|Volume 9, Number 22b||May 29, 2003|
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb.com.
THE AVIATION BILL -- BEYOND THE SPIN...
Aside from what various alphabet groups, trade associations and unions would like to take credit for, H.R. 2115, Flight 100 -- Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act offers important measures that could shape the way we fly for decades to come. Sec. 416, through privatization of the aircraft certification process, may do nothing less than create a fundamental shift in the FAA's function and mandate. Another section of the bill calls on the president to appoint a task force of representatives of airlines, GA, pilots, air traffic controllers as well as the FAA and at least five other government departments. Their task will be to "transform the nation's air traffic control system and air transportation system to meet its future needs." More...
...ADDRESSING HEADLINES AND BOTTOM LINES...
The current debate over missile defense systems on airliners seems apparent in Sec. 427, which creates a task force to speed up the transfer of military technology to civilian aircraft. There are perhaps other innovations developed for military aircraft that would improve civilian aircraft and the task force, again appointed by the president, will have a year to make its recommendations. The motives behind other sections are not quite as apparent. If H.R. 2115 passes intact, Sec. 41722, Notice Concerning Aircraft Assembly will mandate airlines to tell passengers, by way of placard, where the aircraft was built -- be it the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Britain or, dare we say, France. More...
...MAINTENANCE OVERSIGHT AND AIRPORT CONGESTION
In some cases, the proposed bill fixes an established or emerging problem. Sec. 419 clarifies a long-standing rule requiring aircraft manufacturers to provide essential maintenance information on their products to any and all who might need them. According to the Aeronautical Repair Station Association, some manufacturers have tried to limit competition for maintenance services by withholding the information, known as Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICAs), or by charging exorbitant rates for the material. The proposed bill compels manufacturers to make ICAs available at cost. And then there are ongoing problems like airport congestion and environmental concerns. More...
GA NUMBERS ARE UP...
Well, if the assembled nabobs of the aviation industry were bracing for yet another doom-and-gloom speech, they must have been positively blinded by AOPA President Phil Boyer's rose-colored glasses Wednesday. Boyer told the Aero Club of Washington that general aviation is bucking the trends and showing healthy growth in most areas. He said most of the key indicators, including aircraft sales (piston singles), student pilot enrollment and aviation equipment sales are up, perhaps not as much as everyone would like, but up nonetheless. More...
...BUT COMPANIES STRUGGLE...
While Boyer was accentuating the positive, however, some Raytheon employees were facing some grim realities. Raytheon Aircraft Services announced it will sell its Rockford, Ill., fixed-base operation to Emery Air Inc. Emery is Raytheon's neighbor at the Greater Rockford Airport. Emery says it will retain most of the 43 Raytheon employees and will remain an Authorized Service Center for several Raytheon aircraft, including the King Air, Baron, Bonanza and Hawker 400XP. Raytheon is also examining the possibility of outsourcing plastics at its plant in Salina, Kan. More...
...AND LAID-OFF WORKERS GET AID
Meanwhile, help is on the way for Kansas aviation workers who have already been laid off. As expected, the Kansas state legislature has ruled that all Boeing, Cessna, Raytheon and Bombardier workers laid off as the result of the Sept. 11 attacks and the economic downturn afterward are eligible for extended unemployment benefits. The workers will get an extra 13 weeks of benefits after regular unemployment insurance runs out, part of a congressional spending package passed in mid-April. The task now is getting the extra assistance into the hands of those really needing it. More...
FAA SNAGS GORDON'S PLAN TO DRIVE TWO RACES
Security concerns scuttled race-car driver Robby Gordon's attempt to drive in two races on the same day last weekend. Gordon wanted to hop out of his Formula 1 car at the close of the Indianapolis 500 and get behind the wheel in time to start the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 in Concord, N.C. Thanks to a two-hour gap between races and some pretty capable aircraft, supplied by co-sponsor Textron, he might have done it. But an FAA restriction on helicopter flights in and out of both racetracks ended Gordon's attempt. More...
BOEING LOOKS AT MCAIRLINERS
If Boeing has its way, all aircraft they make would look nearly the same. In an effort to continually reinvent itself amidst the worst economic situation the airline industry has ever faced, the Seattle-based aerospace giant is trying to promote the idea of selling somewhat "standardized" aircraft. This includes offering jets outfitted with essentially the same equipment to its airline customer base. This, in turn, would noticeably bring down the cost per aircraft. More...
