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True Flight Holdings LLC of Valdosta, Ga., was the successful bidder for Tiger Aircraft's type certificates and hopes to resume
production of the sporty low-wing that was originally made by Grumman. True Flight spokesman J. Kevin Lancaster told AVweb on Friday that there are several communities interested in hosting the
new business, but there won't be any detailed announcements for at least several weeks. Lancaster said his group of investors plans to take a "dramatically different" approach to structuring the
company and marketing the airplane than the former owner, Tiger Aircraft, which filed for bankruptcy in January. The former company had manufacturing facilities in Martinsburg, W. Va., and was owned
by Taiwanese investors, which Lancaster said caused corporate difficulties that won't be an issue with his firm. True Flight obtained the type certificates to the full line of former Grumman light
aircraft from Tiger for $925,000. "I thought it was a bargain," Lancaster said. He owned two Grumman Tigers before buying a Mooney and said he wants another Tiger. The fate of the tooling and
equipment is still under negotiation with the bankruptcy trustees.
A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the state of New York lacks the jurisdiction to require background checks on student pilots.
AOPA and seven flight schools filed suit against the law, and on Aug. 2 Judge Gary Sharpe ruled in favor of AOPA's motion for summary judgment. In essence, the ruling affirms that the federal
government has sole jurisdiction over the regulation and security of aviation. "This law didn't do anything to enhance security for New Yorkers," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It was unnecessary
and discriminatory, and it violated the U.S. Constitution." The judge found that the TSA already has a background check system in place and that Congress has already decided that a uniform system of
regulations should guide aviation activity throughout the country. Allowing states to put their own spin on those regulations would create a patchwork of differing regulations that would negate the
mandated principal of uniformity. New York was having a hard time implementing the law. The FBI refused to allow third-party access to criminal record files, so background checks were limited to
illegal activity within New York alone.
An Arizona woman who was the FAA's deputy director during the Reagan era is being touted as current Administrator Marion Blakey's
replacement. According to Aviation Daily, unnamed sources say Barbara Barrett
is being chatted up in Washington circles to take over from Blakey when her term expires on Sept. 13. Barrett has been on the boards of large companies and charitable organizations and chaired the
U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. She also took a run at becoming Arizona's governor and is married to Intel Corp. Chairman Craig Barrett. The Barrett rumor comes as most pundits were
predicting that the administration would not make an appointment because the Democratic Congress is unlikely to confirm an appointee for a five-year term when there is only a year left in the current
administration's mandate. It was thought that current deputy, Bobby Sturgell, would ride out the last year as acting administrator.
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Local authorities and the FAA are wondering what to do about an apparent fad among some pilots in northern Michigan. For the
third time in two months, aircraft have been reported flying under the giant Mackinac Bridge that connects Michigan's Upper Peninsula with the rest of the state. The last time an airplane was reported
flying under the bridge was 1959. "Flying close to any structure will create a tremendous risk of danger. It's not only a threat to the pilot and the people in the plane, but also to those on the
bridge," FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory told the Traverse City Record Eagle. "There's a chance that wind or
miscalculations could put you too close to a structure, any structure." The highest span of the bridge is 155 feet above the water. In early June, a helicopter flew under the bridge and witnesses
apparently got a good enough look at it for the FAA to begin an investigation. On July 20, a floatplane flew under, but those who saw it couldn't provide a good description or N-number. The latest
incident was July 30 when two red floatplanes performed the stunt, but it's not known if witnesses got their tail numbers. The FAA is encouraging people to report all such incidents with as much
information as possible. Pilots face suspensions and fines if caught.
A young pilot who witnesses say did a miraculous job in a forced landing on a busy Fort Lauderdale street last Wednesday has been
cited by the FAA and has a checkered driving record, according to the South
Florida Sun-Sentinel.Austin Brennan, 24, of Hollywood, Fla., dodged people, cars and fast food restaurants when he brought the Piper Aerostar down on a main thoroughfare. He and his two passengers
walked away from the fiery wreck with minor injuries while no one on the ground was hurt. Brennan had reported an engine failure just before the off-airport landing. "It looked like the pilot was in
control the entire time," private pilot and incident witness Pat Schaffer told the Sun-Sentinel. But an investigation by the newspaper revealed Brennan has been accused by the FAA of previously
violating regulations. The FAA confirmed that it has taken enforcement action against Brennan for a breach of regulations that happened this year, but wouldnt discuss details because its
in the appeal period. Brennan has also been cited for several driving offenses, including speeding, driving an unsafe vehicle, driving without a license plate and driving without insurance.
