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COMAIR COPILOT NOTED LACK OF LIGHTS
On Wednesday, the NTSB
released transcripts and tapes from its investigation of the Aug. 27
Comair CRJ-100 crash in Lexington, Ky., which killed 49 of the 50 on
board. Safety board investigators determined that the regional jet took
off from the airport's shorter, 3,500-foot Runway 8/26 instead of the
intended 7,000-foot Runway 4/22. Transcripts from Flight 5191s
cockpit voice recorder showed that the copilot -- the lone survivor,
James Polehinke -- noted that the runway lights were off as the jet sped
down the wrong runway. "That is weird with no lights," he said, at
6:06:16 a.m., and Capt. Jeffrey Clay responded, "Yeah." Seconds later,
Clay said, "Whoa," then the sound of impact is heard. More...
SAFETY CONCERNS LINGER
The Comair crash in Lexington, Ky.,
raised questions about the FAA's dissemination of airport information
and its staffing of air traffic control towers. The tower at Blue Grass
Airport had only one controller, instead of the required two, on duty
that morning. Construction work at the field had changed the regular
taxiway and runway layout, but the crew's information was outdated. The
FAA last week issued an advisory to airport operators, asking them to
disseminate better information about closures and construction. "Air
crews may have a hard time keeping up with these changes as they occur,"
the FAA said. "In many cases, the NOTAM system may be inadequate."
NATCA SAY ATC STAFFING INADEQUATE
Sen. Charles Schumer,
D-N.Y., said the FAA is not staffing air traffic control facilities in
the state adequately. In Albany, for example, there should be 30
full-time controllers, but there are only 26, Schumer told The Associated Press. "It started as a labor
dispute, but now it's become a safety issue. The FAA cuts are absurd,"
he said. FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told the AP the union's numbers
don't reflect actual staffing needs. "We have a staffing plan to put the
right number of controllers in the right place at the right time," Brown
said. "There may be a few facilities here and there where we have a
couple fewer controllers than what we want." On Wednesday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)
said staffing issues in Tulsa, Okla., threaten air safety.
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SAN DIEGO BUILDING A THREAT TO AIR TRAFFIC
Less than a mile
from Montgomery Field, a busy GA airport just outside San
Diego, developer Sunroad Centrum is moving forward with plans to finish
up a 180-foot-tall building that the FAA has deemed a hazard to
navigation. That's a bad idea, AOPA said last week. "This is a critical safety
issue not only to pilots using the airport, but also to workers in the
new office complex," said AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn.
"AOPA is appalled that the developer is blatantly ignoring the FAA's
ruling and the city's order to stop working on the building." AOPA has
joined the city of San Diego and the California Department of
Transportation as a real party of interest in a suit against the
developer. A local pilots group, the Community Airfields Association of San Diego, has
also joined in the suit. More...
AIRCRAFT CUTS BARON, BONANZA PRICES
Raytheon Aircraft Company said on Tuesday it will
cut the list prices of its 2007-model Bonanza single-engine airplanes by
14 percent over last year's prices. Beechcraft Baron twins will sell for
12 percent less. Additionally, the cost of popular options such as
SkyWatch and Stormscope will be cut by up to 20 percent. The company
said it can offer the new prices because of gains in production
efficiency and strategic sourcing. The list price for a
typically-equipped Bonanza G36 was $667,000 in 2006; this year it will
be $574,000, a drop of $93,000. The price of a typically equipped
Beechcraft Baron G58 last year was $1,186,000; this year it will be
$1,046,000, saving $140,000. More...
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DELIVERED RECORD NUMBERS IN 2006
Aircraft, of Bend, Ore., delivered a record 185 aircraft last year,
the company said on Wednesday, despite delays certifying the Garmin
G1000 glass panel and a summer hailstorm that affected more than 60
aircraft. The aircraft weren't significantly damaged but all had to be
refinished. No doubt, we endured more than our fair share of
challenges in the first half of 2006, said Randy Bolinger,
Columbia vice president of marketing. The company's previous record for
one year was 114 aircraft delivered, set in 2005. The 2006 total
included 146 Columbia 400s and 39 Columbia 350s. The company also said
that overall, orders last year were up more than 200 percent over the
previous year. More...
