NewsWire Complete Issue
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AVweb’s Oshkosh coverage will officially begin on Monday, July 28th. If you can’t make it to AirVenture this year, we’ll be featuring streaming video coverage that will be almost as good as being there. In association with AirsideTV, AVweb will webcast a series of free streaming video reports from the show, beginning Wednesday, July 30th. For more extensive video coverage of up to an hour a day (and a two-hour week in review wrap-up program from last year's AirVenture 2002), sign up for AVweb’s AirsideTV daily coverage for only $10 for the entire show. Purchase your coverage package before July 29th and you’ll be eligible to win one of 10 Microsoft FS 2004 flight sim packages. For more, see www.airsidetv.com.
THE FAST OR THE FURIOUS Speed..Comfort..Safety..Economy.. Mooney's Ovation 2 has it ALL! Those who take the time to fully analyze every aspect of what makes a quality aircraft usually end up buying a Mooney. Highly efficient and very fast! Those who don't and purchase a competitor's product just end up mad. See for yourself at AirVenture Booth 205-7, 212-14, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mooney
Jobless Rate Rises...
Wichita’s aviation community has taken a beating since the economic downturn crippled the aerospace industry. Not surprisingly, the Kansas economy has felt the direct effects of this massive slowdown. While several aircraft manufacturers have laid off thousands of workers in the Wichita area, The Wichita Eagle reports Cessna’s large-scale cuts are blamed for an alarming 7.6-percent jobless rate in the region. Coincidental or not, the state’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent just a year ago. However, state labor officials also claim the summer is a traditional period for higher unemployment rates, as students and non-teaching staff from schools and universities hunt for summer jobs. The Wichita Eagle reports the seven-week furlough of 6,000 Cessna employees also had a measurable effect on these statistics. Citing state data, the newspaper claims the alarming 1.9-percent unemployment rise came within a month after Cessna's furlough. Fortunately for these workers, the temporary layoff ends this week with everyone back in production by Monday morning.
...New Training Program Offers Help…
Those aerospace workers who were not fortunate enough to get their jobs back may benefit from a special program. The Kansas Technical Training Initiative (KTTI) -- a public-private partnership formed by Wichita’s four aircraft manufacturers and various government entities -- has designed such a program for displaced workers. Students with previous aviation experience will be able to complete the requirements and take the tests for Airframe Certified Aviation Maintenance Technician faster than those who do not have the industry experience. Program officials stress the accelerated program is for those students who already have some industry experience. While the overall situation may be grim, officials hope this training will, for some, ease a transition to other work opportunities.
...But Few Can Afford The Tuition
While KTTI promises a glimmer of hope for those displaced workers, the financial terms of the offer may be shutting the door before any light shines in. The retraining program has been plagued with several problems and skyrocketing tuition costs have been cited as the main culprit, according to The Wichita Eagle. Since 2001, the technical college, which houses the program, has increased tuition for the two-year program by nearly 300 percent, from $2,387 to $6,836. The newspaper reports college officials informed students last week the new rate would amount to a $13,000 cost to be shouldered by students for the complete course. There has been a discussion within the college to relocate the program to a specially designed external facility. However, no such location exists and students wonder if they'll get the boot before finishing their training. School officials say relocation will not take place until a new facility is constructed and certified for operation.
LIGHTSPEED 20XL HEADSETS GET A MAKEOVER! The 20XL is back, and better than ever! The 20XL/2 brings back the popular model with a new, even smaller, battery box and the Aux Audio 3G input, at a new LOWER price of just $395. Get MORE LightSPEED for LESS. See all LightSPEED's models at AirVenture Booth 2023-24 or go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed
NAV CANADA Hikes Service Charges...
Canadian pilots will find themselves shelling out a few more bucks every time they fly, thanks to a hike in air-navigation service charges. On Monday, NAV CANADA announced the decision to proceed with a planned 6.9-percent increase following a mandatory 60-day consultation period. The company says the charges will be on average only 4 percent higher than when they were first introduced in March 1999. Furthermore, NAV CANADA claims this increase was required to "deal with a revenue shortfall due to the continuing downturn in air traffic." The new charges will come into effect August 1, 2003, with annual and quarterly charges to be implemented on March 1, 2004. So, how much can flyers expect to cough up? On a per-passenger basis, the increase amounts to 65 cents more per one-way ticket for a flight from Toronto to Ottawa. GA operators should visit NAV CANADA's homepage for specific information on the increases. NAV CANADA officials claim the company has undertaken an aggressive cost-cutting plan over the last two years, saving about $75 million. This amount is in addition to the $100 million in annual cost savings and staff reductions already achieved through previous restructuring.
