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BLAME PILOTS FOR BRAZIL COLLISION
Brazilian police say the
failure of two New York pilots to notice that the transponder aboard
their Embraer Legacy 600 bizjet was not working amounts to the criminal
offense of "placing a vessel or aircraft in jeopardy" and are, according
to a Brazilian newspaper, recommending prosecution. Joe Lepore and Jan
Paladino were delivering the Legacy from the factory to their employer,
ExcelAire of New York, last Sept. 29 when the left winglet and part of
the tail struck a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800. The airliner crashed,
killing all 154 onboard, while Paladino and Lepore were able to land the
damaged Embraer at a military base in the Amazon jungle. The pilots have
steadfastly maintained (and radio transcripts appear to support) that
they were at the altitude assigned by air traffic control.
SHARE BLAME IN BRAZIL MIDAIR, TOO
It now appears that at
least three Brazilian air traffic controllers could be charged with
involuntary manslaughter for their role in the collision between an
Embraer Legacy 600 bizjet and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737, which killed
all 154 aboard the Boeing last Sept. 29. Earlier reports from Brazil
said a federal police investigation ignored air traffic controls
involvement because ATC is run by the military in Brazil and it would do
its own investigation. But a fresh report from the Sao Paulo newspaper O
Estado, quoted by Newsday, says the police probe has
implicated three of the 10 controllers who were on duty at the time of
the collision. More...
FEAR EFFECT OF PILOT PROSECUTION
The National Business
Aviation Association (NBAA) and the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) are
calling on Brazils federal police to drop criminal charges against
two American pilots, in part because of concerns about the effect of the
prosecution on future crash investigations. Jan Paladino and Joe Lepore,
who flew the Embraer 600 that collided with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737
over Brazil last Sept. 29, will likely face charges based on their
alleged failure to notice that their transponder wasnt working. In
a joint news release, NBAA and FSF say the charges are
premature because the crash investigation isnt complete. They also
say the decision to pursue criminal charges could put a chill on
accident investigations, not only in Brazil but all over the world. "We
are deeply concerned that the criminalization of the investigation into
the tragic accident of September 2006 could have a negative impact on
aviation safety worldwide, FSF CEO Bill Voss said.
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MARTIN WANTS MORE FSS MONEY
Lockheed Martin is looking for a
10-percent increase in the fees it's being paid to take over flight
services. According to a report from the Department of Transportation's
Office of Inspector General, the company, which was awarded a $1.8
billion contract to assume the function, says it's owed another $177
million, mostly because the FAA didn't supply accurate labor cost
information. Lockheed Martin's claims are now being assessed. Meanwhile,
the DOT OIG also reported that the FAA has fined Lockheed Martin $9
million for failure to live up to service and performance guarantees.
Pilots in the Washington, D.C., area have recently complained that FSS
changes have resulted in a sharp increase in dropped flight plans and
that briefers, some of whom were in California, didn't know the
procedures for operations in the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)
that surrounds the capital. The OIG is now preparing a report on FSS
operations that will be released later this month. More...
ISSUES SERVICE BULLETIN AFTER CONTROL JAM
Last week Cirrus
issued a mandatory Service Bulletin that requires the
replacement of some control system parts that, in specific cross control
circumstances, can cause the rudder and aileron controls to jam. The
Service Bulletin was issued a month after the controls jammed on a
relatively new SR20 as a student pilot was lining up for takeoff at
Leesburg, Va. According to the NTSB report, the student had applied full right
rudder and full left aileron and both systems locked. His instructor
aborted the takeoff safely. Investigators found control system parts
tangled together and were able to repeat the jamming action. In its
Service Bulletin, Cirrus calls for new parts that will prevent the
entanglement and it also notes that the jamming has never been reported
in aircraft with properly rigged controls. However, the relatively
simple fix for the technical issue could affect a lawsuit stemming from the crash of New York Yankees
pitcher Cory Lidles SR20 last October. More...
