
see this aircraft not being built," Billie said in a news release. "It
hurt after all the effort of the MICCO team and the funding of the
Tribe, to see it 'thrown away.'" Although the SP26, a fast aerobatic
two-seater base on the 1950's era Meyers 200, was certified in 2000, it
never really made it into significant production. More...
PROLIFERATE While the Sport Pilot rule was originally aimed
at inspiring new aircraft designs and manufacturing, it's also spawned a
renaissance of popular old designs that meet the weight and performance
limitations. And it seems like the design many credit with starting the
modern GA movement, the Piper J-3 Cub, is leading the LSA charge.
There's fierce competition between Cubcrafters, of Yakima, Wash., and American
Legend, of Sulphur Springs, Texas, for the CopyCub market. American
Legend is holding a homecoming for about 100 Legend Cub owners and
pilots Oct. 20-21. It's been building them for 15 months. Cubcrafters is
celebrating its first two Sport Cub customer deliveries after three
years of development efforts. And in Alaska, a company is reviving one
of the most popular bushplane designs. More...
Don't Overpay for Life Insurance Just Because
You Fly! Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) works closely with A+ rated
insurance carriers to design full-coverage life insurance for pilots. In
addition to huge savings, PIC offers a fast and easy application
process. Take advantage of the best life insurance program available to
pilots through the Pilot Insurance Center. Call (800) 380-8376,
or visit online.
AIRPORT CLOSURE REQUEST DENIED The FAA says Bakersfield
Municipal Airport (California) will remain an airport "in perpetuity"
despite the current city council's development designs. The city asked
the FAA to relieve it of its obligations under the Airport Improvement
Program so it could sell off the airport for housing and commercial
development. The FAA could have simply said no, citing the agreements it
has in place with Bakersfield as part of the city's acceptance of about
$10 million worth of federally funded improvements. But, according to
AOPA, Catherine Lang, the agency's acting associate administrator for
airports, took the time to spell out the reasoning and to debunk the
city's position that it's dangerous and a drain on its coffers.
OF DREAMS SHOT DOWN -- RURAL AIRPORT CLOSED Build it and they
will complain? Tiny Culleoka, Tenn., doesn't face the same urban
pressures as fast-growing Bakersfield and, ironically, that's why Harry
Askey has been forced to close the private airstrip he's been using for
13 years. Askey claims that when he asked Maury County officials if an
airstrip was allowed on his 80-acre property, he was told it was fine
with them. "They said, 'You're in a rural area. You can do what you want
to do. You can have a private strip,'" Askey told the Columbia Daily
Herald. However, Askey never thought to check that assurance and it's
come back to haunt him. Newcomers are trickling into the area in pursuit
of a quiet country lifestyle and a neighbor recently lodged a formal
complaint against the airstrip. More...
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RESTRICTIONS LIFTED Locally imposed restrictions on the
operation of experimental exhibition aircraft, most of them warbirds,
have been lifted at airports in the Los Angeles basin. EAA says the relaxation came after three years of
lobbying by the group. In 2003, the Van Nuys Flight Standards District
Office (FSDO) decreed that experimental aircraft were effectively
banned from four local airports. Although the existing aircraft could
continue using the airports where they were based, if they moved or were
sold they weren't welcome. Van Nuys FSDO officials reasoned that
experimental aircraft, by their classification, posed an increased risk
to the densely populated areas surrounding the airports in question (Van
Nuys, Santa Barbara, Burbank and Whiteman). More...
TOMCAT'S "FINAL" FLIGHT It was perhaps an appropriate
scenario to end a storied era in military aviation. The Navy, quite
wisely as it turned out, had a spare airplane waiting in the wings for
the ceremonial final flight of an F-14 Tomcat at Oceana Naval Air
Station in Virginia last week. Sure enough, the first airplane failed to
perform and it was a spare that took off to the cheers and applause of
about 3,000 people attending the ceremony. In practical terms, most of
the remaining F-14s have at least one more flight left as they get
dispersed to air museums around the country but their days as Cold War
air superiority fighters and, later, ground support aircraft are
officially over. More...
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HITS CAR -- CAR OWNER PAYS FIRST A Montreal man whose SUV was
damaged by a Piper Cherokee making a forced landing last week says he
can't believe the spin his insurance company is putting on the mishap.
Allstate says Bill Mack must pay the $1,000 deductible on the $4,000 in
damages his Dodge Durango sustained when the Cherokee dropped in on him.
There were no serious injuries in the crash. Quebec has a no-fault type
of system in which insurance companies cover their clients' losses with
no deductible. But that only applies to car crashes and Allstate
spokesman Derek Tupling told the Montreal Gazette the company has to
investigate cases like this to determine who's at fault, something Mack
found hard to take. Perhaps adding insult is that the Canadian
Transportation Safety Board's initial report faults the pilot for moving
the plane's fuel tank selector to the wrong position and starving the
engine of fuel. More...
