AVflashVolume 9, Number 16aApril 14, 2003
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.
MEIGS GOES TO WASHINGTON...
They were supposed to be talking about the FAA Reauthorization Bill, but last Wednesday one after another of aviation's bigwigs reminded Congress's aviation subcommittee about the destruction of Chicago's Meigs field. Speakers reminded the committee that aviation services are a federal matter and the intrusion of local special interests could result in inconsistent regulations and service availability based on regional political biases. "Our national air transportation system is far too important to the United States to allow powerful private enterprises to use their political clout to create an unjustified, ad hoc patchwork of airspace restrictions," said Ed Bolen, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. More...
...DIRECT INTERVENTION SOUGHT...
AOPA's Phil Boyer, who has been among the most prominent pro-Meigs combatants, asked for the committee's direct intervention. He even showed video of Daley shaking hands on a deal to preserve the airport and promising that he wouldn't use the Chicago TFR as justification to close the field. Boyer said AOPA is using every legislative and legal means at its disposal to restore the airport, adding, "We have received a higher volume of e-mails and phone calls about Meigs than about the closure of the entire National Airspace System in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." National Air Transportation Association President James K. Coyne directly requested congressional condemnation of Daley for his actions. More...
...THERE ARE OTHERS TOO
And while the Meigs closure is freshest in everyone's minds, NATA's Coyne reminded the committee of another airport that is out of bounds for most aircraft. Coyne called on the committee to help restore access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport by non-scheduled carriers. The federal government initially closed DCA entirely after 9/11 but opened it to airlines, under special security regulations, shortly thereafter. Coyne said Part 135 operators are willing to meet those restrictions and want back into DCA. More...
SYNTHETIC VISION COMES TO GA...
A tiny company in Boise, Idaho, has registered the first milestone on the Highway In The Sky. Chelton Flight Systems was recently granted a technical standard order (TSO) for its synthetic vision Electronic Flight Information System. That means anyone can install this panel-of-the-future technology, which provides nearly every conceivable type of performance, navigation, weather and systems information and throws in a virtual 3-D picture of the world outside. "Everything is right on the panel," Chelton President Gordon Pratt told AVweb. At $71,000, the system isn't for every aircraft but there's a big market awaiting it, he said. More...
...FAA EMBRACES TECHNOLOGY
It's the kind of technology FAA planners have been saying is necessary to modernize the National Airspace System, but the agency has been slow to embrace the technical advances. "There are a lot of people in the FAA who are nervous about this technology," said Pratt. That all changed for some senior FAA staffers on a flight over the North Cascade Mountains in Washington State 18 months ago during a convention on synthetic vision technology. "They were blown away by what it can do," said Pratt. The system was chosen for use in the innovative Capstone program in Alaska, which is aimed at putting technology to work to reduce the high accident rate there. With the help of FAA officials in Alaska, Chelton was able to convince senior FAA staff that the technology was ready for general use. More...
MORE BRAIN DRAIN AT MOONEY
Two more key executives have left Mooney Aircraft Company. Tom Bowen, the company's vice president of engineering and the chief operating officer during its bankruptcy, left Friday and is headed to Lancair Certified where he'll work on projects to make those airplanes go higher, faster and farther. John Cullen, the company's director of manufacturing, resigned a week earlier to join Sino Swearingen, which is developing a twin-engine business jet. We couldn't reach Cullen but Bowen said it was time for him to seek new challenges. More...
BOOM GOES BUST
The last chance for most of us to break the sound barrier (at least voluntarily) will be sometime in October. That's when British Airways will stop flying Concorde from London to New York. Air France will stop its Paris-to-New York service May 31. As AVweb reported earlier, rumors of the demise of Concorde began surfacing shortly after an Air France flight was diverted to Halifax, Nova Scotia in February. Both airlines announced the end of the supersonic era Thursday and cited the same reasons, but theirs were not the only words spent on the subject. More...
CAP OFFERS SECURITY SERVICES
Civil Air Patrol leaders met with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge last week to tell him the 64,000 members of the Air Force auxiliary can help tackle one of the biggest enemies of national security -- the high cost of maintaining it. "CAP has the largest privately-owned fleet of single-engine aircraft in the nation," said Maj. Gen. Rick Bowling, CAP national commander. "We can put one of those planes in the air for $90 an hour as opposed to several thousand dollars an hour for military aircraft or helicopters." More...
ANTI-PRIVATIZATION BILL FLOATED
There could soon be a law to stop something the FAA swears will never happen, anyway. A bipartisan bill has been introduced that would bar the Department of Transportation from contracting out air traffic control services to commercial interests. Four senior members of transportation and aviation subcommittees sponsored the bill, including Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-Minn), Rep. Frank Lobiondo (R-N.J.), Rep. Pter Defazio (D-Ore.) and Rep. Jack Quinn (R-N.Y.). The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is naturally delighted. More...
AOPA GETS SEAT AT FSS PRIVATIZATION STUDY
While the air traffic controllers are hoping to pre-empt a privatization bid, the process to examine contracting out of flight service station functions grinds on. AOPA announced last week that it will be able to provide input on the study, which will look at everything flight service station personnel do. AOPA is particularly interested in helping shape the "performance work statement," which will craft a blueprint for future changes. FSS personnel are trying to block the study. More...
A BAD DAY IN TOLEDO
There don't seem to be any obvious connections between the crash of two similar aircraft from the same charter operator on the same day last Tuesday. The Dassault Falcon 20s crashed five hours and 400 miles apart. Three pilots were killed in a crash about a mile short of the runway at Toledo Express Airport -- no immediate cause was indicated. In St. Louis, however, the two crew radioed they were short of fuel before ditching the jet in the Mississippi River near the Gateway Arch. More...
BOEING GIVING UP ON AIRLINERS?
A new study has aviation industry analysts buzzing and Boeing furiously denying the conclusions it reaches. According to the study, done by Prof. Alan MacPherson, of State University of New York at Buffalo, and David Pritchard, Boeing will be out of the airliner business within 10 years and will be concentrating on military and special aircraft. "This report is riddled with factual inaccuracies and mistaken conclusions," protested Boeing spokesman Todd Becher, who said Boeing is in the airliner business "for the long term." More...
ON THE FLY...
North Carolina Rep. Jim Black was honored for stalling airport closure...
Wright replicas got their TSA waivers...
Sun 'n Fun winners announced...
EAA Southwest Regional Fly-in moving into new home.
Seen on a Yahoo Message Board regarding a story about a pilot who Sunday made a successful emergency landing on a freeway in Anaheim, Calif.:
"THIS JUST IN - Chicago Mayor Richard Daley plans to carve giant "X"es into the Riverside Freeway at midnight tonight."
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Barry Timms, this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Rules and information are at
New Articles and Features on AVweb
CEO of the Cockpit #18: Early Learning
Even grizzled old airline captains have habits they learned when they first started flying, and AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit is no exception.
Garmin GPSMAP 196
Garmin's top-of-the-line handheld, the GPSMAP 196, takes GPS to a new level, with features that make it usable in the air, on land, and in sea. AVweb's Kevin Lane-Cummings has our review.
Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
Reader mail this week about ADIZ flight plan hassles, the Candy Bomber, Sun 'n Fun and more.
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