|Volume 9, Number 19b||May 8, 2003|
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb.com.
BLAKEY STUMPS FOR BUSINESS-FRIENDLY SKIES IN EUROPE...
Yesterday, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey delivered the keynote address at the third annual NBAA/European Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland, and emphasized the need for international cooperation to promote a global aviation system that's safe, efficient, and will help the industry grow. "Aerospace trade between the United States and the European Community exceeds $40 billion," she said. "There's a lot at stake." Blakey also spoke in favor of the European Commission's Single European Sky initiative, which has gained momentum across Europe. More...
...FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP -- MESSY, BUT IT WORKS...
Blakey also told the folks in Geneva that the FAA plans to publish its new final rule addressing fractional ownership in July, and encouraged the Europeans to find innovative ways to deal with practices that drive industry growth even if they create a regulatory nightmare. "Fractional ownership is a trend that evolved naturally, not because it was easy, but because it made economic sense. Fractional ownership is helping this industry grow. ... We have an obligation to adapt to this new business culture," Blakey said. "Fractional ownership is complicated, especially for those of us with safety oversight responsibilities." More...
...SIMPLER AIRSPACE PROCEDURES WOULD BE NICE, TOO
Blakey spoke Tuesday at the Civil-Military Air Traffic Management Conference in Prague, in the Czech Republic. Focusing on airspace management issues, she again promoted international cooperation and procedures standardization, worldwide. "My vision for our future global ATM system," Blakey said, "is one where a pilot can fly into JFK International Airport in New York ... the Eldorado International Airport in Bogota ... or the Ruzyne International Airport here in Prague without any noticeable differences in procedures or the quality of air traffic services. I'm not talking about science fiction. We can do this ... it's within our reach, if we make it a global priority." More...
NEW LASIK TECHNOLOGY PROMISES BETTER RESULTS...
Pilots, even more than most folks, tend to obsess over the limitations imposed by poor eyesight, and the inconvenience of glasses and contact lenses. Well, there's a new twist to the most common form of vision-correction surgery, Lasik. The new procedure, which uses wavefront-guided technology that was developed at NASA, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August 2002. It's becoming more widely available as doctors acquire the equipment, and it got lots of attention at an eye surgeons' conference in San Francisco late last month. The system reportedly sharpens vision better than traditional Lasik, while avoiding side effects such as poor night vision or light sensitivity. More...
...BUT (THERE IS ALWAYS A BUT)
Because the new technique requires expensive equipment, says the Post, the wavefront procedure will cost patients as much as $1,000 more than standard Lasik, which averages about $3,200 nationally. Results from clinical trials, the Post reported, showed that six months after surgery, 99 percent of 136 eyes saw 20/40 or better without glasses, while 80 percent were 20/20 or better, and 53 percent of patients said the sharpness of their vision without glasses had stayed the same or improved. The Post raised questions about the risks of a bad result, and whether all surgeons properly screen patients to ensure they are good candidates for the procedure. More...
NTSB DEFERS "MOST WANTED" LIST
The NTSB scheduled a meeting on Tuesday to update its list of "Most Wanted" safety improvements, but instead decided it will undertake an intensive 30-day review of the effectiveness of its safety advocacy programs. "At the end of 30 days, the board will convene to review the results of the study and focus on how to achieve real safety performance," said Ellen Engleman, the new NTSB chairman. "We want results." Engleman said the NTSB staff will evaluate the overall effectiveness of its recommendations programs. "Issuing safety recommendations, alone, is not sufficient to fulfill our obligation to ensure the safety of the national transportation system," Engleman said. "Implementation of these recommendations is what will make a real difference." More...
AOPA: TSA TAKES TINY STEP TOWARD DUE PROCESS
AOPA noted Monday that a recent change by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) represents a "small but significant concession" to concerns about due process for pilots affected by security rules. In a letter to AOPA, TSA chief counsel Francine Kerner wrote, "We are aware of the need for an avenue of administrative appeal outside of TSA. Accordingly, TSA is exploring the possibility of providing for a final appeal review level at the Department of Homeland Security." The allegations leading to a certificate revocation may be based on classified information, which the TSA (previously the revocation authority and appeals channel) can withhold from the pilot, making it impossible to respond to the specific charges during the appeal. More...
FIRST FLIGHT: DIESEL GA AIRCRAFT ENGINE "PERFORMED FLAWLESSLY"
DeltaHawk, a private company in Racine, Wis., last Saturday successfully completed its first flight of a manned aircraft powered by its turbo-diesel 90-degree V-4 general-aviation aircraft engine. The engine has been in development for seven years and is the only U.S.-designed and -developed reciprocating engine capable of burning jet fuel that is known to be flying -- according to DeltaHawk's Web site. The 300-pound, 160-hp powerplant, burning jet fuel, was mounted in a Velocity RG that achieved a top speed of 140 knots. The manufacturer says the engine can burn a range of fuels available throughout the world, while providing better fuel economy than traditional avgas engines. More...
