|Volume 9, Number 22a||May 26, 2003|
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.
$100 MILLION GA RELIEF PROPOSED...
Financial relief could be on the way for GA businesses hardest hit by security-related measures resulting from 9/11 and the war in Iraq. The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure passed H.R. 2115, which includes a subsection (scroll for Sec. 428) allocating $100 million for specific airports and related businesses that have become GA icons in the ongoing rhetoric over security measures and their economic impact on GA. In general, the bill, which must still be passed by the House, approved by the Senate and signed by the president, applies only to those businesses and airports that have been closed or continuously affected by security-related restrictions and closures since 9/11. More...
...SECURITY MEASURES INCLUDED...
The bill also became the new home of certain security-related measures previously introduced in another piece of legislation. Jurisdictional snafus led to a request to reopen DCA for GA, a third-party appeal process for security-related airman certificate suspension and the creation of a small business ombudsman within the FAA to be included in this bill. It also contains a measure that would require the FAA to report to Congress within 30 days as to why the Washington ADIZ is in place and every 60 days thereafter should it continue. The TSA, which is an integral part of such decision making, isn't presently included in that reporting requirement. More...
...CHARTER A SEAT, NOT A PLANE
Perhaps the biggest structural change envisioned by the new bill is a measure that would dramatically improve the flexibility of charter operations between smaller airports. The amendment, proposed by Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) would allow on-demand charter operators, using turbine-powered or multi-engine piston-powered aircraft with 10 or fewer seats, to sell individual seats, rather than book the entire airplane. The cost of the seats would be negotiated individually between the charter operator and the passengers. Presumably, that means a charter company could find a planeload of pax headed in the same general direction and drop them off, one by one, at the airports of their choice. Industry spokesmen were pleased the idea might become law. More...
MEIGS CAMPAIGN DOWN TO WIRE...
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley came within a few minutes of being able to finish the job at Meigs Field but some legal gymnastics and a last-ditch sprint to a Chicago courtroom spared the historic airport further indignity until at least June 4. The Friends of Meigs was able to convince Illinois State Appellate Court Judge Patrick Quinn to extend a temporary restraining order (TRO) on further demolition of Meigs -- now in place until 4 p.m. on June 4. Earlier in the day, Cook County Judge William Maki threw out FOM's suit against the city of Chicago and rescinded the TRO he had imposed while hearing arguments. AOPA tried to get another TRO in federal court a few hours later but that, too, was turned down. Then FOM's lawyers sharpened their pencils ... and laced up their running shoes. More...
...AOPA PLAN PANNED BY DALEY
Of course, not all the Meigs activity is like an episode of The Practice. Earlier in the week, AOPA said it had the answer with a plan for the city of Chicago to use $41 million in federal grant money to buy the airport from the Chicago Park District. Daley scoffed at the suggestion, saying the airport is worth at least $700 million and a state law prohibits the park district from selling more than three acres of land in one chunk. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association weighed in with support for the reopening of Meigs and rumors have been circulating about Daley's real motive for closing the airport -- so a huge casino resort can be built there. Even H.R. 2115 appears to address what happened at Meigs. More...
BACKGROUND CHECK LAW UNDER FIRE
Michigan's student pilot criminal background law is under fire, again, this time from within. State Rep. Steven Ehardt (R-Dist 83) has proposed an amendment that would overturn the background check requirement that was passed by the state last year. AOPA, which is challenging the same law in court, helped Ehardt draft the amendment, which would replace the language requiring the background checks with requirements for security programs, identification of students and training students to be vigilant and report suspicious activity anywhere around an airport. The FAA and TSA have criticized the Michigan law. More...
CIRRUS ROBB'S "BEST OF BEST"
The Robb Report, which reports "on issues and trends affecting the affluent market," chose to place the Cirrus SR 22 at the top of the heap for personal aircraft, above all other light aircraft, in its Best of the Best 2003 issue. "Our editors selected the Cirrus SR22 because of its exceptional safety system, exceptional performance capabilities, cockpit technology and cabin comfort," said editorial director Brett Anderson. We like the leather, too, but that blanket endorsement of the "safety system," meaning, of course, the whole-plane parachute, belies a safety record that is not presently near the best of the best. More...