DIVERT AIRPORT EXPANSION While it's doubtful any airplane is
loud enough to wake the dead, Craven County Airport Authority, near New
Bern, N.C., isn't taking any chances. The county is giving back $204,000
in federal funding after Civil War-era graves were found near the
proposed site of new hangars and right where the new taxiway was
supposed to go. The army leveled the cemetery during the Second World
War to build an airstrip and the dearly departed from historic days gone
by were all but forgotten. But they came to light in a 1970s battle
against a runway extension and, to date, 522 graves have been identified
on the airport land, not including the unknown number found recently.
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.
THE AEROCAR FOR SALE -- $3.5 MILLION As a car, it can
charitably be described as ugly. As an airplane it's almost beyond
description but one of four Aerocars left in the world (one crashed) is
for sale in Grand Junction, Colo. Carl and Marilyn Felling say they
don't want to sell the machine they call Dumbo but it's part of their
divorce settlement. Ironically, they obtained the extraordinarily rare
contraption through a divorce sale 20 years ago. "I wouldn't say it's
cursed by divorce," Marilyn Felling told the Grand Junction Sentinel.
The Molt Taylor design was actually certified by the Civil Aviation
Authority in 1956 but it never went into production. More...
FIREFIGHTING TANKER BUSY A DC-10 converted to drop
firefighting retardant helped crews battle a stubborn fire near Santa
Paula, CA Sunday. The aircraft dropped 12,000 gallons of retardant on
the fire, which has been burning for three weeks and is threatening
homes. "It's been very, very effective and very impressive," forestry
agency spokesman Matt Streck told the Los Angeles Times. "Each drop
looks like it covers more than half a mile of terrain." As AVweb
reported in 2004, the plane was quietly developed by a company called 10
Tanker Air Carrier, of Victorville, Calif. The aircraft made a splash
(sorry) at the 2005 Paris Air Show with a demonstration drop and it's
been busy since July, helping to snuff fires from Washington State to
California. The California Department of Forestry caught it on video on
a fire in July. 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.
NEWS Audio news, plus a new in-depth interview are posted
online each Monday and Friday. Check AVweb's audio news index to hear the news directly from the
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.
Doc Blue's Emergency Medical Kit Don't
Leave Home Without It!
Do you carry a first-aid kit in your airplane or car? AVweb's Dr. Brent
Blue says drugstore first-aid kits are packed with mostly useless stuff.
Dr. Blue has assembled a traveling medical kit for dealing with all
sorts of medical problems, based on his long experience as an emergency
room doctor, frequent traveler, pilot, outdoorsman, and dad. It would
cost more than $500 to duplicate this kit, but it's available on sale
from Aeromedix for $333. Order by calling (888) 362-7123,
or go online.
CEO of the Cockpit #62: Garden Party It's
really easy to get into the mode of complaining and bemoaning the state
of aviation and, in particular, the airlines. Get a bunch of recently
retired CEOs of the Cockpit together and it's downright maudlin. Until
someone comes by with a new perspective.... More...
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...
DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Embry-Riddle
Aeronautical University, Empire Aviation, Middle Tennessee State
University, Utah Valley State College, and Utah State University
all have selected the G1000-equipped DA40 Diamond Star. For
value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet
favorite. For more information, click here.
AVweb reader Thomas Okerlund offered his praise for
theservice and facilities.
"The Line and Customer Service staff
are top notch and match the new facilites just opened at Henderson. On a
recent after hours late night trip, the Line Staff came into assist with
parking and luggage. To accomodate the crew, they took everyone to their
hotel and then turned down a tip when offered. Wow!"
Don't Purchase or Sell an Aircraft without the
Used Aircraft Guide Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide can
pinpoint the aircraft that best fits your needs and budget, resulting in
savings when you buy and more when you sell. Buying the right aircraft
can minimize maintenance and operating costs too. Order your UAG online.
OF THE WEEK: KIRBY CHAMBLISS AT RED BULL AIR RACE, LONGLEAT,
U.K. This week's video arrives, courtesy of the folks at the
Red Bull Air Races and Freecaster.com. You'll need the QuickTime plug-in
to view this one. (There's a link to download it if you don't already
have it.) And after you've watched Kirby Chambliss strut his stuff at
the Red Bull Air Race in Longleat, U.K., use the embedded menu to watch
more clips from Longleat. Please keep sending
your video links! For those who asked, the song featured in
last week's Video was "Treetop Flyer," recorded by Stephen
Stills and found on the album Stills
AVweb's Flight Explorer 5.0 Includes Enhanced
Services AVweb's Flight Explorer features include FAA Airport delays;
enhanced terrain/elevation map depictions; updated Airways, NAVAIDs,
Fixes, Special Use Airspace, and Flight Service Stations; and much more.
Click here for more information and to subscribe.
AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU
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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 Russ Niles (bio).
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