...While U.S. ATC Privatization Battles Looms
While Canadians prepare to dish out extra money for their airborne needs, those living in the U.S. continue to fight against the proposition of privatizing ATC. As AVweb reported last month, the White House and Congress are at odds over the upcoming FAA Reauthorization Bill. The administration has threatened to veto the bill if the final version contains language that would outlaw the privatization of air traffic controllers and possibly flight services and technical personnel in the system. In addition, the legislative process itself is stirring controversy and heating up the debate. Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council, a trade group in Arlington, Va., told Washington Technology, "most senators voting for the FAA authorization amendment thought they were voting to restrict privatization of air-traffic control, when they were actually voting to restrict competition for the infrastructure that supports air-traffic control." "It was never debated in committee, there was a brief discussion, and boom -- it passes. That's not a good way to make public policy," he told the paper. Legislators' efforts through A-76 -- the revised U.S. Office of Management and Budget circular on public-private competition of government jobs, federal unions and lawmakers -- to halt job competitions are "devastating to the agencies," said Soloway, whose group is working to educate members of Congress about the revised A-76 process.
AEROSHELL PRESENTS AIRVENTURE FORUMS TO HELP PROTECT YOUR AIRCRAFT INSIDE AND OUT AeroShell presents Forums on "Lubrication & Care of Opposed Piston Engines", "AV Gas, Will It Be Available & What Will It Look Like?", and "Proper Detailing Techniques for Your Aircraft," Using AeroShell Flight Jacket products. Learn how to take protection of your aircraft further with this valuable information! See the EAA Forums schedule of dates, times and locations. Also, stop by AeroShell's booth D4085-90 for giveaways, autograph signings and to purchase AeroShell products. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell
Of course, there are isolated incidents that don't help support the debate for relaxing security rules. A 20-year-old is accused of entering a 1966 Beechcraft Bonanza at Put-In-Bay Airport in Ohio on Sunday, starting the engine with keys found inside and taxiing into two parked cars. Law-enforcement officials told the Port Clinton News Herald the man was intoxicated at the time of his arrest. Such occurrences make New Jersey's two-lock rule and possibly other restrictions or laws appear quite sensible. But the rules will have an impact. "I think that we are going to lose some [airports]," Bruce Mundie, an inspector with the Maryland Aviation Administration, told The Baltimore Sun. At Clarksville airport near Washington, D.C., David Bassler feels frustrated with the effects the flight restrictions have imposed on Maryland's smaller airports. "Most people do it [fly] for the enjoyment, and it takes the enjoyment out of it if you can't just fly at will," he recently told the paper. Bassler isn't the only one complaining.
As AVweb first reported last week, New Piper officially has a new majority shareholder ... and announced new ownership. American Capital Strategies Ltd. announced on Monday what many had already expected: It has completed the buyout and recapitalization of the struggling company. The deal included American Capital's purchase (for $34 million) of $57 million of Piper's senior debt. The company will now provide a revolving loan facility for New Piper. In addition, the investor exchanged $22 million of the purchased senior debt for common equity in the aircraft manufacturer. American Capital now owns 94 percent of Piper's voting equity. American Capital is no stranger to the folks at Piper, as it first invested in the company back in May 1998. "This is an exciting opportunity for American Capital to continue our relationship with Piper," said American Capital Senior Vice President and Managing Director Gordon O'Brien. Aside from the shareholders, who else will benefit from this transaction? Piper feels the market will enjoy new innovations. "We look forward to growing Piper and introducing new products," said Piper CEO Chuck Suma. In the new future, those new products will likely be along the lines of old products fitted with nicer avionics and softer seats.
ADD A PAIR OF OREGON AERO SOFTSOLES™ TO YOUR OSHKOSH SURVIVAL KIT You will really feel a noticeable difference walking around Oshkosh (and elsewhere!) with a pair of Oregon Aero SoftSole™ Inserts. The inserts eliminate foot pain and relieve fatigue. Thousands of U.S. military personnel are using them. Oregon Aero has men's and women's sizes for walking, running, standing, and for those with foot injuries or other medical conditions. Stop by AirVenture Booth #3037-40 to purchase these inserts and other products that eliminate pain, reduce noise and improve impact protection. Check out all of Oregon Aero's products online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon
OK, which is a greater deterrent: armed airline pilots packing firepower or seats that can detect a nervous or even dangerous passenger? Well, they both might be coming to an airliner near you. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported this week that it began training its first set of airline pilots on the rigors of firearms handling. Air Line Pilots Association spokesman Captain David Butterfield reminded the media of the benefits of this $25 million project. "We do not want terrorists to take over the airplane and fly them into buildings as they did on 9/11. In other words, to turn the airplane into a weapon," he explained. While the TSA prepares to arm pilots against a possible airborne assault, a company in the UK is working on a passenger seat designed to help crews spot nervous terrorists or people at risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Believe it or not, the seat -- being developed by engineers at QinetiQ, formerly part of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, in Farnborough, Hampshire -- will reportedly house technology able to sense a passenger's level of anxiety. In other words, heartbeat and even periods of immobility would be detected by a set of pressure sensors located within the seat. Development plans also call for the installation of an alerting screen that would notify crew members of a passenger's state of relaxation and help them determine if that person simply needs to relax, stretch his/her legs or be subdued for a variety of security reasons.
