Oshkosh 1998 Coverage:
Day Six — Sunday, August 2
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Meet The Boss Session Highlights Day Six
Garvey Cites AVweb’s Influence On FAA’s Ticketing Program Decision
Saturday, FAA administrator Jane F. Garvey held her "Meet The Boss" session at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. She obviously came prepared and the first topic of significance in her opening remarks was the ticketing program. which she addressed, saying, "I know a number of you have been very concerned about that...did I hear a yes?" She continued "...we’ve heard a lot from people...that have given us pause. We had a wonderful...I thought, a very good meeting last week where industry came in...and identified both concerns they had with the programs and suggestions to get at the two issues that were raised in terms of streamlining and in terms of capturing the right information."
Garvey then noted, "All of the comments were in by last Friday, the 31st...we’re going to be looking at those over the next couple of weeks, and I can promise you we’re taking those issues very, very seriously. We’re looking at what actions we should take either to modify the program or just to re-think it."
Garvey then singled out the ticketing program editorial, "Why The Big Fuss Over FAA Ticketing?", written by AVweb editor-in-chief Mike Busch for special mention. "I want to point out one item...I read in AVweb, Mike Busch I think wrote a terrific...that was a great column, a great couple of pages on both the perspective of what the ticket program...both why we were trying to do it and then some real concerns, and (taking note of Mike Busch in the audience) I thought what was terrific about that article is that you had some very specific suggestions for improvement, so I really appreciate that." She said her staff would be examining those suggestions and others over the next ten days or two weeks. "I heard you...we heard you...and I promise you we’ll take those issues very, very seriously and thank you again for getting all of that in."
Garvey Surprisingly Well-Received in "Meet The Boss" Session
Besides the contentious issue of the ticketing program, Garvey also responded in a positive fashion on a number of other issues that were raised, generally receiving high marks for her performance. With the loud support of those in the hall to back him up, Bill Bainbridge challenged her to make the FAA deliver on its promise of a letter exonerating him of alleged misdeeds in his ongoing battle with the FAA over his B&C alternators that are uncertified and installed via the field approval process. In an emotional speech, Bainbridge asked for the FAA to withdraw its enforcement action against him, and Garvey publicly instructed the FAA's Deputy Chief Counsel, James Whitlow to take care of it, then went further, meeting with Bainbridge and Whitlow afterwards in an attempt to put the matter to rest. Unfortunately, her best efforts backfired when it turned out that the letter prepared by FAA counsel concluded with an obvious threat, instead of a much-needed apology. Bainbridge's saga continues, but there is no question now that it has attention at the highest levels.
Pilot Database Issues Raised
Another issue of significance that was raised at the session was the privacy question and access to the pilot database. AVweb's Mike Busch and then King School's Martha King both raised the issue of the FAA’s sudden decision to start withholding airman address information after making that information available to industry for decades. Many have accused the FAA of a knee-jerk reaction and of throwing out the baby with the bath water.
We’ve had two categories of comments on that...those folks who say ‘this is a mistake, you’ve always done it, keep doing it.’ We’ve also had a group of folks saying ‘you know, we’re not really comfortable with our names going out’ and so forth, so it’s been mixed. There’s been a suggestion made — and this by the way is in legislation now before congress — that we set up some sort of a voluntary process. We’re watching that legislation and very well aware of it, and will continue to watch it. We’d have to do a lot of administrative work to handle something like that, but certainly if that’s our direction, that’s certainly how we will go."
Lots More from "Meet the Boss"
After brief introductory remarks, Garvey fielded questions for a good 45 minutes. AVweb includes a complete report on the entire session, from start to finish and it includes all significant questions asked and answered.
If You're Fueling This Malibu,
You Don't Want The Gas Blue
Owners of Piper Malibus and Mirages had something to consider this morning. Wait a few years of the New turboprop Piper Meridian or consider converting their existing plane to a turboprop. JetProp LLC of Spokane, Wash. announced received their STC for the JetProp DLX engine conversion for the PA-46 series. It was brought to the show on the Administrator's jet and presented to JetProp at their booth.
