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Volume 13, Number 26a
June 25, 2007
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Aviation Law in Action — In Brazilback to top 

The lawyer for two Long Island pilots accused of criminal charges in connection with a midair collision between their Embraer Legacy 600 business jet and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 last September has told Newsday his clients will likely not return to Brazil to testify. Joel Weiss said Brazilian law allows ExcelAire pilots Jan Paladino and Joe Lepore to testify from their "home state" and they're willing to supply written, recorded or live video testimony. "We would like to tell our story," Weiss said. "We're willing to participate in accord with normal Brazilian procedures, which allows testimony to be given in the home state of the accused. But anything else amounts to an end run around the guarantees and protections of our extradition treaty with Brazil." The judge in the case has set Aug. 27 for the pilots' testimony and Aug. 28 to hear from four air traffic controllers also indicted in the collision, which resulted in the deaths of all 154 people aboard the Gol Boeing 737. More...

The president and vice president of the union representing air traffic controllers in Brazil are facing arrest after controllers staged a four-day work slowdown that caused numerous flight delays and sparked violence at some terminals last week. President Carlos Trifilio and Vice President Moises Gomes de Almeida will likely be arrested next week on charges of violating Brazil's military code of conduct by publicly criticizing the system in which they work. Both are military officers, as are most Brazilian controllers. Controllers want more pay, better equipment and a lighter workload (sound familiar?) and the slowdown was the second instance of job action by the controllers, who staged a brief strike in April on a holiday weekend. More...

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Controllers and the FAAback to top 

The FAA is offering experienced air traffic controllers (military or civilian) a $20,000 signing bonus if they'll come back to the console for as little as two years. In an announcement on its own recruiting site and on the federal government's Office of Personnel Management site, the FAA is offering the carrot in what appears to be an attempt to get traffic-ready controllers in position to quell an increasing shortage of veterans. The ad specifies that only those who have worked as fully certified controllers for 52 consecutive weeks in the past two years will qualify for the bonus and that they will undergo training to bring them fully up to speed for the areas they'll work.

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said the incentive is mainly aimed at attracting military controllers, and she said the competition is intense. The military is offering retention bonuses for its experienced controllers, and the private company that is training new recruits for the FAA is also looking for veterans. "This [the bonus] is just a way of remaining competitive," Brown told AVweb. In the meantime, she said, there is no shortage of raw recruits for entry-level positions and thousands have applied for the trainee jobs offered in a nationwide recruiting program. More...

The Washington Post says Democrats' attempts to turn back the clock on the FAA's relationship with its air traffic controllers are behind the delay in getting the controversial FAA reauthorization bill introduced in the House of Representatives. The bill was expected to be in the House by late last week, but is now anticipated for introduction sometime in the coming week.

According to the Post, Democratic members of the House Transportation bill are trying to include language that would roll back the imposed deal on the controllers and force the administration to return to contract bargaining. As AVweb reported last week, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey has now confirmed that discussions are going on between the FAA and the union to try and resolve outstanding issues that would allow the bill to proceed. "It's one of those things that is a side discussion," she told the Post. "It's unfortunate it is coming into play on the reauthorization bill." More...

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News Briefsback to top 

Indian River County and the city of Vero Beach, Fla., have upped the ante to keep Piper Aircraft in Vero Beach and that presumably has kept the company's current home town in the running for an increasingly high-stakes competition for the storied planemaker. According to TCPalm.com The civic governments have approved a package that includes the purchase of the existing factory for $23 million and construction of a new facility for manufacturing the PiperJet at a cost of $17 million, which would be leased back to Piper rent-free for eight years. The state is also chipping in $20 million. More...

An Arkansas man who runs Mena Aircraft Propellers Inc. in Mena, Ark., has been convicted of fraud and making false statements concerning aircraft parts in connection with activities at his former business, Millennium Propeller Systems Inc. at Lancaster Airport near Dallas. According to bizjournals.com, John Wentzell Downs lost the FAA certification for his former business but kept on repairing and rebuilding propellers without letting customers know he was no longer certified. Downs also backdated maintenance records before he lost his FAA qualifications, although he testified that he didn't do that intentionally. One customer was billed $2,250 for work Downs was not legally qualified to perform. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

An anonymous buyer has paid almost $500,000 extra for the privilege of jumping the line to buy a Cessna Citation Mustang. When the Mustang was first announced, Sporty's Pilot Shops owner Hal Shevers was among the first to put down a deposit and he got the 13th position. Rather than keep the twinjet (and give up his existing larger Citation), Shevers bet that there would be others who would pay a premium for being among the first to take delivery of what Cessna calls its "entry-level jet." Instead of pocketing the cash, however, he decided to put it to good use via the Sporty's Foundation, which funds scholarships and outreach programs to help maintain the supply of new pilots entering the system. "Our business is small airplanes and The Sporty's Foundation is dedicated to supporting scholarships and programs for individuals pursuing a career maintaining these aircraft," Shevers said in a news release. More...

Does the concept of "see and avoid" apply to car drivers on airports? What about the notion of right of way at taxiway intersections? According to The Associated Press, both will be up to a judge to decide in a lawsuit launched by an Aurora, Ore., pilot and airport business owner against the FBI. Marlowe Treit is suing the FBI over a May 2006 accident in which the low-slung Lamborghini he was driving on a taxiway was sliced open by the prop on the FBI's Cessna 206 as it was crossing the taxiway at Aurora State Airport.

Treit claims his little black car had the right of way on the privately owned taxiway where the collision occurred. In a statement to the NTSB, the unidentified agent taxiing the plane says he didn't see the car until "out the left side window of the aircraft I saw a small black sports car dart from under the prop moving to my left, gushing fluid." More...