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FACT SHEET PROMOTES AVIATION USER FEES
The FAA is painting a
dismal picture of its own performance in an unvarnished attempt to
gather support for its controversial proposed aviation user-fee funding
system. In a fact sheet released last week, the agency ties the
funding package directly to modernization of airspace management, which
has been nicknamed NextGen. The Administrations NextGen
Financing Reform Act, sent to Congress in February, will provide a
stable, cost-based revenue stream to fund the transition to
NextGen, the fact sheet reads. The current tax system
expires Sept. 30, so Congress must act now. Without airspace
modernization, the fact sheet warns, the system will reach
gridlock by 2015. More...
SUING COLUMBIA AIRCRAFT
Columbia Aircraft founder Lance
Neibauer is suing his former company for severance and for payment for
rights to manufacturing processes he invented when he owned the firm.
The company, which makes the certified Columbia 350 and 400 high
performance aircraft (and is not to be confused with Lancair, the
kit-build company Neibauer also founded) was taken over by its principal
investor, the Malaysian government, and Neibauer was kept on as an
employee until he was terminated in April 2006. Six months later,
according to the Bend Bulletin, Neibauer launched a lawsuit claiming
severance of $1.55 million. And in a separate action, launched in the
last few weeks, Neibauer is claiming Columbia owes him $100,000 and
$400,000 more over the next four years under an agreement signed in
UNION TO RESCUE GALILEO
It looks like Europes
space-based navigation system will be government operated after the
consortium of companies that were to build and run it effectively quit
the project on Thursday. The consortium, led by Airbus parent EADS, had
until May 10 to come up with a plan to get the Galileo project back on
track and working toward deployment. But, according to Reuters, the consortium was plagued by infighting
and nervous of the $3 billion cost so it let the deadline pass. Shortly
thereafter, European Union Transport Commission head Michele Cercone
said the government would take over the project. More...
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SPRINGS TRACON MOVE IGNITES DEBATE
The FAA seems intent on
closing the Palm Springs, Calif., terminal radar approach control
(TRACON) in three weeks despite unusually strong public and political
opposition. It intends to transfer the workload to the Southern
California TRACON near San Diego on June 6. In recent weeks, local,
state and federal politicians have asked the FAA to reconsider, citing
safety concerns, and there's even a bill pending in the House that would
outlaw the move.According to the Desert Sun, a public meeting on
Thursday, in which opposition was virtually unanimous, apparently failed
to move FAA officials, who insist service will improve. "If you stand
back from the emotional for just a second and you look at the facts of
what level of service is going to be provided, it's going to be a vast
improvement," Walter White, SoCal TRACON's support manager for airspace
and procedures, said at the meeting. But opponents say closing Palm
Springs will add a specialized workload to the San Diego facility that
it's not staffed or trained to handle. More...
SYSTEM MIGHT CURB OBSTACLE COLLISIONS
Two Norwegian pilots
have developed a system to warn pilots if theyre on a collision
course with obstacles like cell towers, wind turbines, radio masts or
just about any other thing that sticks up in the air. The difference
with this system is that its the obstacle itself that broadcasts
the warning and theres no need for additional equipment on the
airplane to receive it. According to the Innovations Report, pilots Rolf Bakken and Morten
Mork came up with the idea in 1999 and worked with SINTEF to develop it.
The heart of the system is smart radar that can tell if an aircraft is
on a collision course with an obstacle. More...
Columbia Introduces 2007 Models
The 2007 Columbias
have arrived. Fresh for this year are new,
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as well as a host of thoughtful and unique features for the discerning
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100 VLJ PRICE RISES
If youre waffling on which very
light jet suits you best, Embraer has 130,000 reasons for you to make up
your mind by July 1. Thats when the price of its Phenom 100
four-passenger (six-place) jet will go from $2.85 million to $2.98
million (January 2005 dollars). That puts the actual outlay for the
Brazilian VLJ a touch over $3 million. The news release announcing the
price hike did not explain the reason, though the company did say it has
a combined total of 400 orders for the Phenom 100 and its larger
stablemate, the Phenom 300. More...