An engineer who has worked on most of Boeing's commercial aircraft programs will now head the new 7E7 Deamliner team. Boeing announced that Walt Gillette, who has worked at Boeing for 37 years, will spearhead the team to bring the company's 11th commercial-jet project to life. Boeing's board of directors will decide whether to go ahead with the program by early 2004, and if so, debut the aircraft in 2008, when we'll all see if the costs incurred in development of the jet can be offset by its sales. While the 7E7 enjoys Boeing's full optimism, the same can't be said for the older 757. The aerospace giant is debating whether to continue manufacturing the aging airliner, which was first introduced in 1982. Boeing has built 1,000 757s since its launch via Eastern Airlines but now has only 18 orders on the books. Of those, 11 are being delayed by Continental Airlines, after it disclosed a need to "renegotiate the terms of delivery" of those jets scheduled for delivery in 2005 and 2006. The airline claims the current state of the industry does not allow for the addition of jets within the next few years. However, Continental cannot pull out of a previous commitment, which calls for delivery of five 757s in June 2004. "The '57 is clearly getting to the end of its life," Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Alan Mulally admitted at the company's annual briefing for investment analysts in Los Angeles in May.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE TODAY AT OSHKOSH? WSI, the Trusted Leader in Aviation Weather, is publishing a free website of WSI aviation weather for the region surrounding Oshkosh leading up to and during AirVenture 2003. The site offers surface prognostics, satellite imagery and WSI's industry leading NOWrad® Radar Summary. The site will be available through the event and for a short time thereafter. If you're at AirVenture, visit WSI in Hanger C, Booth 3090-3091, for up to the minute weather conditions for the show, else wise go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wsi
Numerous manufacturers (Cessna, Diamond and Eclipse, to name a few) are racing to create a jet with performance beyond that of pressurized turboprops at lower cost than the current crop of light business jets. But one single-engine jet design that's been flying since 1996 with performance specifications very similar to that of the twin-engine Eclipse 500 has very formally hit the skids. The intellectual property garnered from the six-seat, single-engine, forward swept-wing, composite, business-class Vantage jet project has been put on the auction block. Procedures approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (Case No. 02-47804-293) have set the bidding deadline for September 18, 2003, at 01:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time. Prospective buyers will compete for property including trademarks, design drawings and specifications, flight test data, performance data, aerodynamics data, supplier information, policies, procedures, business processes, marketing data and customer contact information completed to date, as well as tooling and molds manufactured for use in production of the aircraft. To receive a copy of the bidding procedures, contact Howard S. Smotkin (email@example.com) or Janice R. Valdez (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport may be renamed if a consulting group has their way. Leon Cargile has announced a national effort to get at least 20,000 names from the Web in an online petition to change the name of the airport to one that recognizes former Atlanta Mayor and civil rights leader Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr. Cargile will present the results of the drive to Atlanta Mayor Franklin and the Atlanta City Council…
Airline mogul Sir Richard Branson is setting his eyes on the U.S. market. The flamboyant entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways -- and other successful companies in his empire -- hopes to take a 49 percent financial interest in a low-cost quality airline, the Associated Press reported last week. Plans call for a new carrier -- with a fleet of 15 to 20 planes -- to enter the market under a name other than Virgin's...
Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority is offering a new 17-minute video on bush flying. The agency claims the program offers practical advice to people who own and maintain bush aerodromes, as well as air operators and pilots flying in remote areas. Extreme weather, short and narrow runways, maintenance of dirt airstrips, inadequate runway and aerodrome markers and animals on runways are some of the issues discussed in the video.
CS&A INSURES ALL TYPES OF AVIATION RISKS INCLUDING ROTORCRAFT CS&A Aviation Insurance professionals represent all of the major aviation insurance markets and are correspondents with overseas insurers. Accounts range from individually owned aircraft to FBOs, regional airlines, and corporate accounts. For a no-obligation online quote, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/csa
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Erin L. Ireland, of Sierra Vista, AZ. This winning photo, called "Nesting of Eagles" was taken at sunset at Bisbee Municipal (P04) in AZ on the 26th of June during a Cessna 195 club fly-in. Type clubs offer great fun and educational resources for flyers of the same aircraft. Great picture, Erin! 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.
