How About Some Real Leadership, Ms. Garvey? »

GUEST EDITORIAL. The new FAA Administrator is already assuring us that positive steps are being taken at the Agency and things are getting better. ut this only proves that she doesn't understand the problem. While public attention is focused on ValuJet and TWA 800, the largest division of the FAA the Air Traffic Division is about to self-destruct, while billions of taxpayer's dollars are being wasted in futile efforts to shore up the system. Money isn't going to fix what's broken at the FAA. What's needed is some real leadership. Wake up and smell the coffee, Madam Administrator! More

Legal Eagles »

GUEST EDITORIAL. Frivolous lawsuits have stalled innovation in the small-aircraft industry. Case in point: the litigation ensuing from the April 1996 crash of a Cessna Cardinal in Cheyenne, Wyoming, that killed 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff, her father, and CFI Joe Reid. It's an absurdity of our legal system that Cessna and Avco are both being sued over this accident, although everyone (even Dubroff's lawyer) knows the accident wasn't a mechanical. There's an easy fix for this problem: make losers pay winners' legal costs. More

Meigs Mid-Air Aftermath: Who Makes These Decisions? »

GUEST EDITORIAL. Two VFR light planes collide five miles south of Chicago's Meigs Field, and what happens? The media immediately pins the blame on ATC. Some genius in authority first closes down the control tower, then complains that the facility needs radar and more controllers. Everyone conveniently ignores the fact that a VFR tower is not responsible for separating VFR traffic, especially five miles away. Who makes these decisions, wonders Michigan CFI Bob Crosswhite, and who's going to pay the bill? More

Atlantic City's Bader Airport: Politics as Usual, New Jersey Style »

GUEST EDITORIAL. The senior Senator from New Jersey, Frank Lautenberg, showed his true colors as an enemy of general aviation (not to mention a master of political skullduggery) when he recently attached a "rider" to a Senate transportation appropriations bill that would allow Atlantic City's Bader Airport (and Kansas City's Richards-Gebaur) to be closed by releasing those two cities from Federal grant assurance agreements that protect the FAA's investment in publicly owned public use airports. We think pilots everywhere should be outraged, and urge you to contact your congressional representatives about this travesty which could set a disastrous precedent affecting GA airports nationwide. More

What Really Happened at Quincy? »

GUEST EDITORIAL. In November 1996, a departing Beech King Air 90 collided with an arriving United Express Beech 1900 commuter at the runway intersection of the Quincy, Illinois, non-towered airport. All 14 souls aboard both aircraft died in the crash and ensuing fire. In July 1996, the National Transportation Safety Board released its report on the Quincy accident, putting the blame squarely on the crew of the King Air. But AVweb reader Dan Corich, whose stepfather was one of the pilots of the King Air, raises serious questions about whether the NTSB asked the right questions or came to the right conclusions. We found Corich's letter thought-provoking. More

Interview with David Traynham, Executive Director of NCARC »

INTERVIEW. The National Civil Aviation Review Commission (NCARC) was established by Congress in 1996 as part of the FAA reauthorizing legislation passed in 1996. The Commission's responsibilities are to "study safety, airport capital needs and ways to meet those needs, and FAA operational needs and ways to meet those needs." In essence, the NCARC's job is to recommend to Congress how the funding needs of the FAA, aviation safety and the nation's airports should be met in the future. There is enormous controversy about whether "the system" should be funded by "user fees" (which the Clinton Administration is pushing aggressively) or whether it should continue to be funded through excise taxes on aviation fuel, air freight and airline tickets (strongly favored by business and private aviation groups). NCARC's top staffer David Traynham responds to questions about the composition and game-plan of the Commission in this exclusive one-on-one interview by AVweb's man-on-the-hill Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside. More

Status Report on ATC Privatization in Canada »

GUEST EDITORIAL. Rod Ridley of Manitoba offers an update on what's happening to aviation in Canada since the government decided to get out of the air traffic control business. U.S. airmen would do well to keep a close eye on the situation north of the border, because privatization is what will happen to the FAA's Air Traffic Division if the Clinton Administration has its way. More

Piper Malibu Pitch-Over Incident »

Dallas-based corporate pilot Jason Palisin offers a detailed account of a frightening severe pitch-over indicent that occurred in March 1997 in the Piper Malibu he was flying. The cause? A malfunctioning encoding altimeter that fed erroneous information to the KX-297B altitude preselect/alerter module which in turn was tied to the KFC-150 flight director/autopilot. Could a similar scenario have been responsible for the rash of Malibu in-flight breakups during the late 1980s? More

Help Save Two Great Airstrips! »

GUEST EDITORIAL. The grass strips serving the towns of Banff and Jasper in Alberta, Canada, are scheduled to close forever. Located in some of the most spectacular hiking, fishing, skiing and flying country in North America, the airports are threatened with closure because Parks Canada says they're not needed and claims that they impede the movement of wildlife (although elk, coyote, deer, wolf, cougar and numerous smaller mammals use the strips as a regular hangout). AVweb member Joe Godfrey just got back from the area, and says that this would be an excellent time for pilots to write a letter to Ottawa before Parliament votes on the closure. More

Fly Right!!! »

GUEST EDITORIAL. In the aftermath of the recent mid-air in India between an IL-76 and an opposite-direction B-747 flying the same airway, the authors suggest that pilots might well use the remarkable accuracy of today's modern GPS or IRS/INS navigation gear to enhance safety by flying a mile or two to the right of centerline. Although their comments are aimed primarily at international airline operations under IFR, the idea would seem to have equal merit for general aviation pilots and VFR operations. More