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Piper Aircraft is always for sale, but that doesnt mean its being sold, according to some cryptic reaction to rumors
the Florida planemaker is on the block again. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, AOPA
apparently fueled the rumors by running an item in its EAA AirVenture coverage (which we couldnt find) saying the current owners, American Capital Strategies, might be "shopping the company to
potential buyers." American Capital didn't exactly quell the rumor by telling AOPA that "most companies are for sale for the right price." So what was Piper management's reaction? Piper spokesman
Steve Johnston told the Sun-Sentinel that the company always has been and always will be for sale until the right buyer comes along. "At any given time most companies are for sale at the right price,
so we find it surprising that anyone would find that surprising," Johnston said. As cold and indifferent the lack of sentiment may be for one of the oldest names in general aviation, it's just
business, according to one analyst. Richard Aboulafia told the Sun-Sentinel that equity funds like American Capital make their money by buying up companies on the ropes, putting them back in shape and
then selling them. Piper has rebounded in recent years, is launching its first jet next year, and is scouting locations to build it. In the meantime, Piper plans to sell 216 aircraft in the coming
year, 50 of which will be its top-of-the-line Meridian.
A judge has ruled that Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky., cannot be sued because it enjoys "sovereign immunity" under the
Kentucky constitution that prevents counties from being sued without a waiver approved by the General Assembly. Comair is trying to sue the airport for its alleged role in the 2006 fatal crash of one
of its regional jets that took off from the wrong runway. The airline alleged that inadequate signage and runway markings contributed to the pilots of Flight 5191 choosing a shorter, narrower general
aviation runway instead of the 7,000-foot runway to which they'd been cleared for takeoff. The aircraft crashed off the end of the runway, killing 49 of the 50 people on board. Comair had hoped to
spread liability for the accident to the airport and it is also suing the FAA, which had staffed the tower with a single controller when two were required. The controller on duty had his back turned
to the windows and was doing paperwork when the crash occurred. An NTSB report put most of the blame on the pilots for not
noticing the cues that they were on the wrong runway. The Board criticized the FAA for lax enforcement of taxiing regulations but, in a split decision, ruled the controller's failure to watch the
aircraft line up for takeoff was not a contributing factor. The report did recommend that controllers keep an eye on aircraft under their control, however. No blame was assigned to the airport, but
there was a recommendation to the FAA that all commercial airports be required to enhance taxiway and hold position markings.
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An unheralded but vital aspect to the (mostly) orderly aerial migration to EAA AirVenture each year is undergoing a major
change. Approach control services, which have been handled by Chicago Center since 1969, are switching to Milwaukees tower and TRACON facilities for the 2008 show. "Chicago Center employees do a
remarkable job with Oshkosh, and we have a good story to tell," Bill Cound, the center's air traffic manager, told MyFAA, the employees online newsletter. Although a lot of well-deserved
attention is paid to the tower controllers and those operating the mobile centers in Oshkoshs immediate vicinity, funnelling all that traffic into the area also has its challenges. Chicago Front
Line Manager Rita Thiel has been working the Oshkosh traffic for 18 years and told the newsletter it stretches staff and resources. "Every year the Chicago North Area Team braced up for one heck of a
week," said Thiel. "Usually four controllers are working with split frequencies because of sheer volume. One controller would work departures and one would work arrivals. They would pass their breaks
for sometimes five hours because it was simply too busy to give a briefing. I am so proud to have worked with such energetic, ingenious controllers who really just got in there, pulled up their
sleeves, dug themselves out, and always, always got the job done."
What the Corona, Calif. Press-Enterprise calls the local airport's "signature airplane" is headed to South America's largest aviation museum. The DC-3, owned by John and Betty Pappas of Mission Viejo,
left Saturday on a 5,300-nm trip over the Andes and across the Amazon jungle to be featured in the museum at Sao Carlos, Brazil. Boeing purchased the aircraft, nicknamed Rose, for an undisclosed price
from the Pappas to place in the museum, which is described as being comparable to Seattles Museum of Flight. "It is the best place for a wonderful old airplane to finish off her days," said John
Pappas. Like all DC-3s, this one has a storied past. Built in 1943 for the military, it was used to drop paratroopers on D-Day. The Pappas have owned it for 10 years and it's become an icon in Corona
that will be missed. "I hate to see it leave. The saddest part is it sounds like it's not gong to fly again," local pilot Dave Stevenson told the Press-Enterprise. A pancake breakfast farewell was
held Saturday morning before Rose's scheduled departure of 11 a.m.