APPROVAL FOR ATG JAVELIN REQUIRES TRIAL BY FIRE
Technology Group works toward certification of its 500-knot, $2.795
million Javelin executive jet and military trainer aircraft, the FAA on
Monday proposed special conditions regarding the
aircraft's internally-mounted turbofans. The FAA believes "applicable
[Part 23] airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or
appropriate safety standards" for two turbofans set side by side inside
the fuselage and "not in the pilots' field of view." Central to the
issue is fire suppression and specifically how one ill-fated engine's
malaise (read: violent conflagration) would be isolated from the
adjacent engine, fuel lines, a nearby 280-gallon fuel tank and primary
structure and systems "passing through or near the engines" that support
"critical flight controls." So far, the FAA is suggesting that the
Javelin 100 be required to incorporate extinguishing along with fire
detection systems and fire isolation. ATG told AVweb it is aware
of the special conditions and is working closely with the FAA. "It is
not uncommon for jets to have special conditions under Part 23. We don't
expect any problems in certifying the Javelin," spokeswoman Sara Newton
FANS HOPE FOR LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT
British fans of the
Concorde are not giving up in the fight to restore one of the elegant
birds to airworthy condition, and they are focusing on the London
Olympics of 2012 as an event that deserves to be commemorated with a
Concorde fly-by. Last week, they won some support in the British House
of Commons when a bill was introduced that would promote the
maintenance and preservation of "certain vehicles of cultural value."
The legislation, if it passes, would authorize the restoration of a
Concorde to airworthy condition for use on ceremonial occasions.
Britain's Save Concorde Group is encouraged by support for new
Adam, Cirrus, Columbia,
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REFORM BILL COULD SNAG FLYING LEGISLATORS
The newly installed
House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., got to work last week,
eager to approve a new ethics package during their first hours on the
job. But EAA says their proposed law includes a provision
that could prevent pilots who serve in Congress from flying their own
aircraft. Intended to curb lawmakers from accepting free rides in
corporate jets, the language reflects a lack of understanding about how
aviation works -- a lack that's all too familiar to most aviators.
According to EAA, the ethics legislation states that members of Congress
"may not use personal funds, official funds or campaign funds for a
flight on a non-government airplane that is not licensed by the Federal
Aviation Administration to operate for compensation or hire." But the
FAA licenses carriers, not airplanes. The wording would virtually ban
travel on any private aircraft. More...
PILOTS TARGETED IN ANTI-TERRORISM EFFORT
Aircraft owners who
live in Ohio now must sign a declaration stating they are not involved
in terrorist activity when they renew their annual aircraft
registration. Owners of other vehicles are not required to do this by
the state Department of Transportation, only owners of aircraft. AOPA said on Tuesday it is "extremely displeased at
this discrimination." The association has asked the state to remove this
requirement. "Frankly, it is offensive to Ohio's pilot population to
suggest that they are more suspect than people who own boats, trucks, or
automobiles," wrote Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of regional
affairs, in a letter to the state's department of public safety.
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JET FLYING WITH ANTI-MISSILE SYSTEM
An anti-missile system is
being tested aboard a FedEx MD-10 during its regular cargo flights, Northrop Grumman said this week. The airplane
launched on Tuesday from Los Angeles International Airport with the
Guardian system installed, starting the operational test and evaluation
portion of the program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security (DHS). The tests will continue through March 2008. The
Guardian system uses proven military technology to defend against
shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, Northrop Grumman said. The system
detects an approaching missile and directs a non-visible, eye-safe laser
toward it to disrupt its guidance signals. More...