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NTSB CITES MECHANIC'S ERROR IN CHARLOTTE CRASH
A combination of an overweight condition, aft center of gravity and improperly set elevator control cables are to blame for the crash of a US Airways Express Air Midwest Flight 5481. This was the official probable cause reached by the NTSB at its recent public meeting on May 20-21. You may remember AVweb's initial coverage of the Beech 1900D, which crashed at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport on Jan. 8. Investigators determined that while the weight-and-balance issues were factors, they think the turboprop might have made the flight to the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport in South Carolina anyway had it not been for a mechanic's mistake two nights before the deadly crash. More...
JETS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT
What can scare the heck out of airport ground workers? How about a heavy jet departing a closed runway? Federal authorities are investigating the takeoff of a Federal Express cargo jet from a darkened, closed runway at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport May 10. Authorities have not yet determined whether the incident was caused by the air traffic controllers, pilot error, or both. The Associated Press reported the A-310 came within 3,000 feet of a Port Authority crew working adjacent to the closed runway. More...
RAYTHEON'S SCHUSTER ELECTED AS GAMA'S VICE CHAIRMAN
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has elected James E. Schuster, an executive vice president of Raytheon Company and chairman and CEO of Raytheon Aircraft Company, as vice chairman. In addition to being GAMA vice chairman, Schuster will also serve as chairman of GAMA's Security Issues Committee, a position he has held since November 2002. Prior to his current position, Schuster was president of Raytheon's Aircraft Integration Systems (AIS). More...
ON THE FLY...
74 Spanish peacekeepers died in Yak-42 crash in Turkey...
UAVs could be patrolling the U.S. border by year's end...
The B-29 All Veterans Memorial dedicated at Pratt Army Air Field, Kan....
Former astronaut Richard A. Searfoss joined XCOR's board of directors. More...
AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Ken Boetzer, of Scotts Valley, Calif. His photo titled "Crater Lake by Mooney" shows what general aviation flying is all about. This type of airborne perspective can only be captured by flying relatively low -- yet safe -- altitude over the breathtaking landscape. Great picture Ken! Your AVweb hat is on the way.
To check out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go to http://www.avweb.com/potw/ .
**Due to privacy issues, AVweb does not publish e-mail addresses of readers who submit photos. More...
AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK...
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 300 responses to our question last week on the delayed release of Sport Pilot. So far, 31 percent of those responding indicate the delay of Sport Pilot does not cause them any concern, as the FAA has other priorities (national security, etc.) to deal with. About 21 percent believe it is awfully strange for this certification process to take so long. Only six percent weren't sure as of yet.
To check out the complete results, please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw/ .
*** THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
This week, we would like to know your thoughts on flying this holiday weekend. Please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw to respond.
Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note, this address is ONLY for suggested QOTW questions, and NOT for QOTW answers. More...
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Taylor Mentin, 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
Flight Data System's Air-Data Fuel Performance Computer
In a quest to bring some glass-cockpit technology to their homebuilt, a couple of guys created an air-data computer with a very simple interface, small size, and low price, but with all the necessary features. Mike Corder, like many pilots they met, wanted one for himself and brings us this review.
Say Again? #24: Bi-Annual Review
Over two years with AVweb, Atlanta ARTCC Controller Don Brown has discussed many safety problems caused by controllers and pilots who try to bend rules they don't understand. In this review, he notes some improvements and some ongoing problems, but he still loves what he's doing.
Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
Reader mail this week about Cirrus as the "Best of the Best," students in Class B and more.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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THERE'S A REASON TAILDRAGGER OWNERS CALL THEM "REAL AIRPLANES"! Having the third wheel at the back of the airplane means you have to know how to use your feet. Taildraggers also requires a level of maintenance nosewheel airplanes don't need. Find out what's involved in the June issue of Light Plane Maintenance. Subscribe today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/lpm
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FLYING MAGAZINE'S JUNE ISSUE REVIEWS PILOT CURRENCY REQUIREMENTS; Cheap Jets Available Now; 10 Tips to Manage Summer Flying Safely; Minimizing Risks of a Midair Collision; plus all the columnists you've come to know and trust. Makes great Father's Day gifts! http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying
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