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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

After weathering a media storm for three weeks over his X-marks-the-spot destruction of Meigs Field, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has found a few words of support. Editorial writers at the Boston Globe gave Daley their Op/Ed attaboy on Friday, suggesting his actions, in a more restrained fashion, make a good public policy blueprint. "The Department of Homeland security and the [Transportation Security Administration] should take a page from Mayor Daley and, without using bulldozers, explore ways to reduce the threat to this country's population centers and national monuments posed by small private aircraft," the Globe opined. Well, you can imagine what EAA thought of that. More...

Just as the Globe's opinions were being formulated for the next day's edition, the people whose job it is to actually gauge security risks were concluding that those risks had abated considerably. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced Thursday that it was eliminating many of the flight restrictions imposed when the terrorism threat level was at orange, or high. That level dropped to yellow on Wednesday and the TSA cancelled the New York ADIZ, Chicago TFR and the gateway airport and screening requirements for the Maryland-3 airports within the Washington SFAR. Sporting event overflight waivers (except banner towers) were also reinstated. The Washington ADIZ and the Disney TFRs remain but there's a hint they may be eliminated or relaxed in coming days, something AOPA is fighting for. More...

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September 11 and the poor economy can only take part of the blame for Textron's problems, according the company chairman. A year before the terrorist attacks, Lewis Campbell embarked on a reorganization of the company, which owns Cessna, Lycoming and a variety of other manufacturing interests. Layoffs and plant closures were inevitable to trim a corporation that was bloated with duplication and startling inefficiencies. "Ashamed to say we had 87 data centers around the country," Campbell told Reuters. There were also 156 employee medical plans. Within a few years, the data centers will be consolidated into a handful and there are now just two available medical plans. Campbell said Cessna is now the corporation's example of the new way of doing things at the plant level.More...

Being a PR person for Cessna can't be the easiest job in times like these but they have dug up some positive things in recent weeks. For instance, the Civil Air Patrol ordered 15 Skylanes last week to use in its increasing emphasis on homeland security missions. The high-winged 182s are pitched as good for that type of surveillance work. Universities are also modernizing their fleets and Cessna sold seven 172Rs to Southern Illinois University Carbondale last week. The university traded in seven, 18-year-old 152s on the new Skyhawks, which host some of the latest flight and navigation technology that students need to learn. As for the future, Textron is convinced Cessna is poised for recovery, particularly in the business jet market. More...

GARMIN'S 196 GPS IS THE MOST UTILITY AMONG AVIATION HANDHELDS! WAAS-capable, the Garmin 196 has advanced mapping and logbook capabilities offering more utility as a cross-platform navigator than any aviation portable on the market. On land the GPSMAP 196 can navigate along roads or waterways. For details on this and all the other Garmin GPS models, go online at

Cook County Circuit Court Judge William Maki has ruled the City of Chicago and its Park District must turn over all relevant documents and answer written questions about the March 31 late-night destruction of the runway at Meigs Field. The city and park department have asked the court for a "stay of discovery" in their attempt to overturn a temporary restraining order that prohibits further destruction of the facility, but Judge Maki turned them down. The restraining order is in effect until a May 16 hearing on a permanent end to the destruction. After that, Daley and other high-ranking city officials may have to file depositions in response to questions from the plaintiffs. More...

On the off chance that the flamboyant owner can turn a profit in the supersonic market, British Airways (BA) is saying "No, thank you" to Virgin Atlantic Airways owner Richard Branson's offer to take seven Concordes off its hands. BA announced last week it was retiring the Concordes by October due to falling revenue and increasing expenses and planned to turn the aircraft over to any museum that wanted one. That riled Branson's patriotic sensibilities and aroused his entrepreneurial spirit. Branson said the aircraft were developed with a healthy infusion of taxpayers' pounds (and francs) and if need be, he would appeal to the government to decide their fate.More...

XPrize, here we come. While other people talk about commercial manned space flight, Burt Rutan is one of few doing something about it. The owner of Scaled Composites LLC unveiled his company's hardware -- a suborbital spacecraft (click here for larger image) that consists of an airborne launcher (a.k.a. the White Knight) and the space ship, SpaceShipOne. The vehicles have been under development for two years at Scaled's Mojave, Calif., facility. The company's Web site says the craft will be used to determine the feasibility of commercial manned space flight. Meanwhile, another California company is burning rubber in its bid to supply the power for SpaceShipOne. More...