BOEING WANTS YOU TO LIKE THE 7E7
Boeing has noticed two annoying things about airliners: one, they all look alike .... borrrring ... and two, they are all actually different in a million little ways, which creates a nightmare for airlines trying to manage large mixed fleets. In moving forward with its 7E7 program for a next-generation, extra-efficient airliner, Boeing is working to address both issues, and in a break from its traditional marketing campaigns, is targeting the masses as well as its airline customers. On Monday, the company released images of its new design concept, which gives the jet a futuristic, distinctive look (if only for its winglets) and launched a major Internet-based marketing campaign to entice the flying public to pay attention. More...
NASA TAKES SUPERSONIC WING-WARPING ON TOUR
The Wright brothers may have pioneered the wing-warping concept 100 years ago, but chances are they never broke the sound barrier while testing it out. A NASA test pilot flying a modified F/A-18A Hornet with flexible wings did just that, though, over the California desert north of Edwards Air Force Base last month. NASA's Active Aeroelastic Wing (AAW) program is exploring the use of twisting flexible wings for primary maneuvering roll control at transonic and supersonic speeds. Although similar in concept to the Wrights' "wing warping" control system, AAW employs conventional control surfaces such as ailerons and leading-edge flaps to aerodynamically induce the twist, rather than mechanically twisting the wingtips as on the Wright Flyer. More...
BRANSON PUSHES TO SAVE THE CONCORDE
Richard Branson's proposal to take over operation of the Concordes may have been rebuffed last month by British Airways, but that's not crimping the plans of the Virgin Atlantic Airways CEO. Branson will take his case to the British government, The Independent reported this week. "The more we dig, the more we feel Concorde should not be grounded. It is purely a move by BA to get rid of a big chunk of overheads and persuade more people to fly with it first class. ... Concorde is like a great work of art and should be saved for the country," said Branson. The Concordes were built with government subsidies, and Branson is arguing that BA cannot unilaterally decide their fate. More...
AIR DEFENSE PATROLS MAY DIMINISH
Air patrols by military aircraft, which have been abundant since 9/11, may soon be reduced to lower levels, Pentagon officials said this week. Air Force chief of staff Gen. John Jumper told the Associated Press on Monday that decisions to modify the air patrol mission were in the offing. About 60 aircraft have been flying homeland defense patrols over Washington and New York, and occasionally over other parts of the country, Jumper told the AP. "There are things in the works right now that might change this," he said, but would not go into detail. Other sources also told the AP that the overflights are likely to be cut back soon. More...
EAA SOUTHWEST FLY-IN MOVES TO TEXAS HILL COUNTRY
New Braunfels Municipal Airport, in the Texas hills between Austin and San Antonio, becomes the new home of EAA's Southwest Regional Fly-In on May 16-17. About 600 to 800 planes are expected for the 39th annual weekend. Organizers said New Braunfels offers the best location ever, with 1,000 acres of grass and lots of ramp space for vendors and heavy aircraft. The event will feature two days of forums, workshops, fly-bys, and judging in various categories. The Fly-in got its start in this part of Texas, with its first show in 1965 in Georgetown. The Southwest Fly-In most recently was based in Abilene, after outgrowing its longtime home in Kerrville. More...
ON THE FLY...
A Virgin Atlantic 747 landed at Basra with medical supplies on Friday...
Former CEO of American Trans Air, John Tague, hired by United...
Chartered 727 to nudist holiday in Cancun allowed pax to disrobe...
Cape Cod Airport closed, but may yet reopen with new ownership...
15 skydivers jumped in Colo. in memory of skydiver Jeffrey Sands. More...
PATTY WAGSTAFF: A SATISFIED OREGON AERO CUSTOMER SINCE 1990. Aerobatic performer Patty Wagstaff can't be distracted by pain and noise when executing complex routines. Her portable seat cushions and upgraded headset from Oregon Aero keep her pain-free and comfortable so she can fully concentrate. "When I, or my ferry pilot, fly our wonderful Extra cross country, we're stuck in there for hours at a time unable to move!" Patty says. "The only thing that keeps us comfortable and free of pain on long hauls is the Pilot SoftSeat (TM)." Check out all of Oregon Aero's products online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon
AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Shane Grass, of Fayetteville, N.C. His photo captures the shiny, polished look this Luscombe T-8F Observer had after a natural morning bath. Shane took this photo during preflight shortly after a morning thunderstorm blew through and cleaned the dust and grit right off the airplane. Great picture, Shane! Your AVweb hat is on the way.