EXPRESS CONCERNS ABOUT SAFETY AT INDONESIAN AIRLINE
time you flew, you had to fight with the ground staff and themanagement
about all the regulations you had to violate," FeisalBanser, 30, a
former captain for Adam Air, has told
Associated Press. An Adam Air 737 wentmissing on Jan. 1 with 102
people on board; the wreck has still notbeen found. In May 2005, a group
of 17 pilots jointly resigned fromthe airline, citing alleged safety
concerns, the AP said. The airlineis now suing them, saying they
violated their contracts and mustrefund money the airline spent on their
training. Banser says he wasgrounded for a week in 2005 after he refused
to fly because he hadalready flow five takeoffs, the daily limit. When
the airline startedup four years ago, pilots lined up to sign on. But
within months, atleast 20 left, citing safety concerns, according to the
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A memorial fly-in to be held for William Kershner
Feb. 17 in Tenn...
AirVenture will host the USAF 60th anniversary
A new $89 million control tower is now open at Sky
Keith Markley named COO at Liberty Aerospace.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for
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DAILY NEWS COVERAGE
You can now get the latest general
aviation news from AVweb -- the world's premier independent aviation
news source -- as it happens at AVweb.com. Or sign up for our news feed and
have the most recent headlines pushed directly to your RSS-based news
reader. Either way, you'll be able to read the same concise, but
comprehensive, news stories that you've come to expect from AVweb. And
for major breaking general aviation news, AVweb will send out news
alerts via e-mail to keep subscribers informed. Dont worry --
you'll also continue to receive AVwebFlash every Monday and Thursday.
If You Live in Florida or Texas, Mike Busch Is
Coming to a Town Near You
Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed Savvy Owner Seminar at Ft.
Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) on February 24-25 and near
Dallas/Addison Airport (ADS) on March 3-4. In one information-packed
weekend, you will learn how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft
while saving thousands on maintenance costs, year after year. For
complete details, and to reserve your space,
AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new
in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's
podcast, you'll find an interview with Mikel Boorom at Maule Air.
And AVweb's podcast index
includes interviews with Professsional Aviation Maintenance Association
president Brian Finnegan; aviation forecaster Richard Aboulafia; NORAD;
Bill Lear, Jr.; NATA President Jim Coyne; Eclipse Aviation's Vern
Raburn; Honda Aircraft's Jeffrey Smith; and Cirrus Design cofounder and
CEO Alan Klapmeier. In Monday's news
summary, hear about how the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo drew record
crowds and exhibitors, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's planned
use of UAVs along the Canadian border, a midair collision that
controllers failed to prevent, an upcoming ADS-B mandate and more.
Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find
Brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...
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OF THE WEEK: COPECA INC.
AVweb's "FBO of the Week"
ribbon goes to Copeca Inc. at TJBQ in Aquadilla, Puerto
AVweb reader Tami Bream said the FBO makes you feel
right at home.
"We have been flying to Puerto Rico for more than
10 years and always land at Aquadilla Airport (BQN/TJBQ). We never found
an FBO there, until now. Copeca is first rate and really knows how to
treat GA pilots. Upon our arrival, they met our Bonanza with umbrellas
due to the rain. This is a rare event, even in the States when arriving
in a single-engine piston. Once we got out, they pushed the plane
directly into a hangar so we could unload and stay dry. Their facilities
are beautiful and clean, and we felt right at home. They should be
recognized for their courteousness and knowing how to really treat GA
nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.
actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one,
submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
OF THE WEEK
Each week, we go through dozens (and
sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to
share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured on
AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded
an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week."
sudden chill many pilots are feeling, it's no surprise that a common
theme in this week's submissions is ice and plenty of it!
Frequent "POTW" contributor Don
Parsons of St. Peters, Missouri submitted our favorite icy
photo this week. "We had a freezing rain ice storm Friday night," writes
Don. "When it started warming up Sunday morning, the blade warmed up
enough for the ice to slide off it. It was still attached to the
spinner, however, leaving this 'ice blade.'" More...
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 Contributing Editors Mary Grady (bio)
and Glenn Pew (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
Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on
marketing? Send it to AVweb's
If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in
its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for
your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of
AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click
Aviate, navigate, communicate.