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The lawyer for two New York pilots facing criminal charges in Brazil has suggested they might not return to Brazil to appear in
court. Joel Weiss, who's representing Embraer Legacy 600 pilots Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino, didn't come right out and say they weren't going to go, but he did tell The Associated Press the
extradition treaty between the U.S. and Brazil "does not permit the extradition of a U.S. citizen or a Brazilian for this charge." That charge is one of putting an aircraft into jeopardy causing death
and stems from Brazilian prosecutors' allegation that the pilots accidentally turned off the transponder on the Legacy and then didn't follow a flight plan that would have resulted in an altitude
change before they collided with a Gol Boeing 737, resulting in the airliner's crash and 154 deaths last Sept. 29. "The pilots' conduct was completely competent throughout the flight and cannot be
fairly characterized as criminal," said Weiss. "The allegations against the pilots are inaccurate, and the pilots are innocent." They did, however, promise to return to Brazil to face charges as a
condition of their release last December. If they do honor that promise, they'll be on the docket Aug. 27, a day before four Brazilian air traffic controllers get to explain how they may have cleared
two aircraft on reciprocal courses at the same altitude. Paladino and Lepore have maintained throughout, and cockpit tapes seem to support, that they were at their assigned altitude and heading when
the left winglet of their bizjet evidently sliced into the wing of the 737. The Legacy kept flying, however, and the pilots were able to land it safely at a jungle military base. The indictments came
long before crash investigators will finish their probe of the collision, an investigation that will undoubtedly shed light on both the technical and human factors aspects of the events leading up to
Authorities say theyve had an informant in on a plot to blow up John F. Kennedy Airport for 18 months and the plan was far from
mature. Three arrests have been made and a fourth alleged conspirator is on the run after police and the FBI apparently determined theyd gotten far enough with their plans to set explosives in
the huge fuel tank farm at the airport. U.S. Attorney Rosslyn K. Mauskopf said the attack would have caused unfathomable damage, death and destruction, but unnamed sources in various media
outlets indicated the plan was an amateurish operation by al Quaeda wannabes that had little chance of success. The plotters were also hoping to take out a 40-mile fuel pipeline that runs
through New York. The alleged kingpin was Russell Defreitas, a Guyanese national who worked at JFK as a cargo handler. Hes now retired but allegedly used his knowledge of the layout and
procedures at the airport to hatch the plan. He was arrested Saturday in New York. Two alleged accomplices, Abdul Kadir, a former member of the Guayanese parliament MP and a former local mayor who is
also reportedly an imam, and Kareem Ibrahim, from Trinidad, are in custody in Trinidad. Abdel Nur, of Guyana, is still at large and believed to be in Trinidad. Secretly recorded conversations indicate
the plotters thought JFK would be a symbolic, as well as economic, target. "Any time you hit Kennedy it is the most hurtful thing to the United States, Defreitas is quoted as saying on the
recording. "To hit John F. Kennedy, wow, [Americans] love John F. Kennedy like he's the man. If you hit that, this whole country will be in mourning. It's like you can kill the man twice."
After losing a vote at the Senate Commerce Committee, opponents of a Senate bill that would impose a $25-per-flight
modernization "surcharge" aimed at business aircraft are hoping for better luck with the Senate's finance committee. A couple of weeks ago, the commerce committee passed, by a single vote, an FAA
reauthorization bill that included the $25 user fee. Although the finance committee can't overrule the earlier vote, its position on the bill could be critical when it hits the floor for a full Senate
vote. AOPA says it has sent e-mails to all its members in 18 states who have senators on the finance
committee, asking them to contact the senators directly to express their opposition. The finance committee is expected to meet on the issue in mid-June and vote before the July 4 break. AOPA President
Phil Boyer said the airlines, which favor the surcharge and have also lobbied for further shifting of airspace management costs to general aviation, will throw money at the issue and have already
produced a provocative television ad that suggests airline delays are the result of private aircraft getting preferential treatment in the system. But Boyer said that while money talks, senators are
more inclined to listen to voters "and that's why we, as pilots passionate about flying and who vote, must be involved. Passionate voters can overcome big money almost every time." Even if you don't
have a senator on that committee, you can still get involved. AOPA has launched an online petition opposing user
fees for GA.