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It was a testament to the ruggedness of the IL-76, but well let others decide what it says about the crew flying it. According to a
Transport Canada incident report published by Canadian Defence and
Geopolitics, the Silk Way Airways plane was headed for Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ontario, in early June when it encountered poor visibility (half mile in fog, vertical visibility 500 feet,
RVR 600, temperature and dew point 12 degrees Celsius) at the military base. The crew elected to try an instrument approach. The massive plane, loaded with military hardware from the Canadian Forces
operation in Afghanistan, hit a perimeter fence, taking out 150 feet of it, touched down briefly 430 feet short of the runway and then managed to climb out, trailing part of the fence from its landing
gear and peppered with damage to its belly. However, that wasnt enough to prompt the crew to declare an emergency. According to the report, the crew climbed the airplane, still trailing barbed
wire, to 3,000 feet and entered a hold for an hour. They then decided to divert to fog-free Ottawa, about 100 nm away. Ottawa officials were notified that the airplane had hit a fence and rolled
emergency gear for the landing. The IL-76 landed uneventfully and went directly to an FBO. There, with help from the emergency workers, the crew untangled the barbed wire and took off again for
Trenton, where the cargo was unloaded. In Trenton, it was revealed the aircraft had "substantial damage" and the events were classified by the Transportation Safety Board as an accident rather than an
As a group that has pored over Gardner Island several times failed in its attempt to find conclusive evidence that the island is the
final resting place of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan, another effort to solve the 70-year-old mystery has received fresh funding, thanks in part to its exposure in AVweb. Last
week The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery wrapped up its latest effort, recovering a part of a zipper and a melted bottle that
might have been used to boil water, but nothing that proves Earhart was ever there. Official accounts say she and Noonan crashed at sea, but theories persist that they crashed on an island and perhaps
survived for a time, either as castaways or prisoners of the Japanese. An Australian man hopes to test his theory that Earhart's plane came down on New Britain Island off Papua New Guinea and the
$75,000 in funding pledges David Billings has received since his podcast interviewappeared in AVweb a month ago will go a long way
toward that effort. Billings believes an Australian army patrol found the wreck of Earhart's Lockheed Electra and dutifully reported the discovery, including engine and airframe serial numbers.
Although Billings has searched the area on foot, he believes the aircraft is so buried by jungle the only way to find it is with an airborne metal detector. That will cost about $150,000 and, with the
money pledged so far and some promising leads on the way, he hopes to finally launch the search.
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If pistons and turbines are like dinner music to you, then a new restaurant planned for Wichita might be your cup of tea. Hangar 1 Steakhouse will have 41-foot tower where
diners can watch aircraft arriving and departing Mid-Continent Airport...
Although pilot numbers continue to fall, membership in AOPA is on the rise. The organization hit a record 413,350 members, up 33 percent since 1991 when current President Phil Boyer took
Shawn Vick has been named CEO of Airport Services for Landmark Aviation. Vick was president of Landmark before it was sold to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE). DAE says it plans to sell the
airport services arm, which has 33 FBOs, and Vick will be CEO during the process.
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.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news,
Business AVflash focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/.
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
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The AOPA Insurance Agency is the only agency offering the built-in expertise of AOPA's 66+ years' commitment to general aviation and the only agency qualified to carry the AOPA
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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 you'll hear
Avidyne's Paul Hathaway on future avionics requirements. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Arion Corp's Brian Barents; BusinessJetSEATS
Alfred Rapetti; EAA's Dick Knapinski; AOPA's Andrew Cebula; Cirrus Design's Alan Klapmeier; NBAA's Harry Houkes; 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 and LAMA's Dan Johnson. In today's
podcast, Lycoming's Ian Walsh talks about "green" engine initiatives at his company. 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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in the Blue Hangar on the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in Waupaca, Wisconsin, just 35 nm NW of Oshkosh. For more info, visit
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Corporate Wings at KCHS in Charleston, S.C.
AVweb reader Val Nasano said the FBO's staff really delivers:
"I have been using Corporate Wings CHS since I started traveling to Charleston on business in 2006. I receive the same royal treatment in my C182 each time I taxi in as any bizjet or large corporate
client. Last trip in, the crew at Corporate Wings went above and beyond. I always rent a car through the FBO and when I ended up with a flat tire on the side of the interstate at 9 p.m., I called the
FBO for the number of roadside assistance. Not only did they call the car rental company for me, one of their lineman went out on his own, located our car and changed the flat for us so we could get
off the busy highway in the dark. I can't say enough about this crew. I nominate them for FBO of the year!"
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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FLITELite Reinvents Light ... Once Again FLITELite, aviation's LED innovator, introduces the next step in headset technology a new intercom-powered, hands-free LED flashlight built into the headset microphone without loss of
audio system quality, factory installed by AVCOMM Communications. Never lose your flashlight again. And the FLITELite never requires batteries. FLITELite controls are
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Overhead during a rather quiet evening on Minneapolis
Unknown aircraft: Minneapolis Center. Still there?
Minneapolis Center: Engineering to Bridge. Aye, Captain. Tricorder readings indicate carbon-based units still infest the planet.
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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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