HOW SENSITIVE IS "YOUR" CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR? Low levels of carbon monoxide can be hazardous in aircraft since the effects of CO and hypoxia are cumulative. By the time a chemical spot or hardware store CO detectors alerts, you could have a life-threatening exhaust leak. The CO Experts 2002 from Aeromedix warns of CO levels as low as 5 parts per million! On sale for $99.95. Be safe, order today by calling 888 362-7123 and mention this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi
CAP HELPS OUT TERRORISM EXERCISE
In case you thought the Civil Air Patrol was about search and rescue and teaching kids to fly gliders, add dealing with a radiological and biological weapons attack to the organization's long list of potential activities. CAP members in Chicago and Seattle took part in TOPOFF 2, a counter-terrorism exercise that concluded May 16. It was the second such simulation undertaken by the State Department, Department of Justice and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. And since the first one was in 2000, this one was a little more poignant. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the exercise was aimed at finding the strengths and weaknesses of the emergency preparedness system. CAP officials counted their members among the strengths. More...
CASH-HEAVY BOEING GETS STATE AID
Despite the worst slump in aviation history, Boeing's airliner division is "strongly profitable" according to its CEO and is characterized as being "awash in cash" by the Dow Jones Newswire. And with $500 million handouts like the one the state of Kansas turned over last week, the financial future of the sales-challenged company would appear to be as rosy as it's ever been. CEO Phil Condit filled in Dow Jones on the secret of its financial success, saying cost-cutting was the key but branching into financing, in-flight broadband service and air traffic management is keeping the largest aerospace firm in the world in fine shape. It's estimating cash reserves of $2.5 billion for this year. So, why, you might ask, is Kansas being asked to risk $500 million of the people's money to prop up operations in that state? More...
MISSILE DEFENSES NOT THE ANSWER?
Boeing's airliner division boss says there are better ways to protect airliners from missiles than equipping them with countermeasures. Alan Mulally told Reuters such systems would be "very complex" (read: very expensive) and might not even work. "The best thing to do is to create an environment where (an attack) doesn't happen or the consequences for that are very severe and not complicate the airplanes," he said. Mulally said adding missile defenses would involve major changes to the systems of airliners and it would be hard to keep those systems up to date to match technology of the newer, faster and more accurate missiles constantly under development by the war machine. More...
ECLIPSE HEAD MONITORS TESTS
Well, a lot of CEOs say they're hands-on but there's no disputing Eclipse boss Vern Raburn's claim. Instead of watching the flight test program of the 500 from the corner office, Raburn has flown the chase plane on at least three hops. As of May 20, the re-engined personal jet had flown six times and completed a major portion of the slow-speed aerodynamic and systems work. The test plane has flown as high as 15,000 feet at speeds ranging from 85 to 183 knots. "The results are very positive and prove that the Eclipse 500 airframe program is on track despite earlier engine vendor problems," Raburn said. More...
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ON THE FLY...
Concorde pax joined the 10-Mile-High Club...
Former Gulfstream exec Joe alker joined Adam Aircraft...
Michael Redenbaugh became new CEO of Bell Helicopter...
AirVenture forum schedule available online...
Business aircraft show at Farmingdale, N.Y., June 5. More...
Years ago, as a student pilot, I remember the fear when my instructor told me we would be flying into Class B (then known as a TCA). What happens if I miss a call? What happens if I blow an altitude, or screw up a heading? He kept re-assuring me that I would do just fine. But I wasn't convinced. I made contact and entered the airspace, flying my assigned altitude and heading with sweaty palms, listening to the pros. Suddenly, ATC, in a very cynical, condescending tone, barked out...
"Heavy ABC, HERE are you going?"
"Heading 260, sir."
"I said 360! Fly heading 360! Just where do you think the airport is?"
"Roger ... 360."
"Cessna XYZ, fly heading 300."
"Heading 300, Cessna XYZ."
"Thanks, at least SOMEONE here can follow instructions."
From that point on, flying in controlled airspace was no sweat. More...
WIN THE GETAWAY OF THE CENTURY! AVweb and Pilot Getaways magazine have joined with BuyItWright.com to bring you the Getaway of the Century sweepstakes. The lucky winner will be a part of the Kitty Hawk activities on December 17. Other prizes include special commemorative watches and more. Enter the sweepstakes, secure VIP events seating, and purchase official Wright products at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/100g
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Tom Spitzer, 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
Pelican's Perch #69: Gulfstream IV
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Overhaul Shopping: If It Were My Engine ...
Four top-rated shops gave Aviation Consumer brother-in-law advice on what to look for in engine overhauls.
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DETAILS OF TAMPA STUDENT PILOT WHO FLEW INTO BANK OF AMERICA BUILDING The NTSB Reporter has released its report on the student pilot who took a Cessna 172R and flew it into the Bank of America building in Tampa, Florida. Although the government classified the incident as a suicide, a note found on the pilot makes clear his intent to commit an act of terrorism in support of Middle East extremists. Details in the May issue of NTSB Reporter. Order your subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ntsbrepo
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Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
Reader mail this week about airline patriotism, the Sport Pilot NPRM and more.
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