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January 06, 2004

AOPA Sets 2004 Priorities

Protecting Airports, Fighting User Fees And TFRs, Reducing Flying Costs AOPA's top priority for 2004 is to protect the scores of general aviation airports under threat across the country. At the same time, the association will fight any effort to impose user fees on GA pilots for using the national airspace, and will work to have the "permanent" security-related temporary flight restrictions lifted. AOPA will also seek answers to constantly rising aircraft insurance costs, and will look for more innovative ways to keep the cost of flying down. "Year in and year out, our members tell us they're concerned about the number of airports under threat," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It's their number one worry. "But we can't become fixated. We'll keep our

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NASA's Mars Team Energized about

"Sleepy Hollow," a shallow depression in the Mars ground near NASA's Spirit rover, may become an early destination when the rover drives off its lander platform in a week or so. That possible crater and other features delighted engineers and scientists examining pictures from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's first look around. "Reality has surpassed fantasy. We're like kids in a candy store," said Art Thompson, rover tactical activity lead at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "We can hardly wait until we get off the lander and start doing fun stuff on the surface." A clean bill of health from a checkout of all three science instruments on Spirit's robotic arm fortified scientists' anticipation of beginning to use those tools after the rover gets its six w

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2003 Aero-News-Makers and Heartbreakers (Part Quatro)

The Folks Who Made This Year So.... "Interesting" (Part Four, of Four)

Read Part One 

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NTSB Assisting In Investigation Of Egyptian B737 Crash

Even though the NTSB caught all measures of criticism from the Egyptians the last time they helped them out, NTSB is assisting the Egyptian government in their investigation of the crash of a Flash Airlines Boeing 737-300. The aircraft was enroute from Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt to Cairo when it crashed into the Red Sea killing all 148 passengers and crew. The State Department has reported that there were 4 American citizens on board. NTSB Chairman Ellen G. Engleman has designated senior Safety Board investigator Frank Hilldrup as the United States' Accredited Representative to the investigation. He will lead a team of advisors from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing Commercial Aircraft. This is the second time in two weeks the Safety Board has sent investigato

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Last AirTran DC-9 Flies Last Leg

AirTran Airways has told us that the final flight of the airline's last DC-9 aircraft, Ship number 949 made her final descent Monday, January 5, 2004, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The 32-year old DC-9, registration number N849AT, rolled off the Douglas assembly line in Long Beach, Calif., on December 1, 1971, and AirTran Airways acquired the aircraft on October 30, 1996. The aircraft logged 69,788 flights and 77,900 flight hours total upon retirement. The crew on the flights were Captain Michael D. "Mad Dog" Watson, Captain Rich Umbel, Lead Flight Attendant Lisa Misconis, and Flight Attendants Karen Gold and Ludmila Dahknovskaia. AirTran Airways has operated DC-9 aircraft since the airline's first day of service, October 26, 1993, and, at one po

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DHS Launches US-VISIT Program Nationwide

Welcome To The US Police State? The Department of Homeland Security has launched US-VISIT, a controversial new program to "enhance the nation's security while facilitating legitimate travel and trade through our borders. New entry procedures took effect today for most foreign visitors with non-immigrant visas at 115 airports and cruise ship terminals at 14 seaports. The system utilizes biometrics, which are physical characteristics unique to each individual, to verify identity. Biometric technologies are the basis of an extensive array of highly secure identification and personal verification solutions." "Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in our government's commitment to securing our nation while upholding America's ideals about freedom of travel a

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Montana Skylane Search Turns Up Sad Results

Nothing starts with quite so much hope as an emergency aircraft search... though far too few of them result in happy endings. A Cessna 182 (file photo, right), missing for three days, was found after an extensive search of a remote area of NE Montana. Found 25 miles SW of Glasgow, the search had been hampered by bad weather until the aircraft was spotted by an eagle-eyed pilot.  Found on board were Pilot Bill Newman, 45, his sons Lance, 14, and Ray, 24, and Ray's fiancee, Jessica Grode, 21, of Ipswich, SD. Newman had flown to Mobridge, SD, to pick up Grode and was returning to Cut Bank, MT, when he told ATC he was approaching bad weather conditions. Newman had originally learned to fly in high school, and after having gotten out of flying for over 20 years, had ju