AVIONICS WEST HAS THE BEST PRICES ON GPS UNITS AND TRAINING! With Avionics West's discount price and Garmin's factory rebate, it's never been a better time to purchase a Garmin portable GPS. Need a flight computer? The CX-2 Pathfinder is a great choice. The PDC-100 displays altitude, density altitude and computes takeoff roll. Read Avionic West's PDC-100 "Product Review" on the Web site. Plus, Avionics West has the best prices on all Avcomm flight and headset bags. TRAINING CLASS: Hands-on Garmin 400/500 series training class April 26-27. Learn all the features on your Garmin GPS unit, or find out if this Garmin is right for your flying needs. For too-low-to-advertise prices, send an email to or call 1-805-934-9777 and mention this AVflash. Check out Avionics West's user-friendly shopping cart and helpful information at

There could be an armed pilot locked behind a reinforced cockpit door at the controls of your next airline flight. The TSA said last week the first class of 48 "federal flight deck officers" were to have completed their weeklong training program on Saturday. Those pilots would then be authorized to carry a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol into the cockpit to defend against would-be hijackers, terrorists and other pernicious ne'er-do-wells. During the week, the pilots learned how to use the gun and also studied defensive tactics to foil anyone intent on taking over the plane. Graduates will need annual recertification of those skills. More...

It's hard to imagine anyone falling asleep at the controls while flying water bombers but Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority has come up with a computer program to help firefighting pilots avoid fatigue. The "fatigue management systems" are designed to optimize flight time while ensuring the pilots get enough rest. Pilot fatigue has been identified as one of the most serious risks in fire operations and a chronic hot topic between line pilots and their managers. More...

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AVEMCO SAFETY REWARDS PROGRAM Avemco, the only direct writer of personal and business general aviation aircraft insurance in the U.S., is offering up to 10% savings on your insurance premiums. And, in the process you will become a safer pilot! For more information go to Avemco's Web site and click on the "Rewards Program" button at

American Airlines workers nearly got all the pain and the company's top managers got the gain after unions agreed to massive concessions in a bid to keep the airline out of bankruptcy. Union leaders said it's unlikely their members would have voted in favor of salary and benefit cuts of $1.8 billion had they known that fat bonuses and pensions were intended for the company's top executives. "We are appalled and just disgusted," John Ward, president of the flight attendants' union, told the Associated Press. "It's the equivalent of an obscene gesture from management." The revelation caused such upheaval that American Friday dropped the bonus plan. More...

Well, it seems like everyone has a reality show these days and EAA is next up. Starting April 28, the trials, tribulations, challenge and honor that comes with earning a private pilot certificate will be a weekly feature on the Discovery Wings Channel. The 13-week series Learning to Fly will follow Kyle, an actual student and her instructor through the process that pilots all remember but can often find so difficult to describe to the uninitiated. More...

EAA announced 13 more states confirmed for Countdown to Kitty Hawk...Civil Air Patrol won aerospace education award...F-86 confirmed for Tullahoma show...Grand Aire back flying after two crashes.

YOUR AIRLINE CAREER STARTS AT PAN AM INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT ACADEMY Choose a training center: that is known worldwide as the leader in aviation training; that has trained pilots for over 200 airlines; that has a curriculum that was developed by the airlines; that has the industry's largest fleet of all New Piper Aircraft; where the only goal is to get you hired at the airlines, sooner than possible anywhere else; that will deliver what they promise. All this is Pan Am International Flight Academy. Go online for more information at

A friend of mine was cruising along in his turbo arrow at 18,000 feet one day when a 737 was called out to him at his 1 o'clock and 15 miles passing to his left. The 737 crew was similarly advised. When they passed, the 737 Capt remarked "What are you doing up here?" My friend replied, "About a 178 knots."

MOUNTAINSCOPE FROM PCAVIONICS IS A SAFETY ESSENTIAL With 17% of general aviation fatalities caused by controlled flight into terrain (CFIT), MountainScope is essential to display situational awareness of your surroundings in plain and 3-D views with pictorial warnings of dangerous obstacles or terrain. Terrain elevation points at 90-meter intervals provide the basis of the topo and 3-D map displays. Overlaid onto the terrain are familiar aviation charting symbols to provide guidance to the closest airports, and navaids in case of emergency or disorientation. Flight Planning and Track Logging are additional features. For a demonstration and more details go to

AVweb's AVscoop Award...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Jeff Chandler, this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to Rules and information are at

New Articles and Features on AVweb

The Pilot's Lounge #60: Daley, Meigs And The Tyranny Of Small Minds
Like others in The Pilot's Lounge, AVweb's Rick Durden was stunned by the violent, dictatorial act that took place on the western shore of Lake Michigan. This month, Rick bemoans the triumph of fear and manipulation, and presents a call to action.

Mag Timing is Easy as One, Two, Three
There are several easy ways to time a magneto, as well as specific how-to data. The staff of Light Plane Maintenance describes a common and accurate way.

Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:

Reader mail this week about protecting airliners from the ground and from the cockpit.

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"THE SAFEST WAY TO CATCH A KILLER" ISN'T JUST CO GUARDIAN'S MOTTO. It refers to deadly carbon monoxide that could be present in any aircraft. CO Guardian has models from portable units to panel-mount units with solid-state sensors and temperature sensors, EMI-shielded to prevent radio interference, and built in the USA. CO Guardian's FAA-certified 452 has a built-in pressure sensor, remote light outputs and has been tested to operate between -20 C and +70 C and at 25,000 feet. To see the CO Guardian models go online at

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