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Honda is known for keeping its plans closely guarded, but the inscrutable Japanese giant is apparently no match for one-upmanship
in small-town politics. North Carolina State Republican Rep. Cary Allred spilled the beans on Hondas much-anticipated announcement that it would build engines for the HondaJet in Burlington,
N.C., about 30 miles from where the jet itself will be built in Greensboro. Citing a high-level state Department of Transportation official who is very knowledgeable about
airports, Allred blabbed to the Burlington Times News that the announcement -- from Honda -- is
expected in about two weeks. Im told Honda has made a commitment, he said. The plant, a partnership with GE called GE Honda Aero, will employ about 50 people. Allred was apparently
inspired to tell all by an incident in which the Burlington-Allamance Airport Authority had a weekly newspaper publisher arrested for trying to crash one of their meetings on the topic. Allred says
hes upset with the way the authority is handling the matter and that the arrest of Tom Boney Jr., publisher of the Alamance News, for refusing to leave a closed-door meeting rankled him.
They have not consulted with me, so Im going to blow their cover, he says. They havent had the courtesy to call me and ask me for my assistance or tell me whats
going on, and theyve had a news reporter physically removed from a room. Im tired of the arrogance. Honda has kept its head predictably level through the whole thing, neither
confirming nor denying Allreds scoop.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit on behalf of three terror suspects against Jeppesen for "knowingly" helping the CIA
spirit them to various countries so they could be tortured. Jeppesen spokesman Mike Pound is quoted by the Denver Business Journal as saying that its business is to supply charts and flight planning information, but what the customer does with that information is its own business. "We
create flight plans, what the fuel requirements might be, where they might refuel, the airports they might use. It's not our practice to ever inquire about the purpose of a trip," Pound told CBS News.
In the ACLU's estimation, however, Jeppesen is profiting from the practice of "extraordinary rendition" in which the CIA ships suspects to other countries for interrogation that some allege involves
torture. Anthony Romero, the ACLU's executive director, says companies like Jeppesen should be made to atone for their role in the controversial practice. "Corporations that choose to participate in
such activity can and should be held legally accountable," Romero said in a statement. Jeppesen is owned by Boeing. The suit is being launched under the Alien Tort Statute that allows people from
other countries to file suit in the U.S. The terror suspects named in the suit are Binyam Mohamed of Ethiopia, Italian citizen Abou Elkassim Britel and Ahmed Agiza of Egypt.
After some embarrassing incidents in air traffic control facilities across the country, the FAA has announced it will supply weather radios and air-quality monitors to select ATC facilities. Last
September, as part of the package of work rules imposed by the FAA in its forced settlement of a contract dispute, the agency ordered tower controllers to remove weather radios, which were pretty much
a fixture in many facilities. Controllers monitored the radios to keep track of severe weather, but the FAA said they had plenty of regulation gear -- such as radar, Doppler radar and wind shear
detectors -- and didn't need to have a radio on. However, after the radios were banned, there were several instances in which aircraft were vectored into severe weather, including one sent toward a
tornado that had just gone over an airport unbeknownst to the controllers in the tower. As for the air-quality monitors, they would appear to be the result of carbon monoxide leaks in FAA facilities
over the past month, including one at the New York terminal radar approach control (TRACON) facility in which controllers were told to stay at their consoles despite reporting symptoms of carbon
monoxide (CO) poisoning. The FAA says the weather radios it supplies will only activate for severe weather alerts and are designed to supplement all the other gear controllers have at their disposal.
As for the air-quality monitors, the agency says they detect four different types of potentially harmful gases and not just the CO that's been making headlines. The National Air Traffic Controllers'
Association, which had waged a public-relations war with the agency on both issues, claimed victory, saying both measures are safety enhancements that will help controllers do their jobs
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A P-38 Lightning that was supposed to be in England in the summer of 1942 will finally get there in a few weeks. The P-38, now
known as Glacier Girl, will launch from Teterboro Airport on June 22 on a multi-legged flight to Duxford, England, where it will take part in the Flying Legends Air Show on July 7 and 8. Glacier Girl
was among six P-38s and two B-17s that had to land on an ice field in Greenland because of bad weather during a mission called Operation Bolero. All the crews were rescued, but the aircraft were
abandoned and slowly melted into the ice. Glacier Girl was recovered from 268 feet of ice and restored to flying condition four years ago and is the only surviving airframe of the so-called Lost
Squadron. Ed Shipley, who will be flying a P-51 accompanying Steve Hinton in the P-38, told AVweb in a podcast interview that
finishing the mission, dubbed Operation Bolero II, has great symbolic significance. This really is something that has to be done, he said. It represents the human spirit. The
original flight was ended because bad weather surprised the aircrews. With modern technology theres virtually no chance of a repeat, and its also allowing the rest of us to go along for
the virtual ride. The aircraft will be decked out in satellite gear that will allow the public to contact the pilots in real time through Shipleys Web site, AirShowBuzz.com. A documentary film
is also being produced.