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Flabob Airport Celebrates 100 Years Of Flight

Passage of the first century of flight met with a variety of celebrations around the United States. While thousands shivered in the cold, rain, and calm winds at Kitty Hawk, hundreds gathered at Flabob Airport early in the morning to mark the official time that the first powered aircraft rose into the sky. Cheers went up in the Airport Cafe at 7:35 local time from a standing-room-only crowd. Riverside had what Kitty Hawk needed on December 17th for the re-enactment flight: high winds. The strong Santa Anna breeze forced cancellation of a mass hot air balloon launch, but did little to prevent a steady stream of aircraft arrivals.

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SpaceDev Completes Lunar Lander Study

And Yet The Moon Still Maintains Its Allure... SpaceDev has completed the first phase of a privately funded study to design a low cost robotic return to the Moon. The study was performed for Lunar Enterprise of California (LEC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Space Age Publishing Company), and follows an earlier SpaceDev Lunar orbiter mission and spacecraft design project funded by Boeing. The current study analyzes mission and spacecraft options for a Lunar Dish Observatory to be placed near the south pole of the Moon. "With Europe on the way to the Moon, Japan lunar missions set for 2004 and 2005, and India as well as China preparing to send a series of robotic missions to the Moon culminating in a manned lander mission, and with renewed interest by our

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Danbury (CT) Airplane-Eating Trees Harder to Deal With Than Thought

NBAA tells us that the FAA and the state of Connecticut are willing to pay 97 percent of the $4,500,000 price tag to have trees removed from Danbury Municipal Airport (DXR), but Danbury, CT politicians are unwilling to pay the remaining $110,000. Without the tree removal, the FAA warned the city that it would have to displace the thresholds of two airport runways. The longest runway is just over 4,400 ft., and any displacing of the thresholds could jeopardize the use of the airport by certain aircraft.

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Eagle Creek Delivers First Meggitt-Equipped Twin Commander 1000

Eagle Creek Aviation has delivered a "Radome-To-Tailcone" refurbished Twin Commander 1000 featuring a complete Meggitt Magic Panel to a California based investment group. The Meggitt Magic Avionics Suite features a two screen Electronic Flight Instrument System, a two screen Engine Instrument Display System and the newly STC'd Meggitt Magic 2100 Digital Flight Control System. Eagle Creek also installed dual Garmin GPS systems, TAWS and a Traffic Avoidance System. To complete the avionics suite, dual Garmin transponders, a KDR-510 Data Link Receiver and new laser cut and etched instrument panels and refurbished EL panels were added. The Commander 1000 was delivered only one day after Meggitt received the STC for the 2100 Autopilot on Thursday, December 18, 2003!

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Navy Prowler Pilot Trains to Fly Air Force B-2

While the B-2 bomber has already seen many milestones in its first 10 years, the 394th Combat Training Squadron (CTS) is currently training the program's first Navy pilot, who will fly his first B-2 sortie at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, (WA) this month. Lt. Michael Orr, a native of California, has been flying the EA-6B Prowler for the Navy since 1998 and began his B-2 training with the 394th CTS in April. The Prowler is the only platform that denies, disrupts and degrades the enemy's radar, so the crews are charged with supporting inter-service assets. Since the Prowler helps the B-2 elude radar through electronic attack, the 509th Operations Support Squadron (OSS) began bringing Prowler students from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., to Whiteman Air Force Base,

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Cape Crusaders are Shuttle Crew's Eyes and Ears

Behind every Shuttle crew, there is a team of five to eight astronauts who serve as the crew's point of contact between NASA-Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas and NASA-Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on the Florida coast. These astronauts are the eyes and ears to the Shuttle vehicle. They are the Astronaut Support Personnel (ASP). But because of their frequent trips to NASA-KSC, they're better known as the Cape Crusaders.

