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Volume 13, Number 23a
June 4, 2007
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Top Newsback to top 

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. More...

Authorities say they’ve 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 they’d 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. More...

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. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

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 Honda’s 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. “I’m 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. More...

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. More...

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. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

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.” More...

The mayor of Naples, Fla., says he’s 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?" More...

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News Briefsback to top 

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, didn’t 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 America’s Most Wanted. More...

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 doesn’t have a production certificate, meaning each aircraft, designated the 11E, has to be inspected by an FAA inspector. There aren’t enough of those inspectors to go around and that’s 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. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

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.” More...

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) project’s Web site. More...

Reason #31 — Look Ma, No Hands
The new Garmin GFC 700 autopilot gives you more hands-free flying control than ever. The flight director is seamlessly integrated into the G1000 glass cockpit and standard on new Skylanes and Stationairs. Letting go never felt so good. For more great reasons, visit CessnaReasons.com.
News In Briefback to top 

FAA investigating the fourth runway incursion this year at LAX…
Cropduster unable to save his airplanes from fire…
Cessna delivers 7,500th piston single from Independence plant…
Exosphere Aircraft setting up shop in Snohomish, Wash. More...

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 newstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/. More...

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New On AVwebback to top 

Columns | Features | What's New | Calendar | Brainteasers

If the FAA offers you remedial training in lieu of other enforcement options, we say take it. You might even learn something. More...

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 ... . More...

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AVweb Audio News -- Are You Listeningback to top 


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.


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FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Aurora Jet Center at KUAO in Aurora, Ore.

AVweb reader Dennis Conner said the FBO has great service -- and cookies, too.

"Every time we stop in there, there is always a person to greet you and take care of all your needs quickly and efficiently. Fresh cookies and coffee as well."

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is 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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Video Of The Weekback to top 

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. (Click through to watch.) More...

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The Lighter Side Of Flightback to top 

Overheard in IFR 
Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

Overheard while flying into Troutdale, Ore. (KTTD) Class D airspace.

N338BV: Three Three Eight Bravo Victor, inbound, 3000 level, three miles, full stop.

Troutdale Tower: Three Three Eight Bravo Victor cleared straight-in Runway 25. Wind 270 at seven.

N338BV: Do you want me on a right- or left-hand pattern?

Tower: Neither, unless you can do it straight in.


Names Behind The Newsback to top 


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).

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

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