To check out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go to http://www.avweb.com/potw/.
AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK...
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 300 responses to our question last week on STOL kits. The majority, 34 percent of those responding, felt these modifications have been quite effective in reducing their takeoff/landing speeds and distances. Only 6 percent said STOL kits have helped to some extent but not as expected, while 10 percent felt these modifications are a waste of time.
To check out the complete results, including comments, go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw/.
*** THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
This week, we would like to know your thoughts on the Centennial of Flight Celebration. Please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw/ to respond.
Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note, this address is ONLY for suggested QOTW questions, and NOT for QOTW answers.
"TEST DRIVE" A B-737/300 AT CONTINENTAL'S IAH PILOT TRAINING CENTER! The "Airline Training Orientation Program" (ATOP) is a two-day 737/300 familiarization course designed for *any* U.S. pilot, especially those interested in airline careers. Presented exclusively by ATOP Inc., the course features 12 hours' ground school, one hour in the 737/300 FTD, and two hours in the 737/300 full-motion simulator. Earn the optional "High Altitude Endorsement," too! Register for any class by June 1 and get a $40 discount off the $435.00 course fee by mentioning AVweb! For details go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/atop
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Scott Peck, this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
email@example.com. Rules and information are at
New Articles and Features on AVweb
Why On-Demand Jet Charter Needs CRM ... NOW!
When a Gulfstream III went down at Aspen, Colo., in 2001, it was yet another pilot-error-induced controlled flight into terrain. Aviation safety analysts have pointed out the mistakes made by the flight crew, but underlying this is a failure to require cockpit resource management training for jet charter operators.
Break It In Right
The best rebuild job in the world can be made moot if the proper break-in methods are not used. The first minutes are critical, as the staff of Light Plane Maintenance reported.
Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
Reader mail this week about a Chicago VFR corridor, Louisianans with Texas accents and more.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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RECEIVE A REBATE FROM TELEDYNE-CONTINENTAL MOTORS WHEN YOU BUY ORIGINAL For a limited time, every TopCare (TM) cylinder from Teledyne-Continental Motors (TCM) comes with a direct rebate of up to $75. The best cylinders for your TCM engine are factory-original TopCare cylinders. State-of-the-art manufacturing standards ensure every cylinder meets exacting manufacturing and quality specifications. For technical information, rebate details, warranty features, and a dealer near you, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm
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HE FLIES THROUGH THE AIR WITH THE GREATEST OF EASE, that daring young man in the flying machine! Inspiration for the song, and the "daring young man", are incorporated in Dave Higdon's photo gallery. Yes, you know Dave as an AVweb special projects editor. Go to Flying Machine Photo's site for a FREE download of some incredible wallpaper, plus you can order Dave's photos online to decorate or give as a special Father's Day gift. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flyphoto
GLEIM OFFERS DISCOUNTS ON MATERIALS AND PRIVATE PILOT REFRESHER COURSE! Gleim is offering a 10% discount on all their materials except the written exams and FAR/AIM. Gleim is also including a 15% discount on their Private Pilot Refresher Course (PPRC). Think you don't need it? Think again! For less than $25 you can ensure you know the rules, regulations, and procedures AND it counts towards the FAA Wings program! Take a FREE lesson now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gleim
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ATTENTION CESSNA OWNERS AND/OR PILOTS! YOU NEED ANOTHER TOOL TOO FLY! Membership in the Cessna Pilots Association (CPA) affords you access to experts who answer all your questions, seminars on everything from rigging to maintenance, and an exceptionally informative magazine. If you care about flying and maintaining your Cessna safely go online for more information at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cpa
DREAMFLYER PUBLICATIONS' BOOK, "MUSIC'S BROKEN WINGS: Fifty Years Of Aviation Accidents In The Music Industry" covers 1935 to 1985 analyzing 34 aviation accidents which affected many types of music. History is intertwined in each event while providing factual documentation to unravel the devastation that sometimes resulted. Complete with illustrations, photographs, statistics and accident reports. Details and to order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/dreamflyer
"FLYING ON THE GAGES" IS NOT A DRY, BORING INSTRUMENT TRAINING MANUAL It is a book of tips, tricks, and techniques for any instrument pilot that is an easy read to give you a leg up if you are new, and a refresher if you are not. Brian M. Jacobson wrote this book in the practical style of his magazine articles. Order your copy at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/odyssey
"SKY RANCH ENGINEERING MANUAL" IS THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE BOOK on modern piston aircraft engines. It explores virtually every aspect of powerplant engineering and operations, using case studies of Continental and Lycoming engines with photographs, diagrams, graphs and tables. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyranch
FOR ALL YOUR PILOT SUPPLY NEEDS LOOK TO AVWEB'S SPONSORS AT http://www.avweb.com/shopping/directory.html
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