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 300 responses to our question last week on the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). Almost half (46 percent) of those responding felt WAAS will provide all of the benefits promoted by the FAA, while 43 percent said they won't fully believe the system works until actually seeing it operational. Only 5 percent had neither faith nor trust in the FAA's promises.
To check out the complete results, including comments, go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw.
*** THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
This week, we would like to know your thoughts on foreign air carriers. Please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw to respond.
Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to email@example.com. Note, this address is ONLY for suggested QOTW questions, and NOT for QOTW answers.
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Matt Parker, this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Rules and information are at http://www.avweb.com/contact/newstips.html.
New Articles and Features on AVweb
Reviewing NTSB Appeals in 2002
If you screw up and you know it, you'll take your licks and move on. But what if you're right and the FAA is wrong? If you lose your case in front of an NTSB Administrative Law Judge, do you have any chance at all of winning an appeal? AVweb replaces rumor with fact and shows you the odds.
Say Again? #26: It's the Little Things
There are a lot of big things that can kill you in aviation, and we've heard them all: T-storms, ice, marginal VFR, and runway incursions, to name a few. Sometimes insidious little things can cause even more trouble for pilots and controllers, because we haven't heard about them. AVweb's Don Brown relates a few of those in this month's Say Again column.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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USE OF CLUB, PARTNERSHIP, SCHOOL AND FBO AIRCRAFT SHOULD BE SMART! Scheduling, accounting, reminder e-mails and more are available with Time Sync's Schedule Master program for aircraft utilization. For a FREE online demonstration go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/timesy
LET YOUR FAMILY KNOW WHEN YOU'LL BE HOME WITH FLIGHT EXPLORER It's the PC-based service that provides a real-time picture of all IFR aircraft in flight. Your family simply enters your aircraft's N-number to track your flight, be alerted to delays, and obtain updated ETAs. AVweb Flight Explorer costs just $9.95 a month. A small price for big peace of mind. Details at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/fe
AIRSPORT AVIONICS CELEBRATES AIRVENTURE WITH LOWEST PRICES OF THE YEAR AirSport offers special pricing on their Portable Altitude Alerters. Take $150 off the AirSport Pro Model Altitude Alerter, or receive $100 off any AirSport IFR Model. AirSport's Alerters work by listening to everything your transponder and encoder are reporting to ATC, both Mode A and C. Safety is affordable with AirSport! Offer ends August 15th. Details and to order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airsport
FREE HEADSET WITH ANY COMM 1 RADIO SIMULATOR PURCHASE! Fly confidently by training with Comm1 audio INTERACTIVE CD-ROMs designed to teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally. Build skills and confidence on the ground to saving money and aggravation. Comm1's new line of INTERACTIVE navigation training CD-ROMs are perfect for visualizing WHERE and WHAT the aircraft is doing. See all Comm1's programs at AirVenture Booth 3095, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1
BE A PILOT & JEPPESEN TEAM UP TO OFFER PROSPECTIVE PILOTS FREE LOGBOOKS The Be A Pilot program offers prospective pilots an introductory flight lesson for $49. Till July 31, with support from Jeppesen, a long-time leader in training supplies, when a participant redeems the Be A Pilot flight lesson certificate they will receive a FREE logbook. Introduce someone to flying at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/beapilot
SINGER RAY CHARLES TO APPEAR AT FIRST FLIGHT CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION This six-day Celebration, December 12-17, at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, is designed to commemorate the last century of flight; celebrate the achievements of aviators throughout history; and inspire the next generation of aviators. Secure VIP events seating, purchase commemorative collectibles and apparel and enter to win the Getaway of the Century sweepstakes at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/100g
AVIATOR'S GUIDE SHOWS WAYS TO USE YOUR AIRPLANE TO ENJOY LIFE! Aviator's Guide is a general aviation travel and lifestyle magazine written to be enjoyed by both pilots and their families. Features include: "Yipes, My Marriage Is A No-Fly Zone"; "Putting Your Airplane To Work For Business"; "Top 10 Fly-In Golf Destinations"; and more. A full year's subscription is only $14.95 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avguide
PILOT'S AUDIO UPDATES. LISTEN AND LEARN! These Pilot's Audio Tapes help you become a better pilot. Sharpen your judgments and readiness with audio programs like: "Are You Ready for an Emergency", "Managing Your Fuel Supply", and "Getting the Most Out of ATC". Order your Pilot's Audio Update selections online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avconsumer/paut
SUPPORT THOSE WHO BRING YOU FREE AVFLASHES! Stop by and tell AVweb sponsors how much you appreciate their support of your FREE AVflash issues. AVweb will be in AirVenture booth 4144-45. For a list you can print out and take with you go to http://www.avweb.com/shopping/sponsors.html
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Let's all be careful out there, okay?
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