The mayor of Naples, Fla., says hes hoping to embarrass aircraft owners into being a little more considerate
of their neighbors. Bill Barnett has written the local airport authority asking them to consider publishing a list of every aircraft that busts the voluntary 10 p.m. curfew. "We seem to have run out
of ideas to stop planes from coming in after the curfew. So why couldn't we publish a monthly list of violators?" he wrote in his letter. Local residents interviewed by NBC2 are backing the mayor. I've been startled several times by planes in the night," Tom
Laughlin told the TV station. "It is so intense, it is so noisy, that you can't help but snap your head up and look, what is that going over head?" The airport's board of directors is meeting June 21,
and Barnetts letter will be on the agenda. Spokeswoman AnneElena Foster said the directors are aware of the complaints and will be addressing it. "What we've had happen recently is there's been
some change on the board and now the current leadership is willing to take a look at the problem in another way," said AnneElena Foster of the Naples Municipal Airport. "You don't have to be the mayor
for us to sympathize; a loud plane is a loud plane."
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A Montana judge has ordered a Canadian pilot, whose ditching of an aircraft in 1982 led to the death of his girlfriend, to cover the
cost of repairs to the Cessna 150 and to pay the funeral costs for Diane Babcock. Jaroslaw Jerry Ambrozuk was also fined $1,000 under a plea arrangement that was revised by Flathead
District Court Judge Stewart Stadler last Thursday. According to the Kalispell Daily Inter Lake,
Ambrozuk pleaded guilty to one count of felony criminal endangerment and one count of felony criminal mischief in May for the bizarre elopement scheme in which he, then 19, and Babcock, 18, rented the
plane in Penticton, British Columbia, and then deliberately put it in Bitterroot Lake, near Kalispell, Mont. They planned to run away together, but Babcock for reasons that are not clear was unable to
escape the sinking aircraft. Ambrozuk fled, didnt report the accident and eventually took up residence in Plano, Texas, where he led a comfortable life as a software engineer under an assumed
identity. One of his neighbors recognized him when the story was told on Americas Most Wanted. Shortly after the ditching, police in Canada recorded a phone call in which Ambrozuk told a friend
that Babcocks seatbelt had jammed, but it was working properly when searchers recovered the plane, with Babcocks body still inside, from 220 feet of water. In his ruling, Judge Stadler
ordered Ambrozuk to pay $19,500 to the aircraft owner, $5,000 to Babcocks family for funeral expenses and $10,000 in court and prosecution costs, in addition to the $1,000 fine. Ambrozuks
legal issues are far from over, however. Next week, hell plead guilty to falsifying his U.S. passport, which is a felony.
Quartz Mountain Aerospace, which is trying to revive an updated
version of the Luscombe Sedan, laid off about 20 of its 104 workers last week, citing supply and
training problems and an FAA inspection bottleneck. The company, which has had its share of startup issues, set up in Altus, Okla., with about $40 million in government incentives and loans. CEO John
Daniel told The Oklahoman that the company is in production but doesnt have a production certificate, meaning each aircraft, designated the 11E, has to be inspected by an FAA inspector. There
arent enough of those inspectors to go around and thats slowed production to a crawl. With delays, we just had more people than we had work for right now, Daniel said. FAA
spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said the agency is doing the best it can to attend to new certifications, but its priority is to ensure the safety of the existing fleet. Daniel said he hopes to have the
production certificate by September and be in full production by the end of the year. He said customers are being patient with the companys problems and none have canceled their orders. The
original Sedan, which went into production in 1946, was a four-place taildragger that was intended as a competitor for the Cessna 170, but it didnt sell well and the company went bankrupt in