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Ice-Away Propeller Ice Grip Inhibitor Intro'd

An aerosol spray formula that reportedly facilitates propeller ice shedding, and enhances safety, has been developed by Bill Larson, Chief Designer at Oregon Aircraft Design & Dave Aldred, a multi engine CFI with over 18,000 hours flight time in all weather conditions. Both gentlemen are also A&P's. The testing was done on a twin Piper Comanche, the product was applied to the right side only. When any icing conditions were encountered, the ice was immediately heard striking the right side of the fuselage. Sooner or later, most pilots will get into icing conditions and an ice-free propeller may be the ticket to safety. After much research and development, Larson and Aldred claim to have perfected a propeller ice grip inhibitor.

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Hamilton Sundstrand Scores ExpressJet Embraer Service Contract

ExpressJet Airlines has selected Hamilton Sundstrand to provide repair and inventory support for the air management system on its fleet of Embraer 135/145 regional jet aircraft. This is a 12-year agreement in which Hamilton Sundstrand will provide support for the current ExpressJet fleet of 223 aircraft, and up to 274 aircraft by mid-2006. According to Dave Stone, Hamilton Sundstrand customer support manager for regional airlines, the company is delighted to have this contract with ExpressJet. "ExpressJet is an exceptional partner for a long-term, comprehensive package for our air management system support."

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Sporty's Offers Circuit Breaker Caps

Anxiously searching for the correct circuit breaker to pull when the trim runs away wastes valuable time. Sporty’s has an easy solution. Brightly colored Circuit Breaker Caps can be snapped onto the top of most pull-type breakers. Available in red, yellow and green, these Circuit Breaker Caps can be color coded for the autopilot, electric trim, landing gear and other important circuit breakers for quick identification.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (01.05.04)

"We were a long ways away from Kitty Hawk, but every pilot who showed up felt a kinship with history and an appreciation for the freedom to fly in this country. It was one of those days where everyone wore a smile and all the smiles represented profound emotions."

Source: Kathy Rohm, community relations director for the Wathen Foundation, which owns Flabob Airport, discussing their West Coast celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Manned Powered Flight.

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Jonathan Livingston, I Presume?

Bird v Aircraft accidents often turn out pretty ugly... but this one (for a change) turned out a lot better, with only the unfortunate seagull KIA. Keep your eyes, out, folks! ** Report created 1/5/2004 Record 4 ** IDENTIFICATION  Regis#: 244RP Make/Model: OH58 Description: BELL OH-58A  Date: 01/02/2004 Time: 2000  Event Type: Incident Highest Injury: None Mid Air: N Missing: N  Damage: Minor LOCATION  City: FRUIT COVE State: FL Country: US DESCRIPTION ST JOHNS COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE, N244RP, BELL OH58 HELICOPTER, A PUBLIC USE AIRCRAFT, WHILE ON A LEFT TURN AT 600FT MSL, A SEAGULL FLEW INTO THE CANOPY, AIRCRAFT LANDED SAFELY ON A BASEBALL FIELD, FRUIT GOVE, FL

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Upgraded: Richard Wallman

ExpressJet Holdings reports Richard F. Wallman has been elected to fill a vacancy on its board of directors. Wallman retired in July 2003, having served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Honeywell International Inc., and its predecessor, Allied Signal Inc., since March 1995. Prior to joining Honeywell,  Wallman held positions with IBM, Chrysler and Ford.  Wallman is 52 years old and is also a director of Ariba, Inc., Avaya Inc., Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc. and Lear Corporation.

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ANN Free Classifieds Featured Ad: South Lakeland [X49] Airport Lot

For Sale:  South Lakeland (X49) Airport Lot 90' X 245' lot available adjacent to runway at X49 South Lakeland Airpark. Located in Mulberry, FL just south of Lakeland, FL home of Sun-n-Fun. Paved road access to lot, direct access to runway from lot. New, will sell for $60,000.00 (or best offer)

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