FBO SUES FOR NEW QUARTERS
Airways is taking Spokane International Airport and its board of
directors to court, claiming the airport owes it new digs to replace the
buildings it was forced to vacate to make way for a new control tower.
According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, the FBO says its deal with
the airport stipulates that if it has to move, its up to the
airport to find comparable space. The business, which has about 100
employees, occupied six buildings that have to be demolished to clear
sight lines for the new tower, which opens in August. The company was
moved to smaller quarters and says its lease requires "relocation or
substitution of other premises be at the expense of the [Airport]
Board." The airport says that lease was legally terminated
and suggests the demand is excessive. More...
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Banyan Air Service holding customer appreciation day
Cirruss G3 Turbos come with air
More investigations in carbon monoxide incident at
Air Force says UAV sense-and-avoid systems are close.
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Know WAAS Up With Your Garmin?
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Order online today
AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new
in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's
podcast, you'll hear an interview with Teal Group's Richard
Aboulafia. And AVweb's podcast
index includes interviews with Air Journey's Thierry Pouille; Epic
Aircraft's Rick Schrameck; Cessna's Jack Pelton; Embraer's Ernest
Edwards; LAMA's Dan Johnson; Piper's Jim Bass; DayJet's Ed Iacobucci;
AOPA's Andrew Cebula; Hawker Beechcraft's Jim Schuster; Avfuel's Craig
Sincock; Comp Air's Ron Lueck; and VistaNav's Jeff Simon. In today's special
podcast, hear David Wartofsky, owner of Potomac Airfield, talk about
AFSS problems. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you
won't find anywhere else.
Pilot Journey Isn't Just for Students &
Instructors; There's Something for Everyone
You know Pilot Journey
's Discovery Flight
converting leads to students. However, all pilots can find something at
: Pilot e-mail accounts, pilot eCards; a pilot
cruise with seminars; AvCareers, where position wanted and positions
available are listed; and much more.
Pilot Journey is the pilot's
OF THE WEEK: MILLION AIR KHHR
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Million Air at KHHR in Hawthorne,
AVweb reader Steve Hamerslag couldn't say enough
good things about this facility.
"This is a new FBO on the field.
When I arrived the ramp personnel were waiting to help with securing the
aircraft. I was offered a short lift on their cart to the office, but I
elected to walk the short distance. Upon entering the lobby I was helped
immediately and efficiently. I was planning on taking a cab to my
destination five miles away, but they insisted that they take me in
their courtesy van. They even have a free soda machine on top of the
normal coffee and tea. When I was departing, the line crew helped remove
the chocks and offered me a cold bottled water as I did my walk around.
Million Air KHHR has very friendly and efficient staff. The fuel was
even reasonably priced!"
Keep those 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!
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OF THE WEEK: AGROROTORS HELICOPTER POWER LINE
Man's best friend is the dog, but the electric
companies' best friend may well be the helicopter. Last week, we saw how
helicopters do thankless jobs like tree-trimming around power lines.
This week, let's take a look at some other (pretty impressive) line
maintenance that could only be done with the assistance of pilots.
(Click through to watch.) More...
|Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the
There is an approach into San
Francisco (KSFO) known as the Quiet Bridge Visual. During this approach,
commercial operators fly to the bridge and match up with another
aircraft for the parallel runway.
NorCal Approach: United
Four Five Three, report traffic 10 oclock one mile, a Skywest
Brasilia in sight, and slow to one seven zero.
Traffic, bridge, airport, parking lot, and my car in
NorCal: United Four Five Three, roger, cleared for the
visual two eight right, enjoy your days off, contact tower.
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
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 Russ
here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
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about the news should be sent
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on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
If you're having
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