1948. The Quartz Mountain version has updated systems and tricycle landing gear.
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There is now a one-stop Web site for information on special-use airspace
where military pilots practice their craft. The See and Avoid site, designed by the Air National Guard with input from aviation groups, allows pilots whose route might take them through a military
practice area to get all the information they need about flying safely in that area. The mission of SeeAndAvoid.org is to eliminate midair collisions and reduce close calls with good flight
planning, the site says. By promoting information exchange between civilian pilots and the military flight safety community, we hope to help all of us safely share the skies. Typing
in an airport identifier brings up all the relevant information about military activity in that area. It also shows where previous midairs and near collisions have occurred. Some of the information
has never been available on the Internet before and some was available only by searching the Web sites of individual air bases.
The European Union has given Polytechnic of Turin, Italy, and its 11 partners about $6 million to install fuel cells and
electric motors in a variety of two-place aircraft to show it can be done. But the real goal is to develop a 12- to 15-passenger commuter aircraft powered by fuel cells. Hydrogen and fuel cell
power technologies have now reached the point where they can [be] exploited to initiate a new era of propulsion systems for light aircraft and small commuter aircraft, says a report on the
ENvironmentally Friendly Inter City Aircraft powered by Fuel Cells (ENFICA-FC) projects Web site. The initial goal is
relatively modest. The two-place planes, equivalent to Light Sport aircraft in the U.S., will have an endurance goal of about an hour, enough to verify that the technology is viable. As fuel cell
technology improves, so will that performance. The Europeans see a big market for fuel cell/electric commuter planes because of stringent noise standards at many of the smaller airports where they
would land. The possibility to takeoff and land without contravening the noise abatement regulations set for small airfields, in urban areas and near population centres, will allow the use of
these airfields during the late night hours when the noise abatement regulations are even more stringent, the Web site says. The news from Turin comes a couple of months after Boeing in Spain
announced it was going to try flying a Diamond motor glider with a fuel cell/electric system. ENFICA-FC is also looking at using fuel cells to power onboard electrical systems. Boeing and Sandia National Laboratories are also investigating the use of fuel cells to power backup systems on
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The FAA is investigating the fourth runway incursion this year at LAX. In Tuesdays incident, an American Airlines plane went past the hold line and stopped abruptly while heading to a
runway where a cargo plane was taking off
The owner of a small cropdusting service near Bastrop, La., tried but couldnt save two aircraft from a fire that damaged his hangar. Leland Jinks Pruitt said that while the
fire didnt reach the planes, the heat melted instruments and warped the wings, writing at least one of them off
A Cessna 172 headed for Northwestern Michigan College was the 7,500th Cessna piston single to roll off the assembly line in Independence, Kan., last Thursday
Exosphere Aircraft, which will build the BD-22 Light Sport Aircraft, is setting up shop at Harvey Field in Snohomish, Wash. The company announced the location in January, but its taken
until now to do the necessary renovations to the buildings.
Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news
tips via email to email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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Retired TWA captain and renowned radar lecturer Dave Gwinn chats with Glenn Pew about the importance (and limitations) or radar in the IFR system. You may be surprised at what you can learn from
Gwinn if you spend a few minutes with him ... .
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AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's podcast, you'll hear Eclipse Aviation
president and CEO Vern Raburn. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Xwind's Brad Whitsitt; BoGo Light's Mark Bent; DayJet's Ed Iacobucci; Pogo
Jet's Cameron Burr; Teal Group's Richard Aboulafia; 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;
AOPA's Andrew Cebula; Hawker Beechcraft's Jim Schuster; and Avfuel's Craig Sincock. In today's podcast, hear Ed Shipley talk about the
P-38 called Glacier Girl. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.
Attention, Cessna Owners and Pilots! Join the fastest-growing and best association for Cessna Flyers the Cessna Flyer Association (CFA), since 2004 providing same-day parts locating, faster answers to technical
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We all know the impact of bird strikes on small aircraft, but when was the last time you saw their effect on something as large as a Boeing
757? Simon Lowe was on hand when a Thomson 757 engine sucked in a bird on take-off a few weeks ago, and he caught the whole thing on video. (Thanks to AVweb reader Lawrence
Braden for sending us the clip.)
Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it,
there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."
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 Editor Russ Niles (bio).
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