The combination of the Malibu/Mirage airframe and the Pratt & Whitney PT-6A-34 turbine creates one of the faster singles on the market. The claimed speeds put the airplane in the class with the Aerospatiale TBM 700 and Pilatus PC-12 at about a fourth of the cost. Reported performance numbers are impressive. Rate of climb goes from 1220 fpm in the piston model to 2200 fpm with the conversion, cruise speed goes from 225 knots to 270 knots, while stall speeds dirty and clean remain the same.
Darwin Conrad, President and CEO of JetProp LLC, said the STC process took four years and cost almost $1million. "We already have a significant amount of orders for the conversion" he said, but declined to proved any numbers. JetProp expects the conversion, priced at $589,000, to take about 12 weeks. Rocket Engineering, also in Spokane and also led by Conrad, performs the conversions.
Now Your Katana Can Take 3 Pax Into The Clouds
Katana announced today that they plan to deliver their long-awaited four-place IFR single in the first quarter of 2000. The DA40 is based on the DA20's familiar all composite, T-tail design, but the trademark bubble canopy has been shortened to a smaller canopy that feathers into wrap-around windows for the rear seats. Front passengers board through the canopy, while rear passengers board through a separate door located on the left side. Behind that is a baggage compartment. The airplane will be offered with standard VFR and IFR packages, electric flaps and a 21 gallon fuel tank in each wing.
Diamond is planning on offering a Continental IO-360, but they're still gathering input from customers about how much horsepower it should develop. No price can be set until an engine decision is made. If you're interested and you'd like to comment, Diamond can be reached at their web site.
Warbird Jet Crash Kills One
Shortly after 0900 Sunday morning a CASA Saeta jet trainer crashed in a residential area of Oshkosh one-half mile northeast of Steve Wittman Field. A female passenger in the two-seat warbird was killed when the airplane, piloted by Edward Snyder of Lafayette, Ind., made a forced landing while on approach to runway 27. Snyder was taken to Mercy Hospital where he is reported in serious condition with burns. The passenger remained unidentified at press time.
Eric Tesch, age 13, was watching from his house on Doty Street when he saw the airplane come down. "It looked like it was trying to land," he said, "Then it hit a telephone pole and came down and hit the neighbor's yard, then it hit our yard and slid down the street. There was a big explosion and a burst of flames all over."
The right wing separated from the fuselage and debris was strewn half a city block south of the wreckage. Although the telephone pole was on the west curb, indicating the airplane was still to the west on initial impact with the obstacle, the pilot managed to maneuver the airplane to the center of the narrow street. There were no ground casualties or damage to any of the nearby houses in the densely populated residential area. The airplane spun around approximately 135 degrees counter-clockwise and came to rest in an intersection before bursting into flames.
Residents rushed out to spray the wreckage with household fire extinguishers and garden hoses. "They were using baseball bats to try to get the lady out," said Tesch. "The neighbors responded immediately, before rescue personnel could arrive," AirVenture Chairman Tom Poberezny noted. "They should be given recognition for that." Poberezny also commended the pilot for his actions in steering the airplane away from houses. "The reports of witnesses have the common thread that validates (the pilot's skill). It's also validated by reality in that there was a very confined damage pattern that can only be accomplished with direction. Someone used the term 'hero' earlier today. It's a term that can be misused and abused but is appropriate in this case."
|AVweb's OSH '98 communications radios provided courtesy of ICOM America.|
Brent Blue, M.D. visits with Dr. John Jordan, who as Federal Air Surgeon holds the medical Sword of Damocles over every airman. Jordan has overseen major changes in medical certification which went into effect in September, 1996. He also appointed the first new Director of the Civil Aviation Medical Institute (CAMI) in over two decades. Brent asks some of the questions you’ve wanted to and gets some unexpected answers.
We're still snapping photos with our digital cameras and we've another few dozen shots from around EAA AirVenture for your enjoyment, along with our acclaimed captions to accompany them.
|Don't forget to visit AVweb again tomorrow for more OSH '98 coverage!|