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News Briefsback to top 

With the home-field advantage, France-based Airbus appears to have vaulted ahead of Boeing in terms of aircraft orders thanks to some large contracts signed at the Paris Air Show. USA Today is pegging Airbus's 2007 order total at about 600, including a staggering 400 announced at Le Bourget. Boeing has gathered about 510 orders in the first six months of the year. Many of Airbus' orders are for older narrow-body designs like the A320 and A330. The majority of Boeing's orders are for the ubiquitous 737 but its latest project, the 787 Dreamliner, might be just starting to gather steam. More...

Pilots at the U.K.'s Houses of Parliament on June 18 made a case that airline pilots and cabin crew are being exposed to toxic oil contaminants that are ultimately rendering them victims of "aerotoxic syndrome" and medically forced into retirement, according to NewScientist.com. As a result of the complaints, two investigations are being opened that will follow 1,500 pilots and study the cabin air supply on commercial airliners to seek out any foundations for aerotoxic syndrome. Pilots make the case that the compressed air drawn off engines may be compromised by oil if an engine seal leaks or fails.

Susan Michaelis, a former pilot, believes toxic tricresyl phosphate can leak into the cabin and cause lasting health effects. Michaelis carried out a survey of 250 pilots and reported that 8 percent had to be retired on health grounds relating to air contamination, according to NewScientist. More...

Columbia Introduces 2007 Models
The 2007 Columbias have arrived. Fresh for this year are new, dynamic paint schemes for both the Columbia 350 and 400, as well as a host of thoughtful and unique features for the discerning aircraft owner. See how your new Columbia will look with the interactive online Paint Selector. Just go online and click on the "Paint Your Passion" icon.
News in Briefback to top 

Glacier Girl began trip to England ...
F-22s chase down errant pilots in Alabama ...
Pilots asked to respect outdoor entertainment venues in California ...
Barrington Irving close to finishing circumnavigation bid ...
Honda to break ground on jet factory June 27 ...
Air Taxi Association formed ...
A Mirage 2000 intercepted a small incommunicado airplane over Paris airspace. More...

Join NAA and Help Shape the Next Century of Flight
It's a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the nation's oldest aviation organization. At $39 a year, NAA membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast! Members receive the Smithsonian's Air & Space and NAA's Aero magazines, plus access to aviation records, product discounts, and much more. Call (703) 527-0226 to become an NAA member, or sign up online.
New on AVwebback to top 

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

AVMAIL: JUN. 25, 2007
Reader mail this week about regional airline pilots, user fees and a replacement for the FAA's Marion Blakey. 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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AVweb Audio News — Are You Listening?back to top 


AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's podcast, you'll hear Vince Scott explain how he used a little electronic wizardry when his engine ate an exhaust valve at 7,000 feet in IMC. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Reason Foundation's Robert Poole; SATSair's Sheldon Early; Epic Aircraft's Rick Schrameck; AOPA's Randy Kenagy; Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn; 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; and AOPA's Andrew Cebula. In today's podcast, hear NBAA Southeast Rep. Harry Houckes on aviation issues affecting the region. 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 Great Lakes Air at K83D in St. Ignace, Mich.

AVweb readers Andrea and Tim Olson said the FBO's staff and service were outstanding.

"We had just touched down and were still rolling out down the runway when we were greeted over the Unicom with a very friendly 'Hello, Welcome to Great Lakes Air, will you be needing any fuel today?' At the fuel pump (with very reasonable fuel prices for the area), the staff was friendly and truly enjoyed talking aviation. The staff brought the courtesy car around to the plane, and even helped me unload the plane and pack the car while my husband, the pilot, 'talked planes.' The courtesy car was available for us to have until the next morning, so we were able to enjoy the Mackinac Bridge, see the area sites, and have a great dinner. Sally, the resident Golden Retriever, was very well behaved and kept our young daughters busy while we paid for fuel. A family friendly, reasonable, well maintained FBO located in a beautiful part of Michigan, in it for the love of aviation."

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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Over 400 titles representing 52 publishers are in stock and ready for immediate delivery — as books, videos, or CDs. 100+ titles available instantly as fully searchable e-Book downloads. Whether you are a pilot, an A&P technician, or a kit airplane builder, if it's worth reading, it's available from the AVweb Bookstore. Click here to visit online.
Video of the Weekback to top 

Our last couple of "Video of the Week" clips have been light-hearted and funny, but this week we swing the pendulum in the other direction, with a scary incident of prop failure during the 1991 Reno Air Races. The in-cockpit video comes from YouTube user karenmorss. (Click through to watch.) More...

The Best Tool in Your Tool Box Is Information!
Save money and time with helpful articles from Light Plane Maintenance magazine. Light Plane Maintenance brings you tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform legally and easily on your aircraft. Order online now and receive LPM's 40 Top Maintenance Tips as a gift
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 at the Shreveport Downtown (KDTN) Airport, from a student pilot still very green on the radio.

N3AB: Uh, Downtown Ground, this is Cessna Three Alpha Bravo, will be taxiing to the north practice area, negative radar.

Downtown Ground [amused]: Cessna Three Alpha Bravo, I guess that would be quite a long taxi, wouldn’t it?

N3AB [after a short pause]: Uh, Downtown Ground, Cessna Three Alpha Bravo, uh, say again?

Ground [chuckling]: Cessna Three Alpha Bravo, never mind, taxi to runway one four.


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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 Editors Russ Niles (bio) and Glenn Pew (bio) and Editor In Chief Chad Trautvetter.

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.

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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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