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February 26, 2004

Cirrus Unveils 'Operation Centennial Angel'

President's Pilot To Set Aviation Record With Cirrus SR22 For The Benefit Of Angel Flight East On March 16, 2004, Lieutenant Colonel Charles "Lindy" Kirkland will attempt to break a National Aeronautic Association (NAA) sanctioned record by landing at 100 Virginia runways in a single day. The historic flight will benefit Angel Flight East and raise up to $100,000 for the organization. With the aid of fellow aviator Major Rob Krieg and the help of Cirrus, who has donated use of a Cirrus SR22, Lt. Kirkland will complete these landings on all 67 public- use runways and selected military and private fields in Virginia.

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NBAA Announces ABACE for Summer 2004 and 2005

Tapping Into The Far East Market

To address the needs of the emerging business aviation community in Asia, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) announces the debut of the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE). NBAA first will host an ABACE Forum in Hong Kong, China on July 15 and 16, 2004. Modeled after successful NBAA-sponsored events in the United States, Europe and Latin America, the ABACE Show will debut in Shanghai, China the following summer. Dates for ABACE2005 will be announced shortly.

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First Flight: American Autogyro Inc.'s Sparrowhawk Gyroplane

A (Truly) "Next-Generation" Autogyro Takes Flight Groen Brothers Aviation, Inc. has told ANN of the maiden flight of its SparrowHawk Gyroplane, designed and manufactured by their wholly owned subsidiary American Autogyro Inc. (AAI). The SparrowHawk, an enclosed, centerline thrust, two-place kit-built gyroplane, is a dynamically and statically stable aircraft that provides great safety advantages. "Based upon GBA's years of experience in aircraft structures and flight stability and control, and the several months and hundreds of fleet hours of flight time of AAI stabilization modified aircraft, we are comfortable predicting that 'There will be no safer kit-built aircraft,'" said Jim Mayfield, President of AAI. The large two-place cabin with a

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TSA To Hold Public Meeting On Repair Station Regs

A Sign Of Things to Come?

AOPA tells us the TSA is up to their shennigans again. With only three days'notice, the agency has called a public meeting to gather ideas on how the it should proceed in regulating foreign and domestic repair stations. This is the first time that TSA is proposing to regulate businesses located at general aviation airports. AOPA is concerned that the congressionally mandated repair station security measures may eventually become the model for regulating other general aviation airport businesses.

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New Aux Tank Offered For Hummingbird Helo

Range Increased To 500 Miles

Vertical Aviation Technologies just recently completed the design of a 22 gallon auxiliary fuel system for the Hummingbird helicopter.  With this aux fuel system, range is increased to 500 miles.  The system is easily installed and was designed for use with the Hummingbird Heli-Camper to extend range to that mountain lake camping hideaway. The Hummingbird was introduced in 1991 and is the only four passenger kit helicopter that was previously FAA Certified. Used primarily for private use, it has been increasingly used around the world for commercial and business use. 

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FAA Says "Show Me The Money"

Agency Wants Fee From Tennis Court On Pensacola Airport Land

The FAA wants Pensacola (FL) to collect an annual rent -- an amount that could reach nearly $80,000 -- for a city tennis court on city airport property. Old maps show the site of the 16-acre Roger Scott Tennis Center on land belonging to the Pensacola Regional Airport, City Attorney Don Caton told a City Council committee. Federal grant agreements with the FAA require all airport property be used to benefit the airport, according to a letter from FAA program manager William E. Farris. The agreement allows temporary use for non-aeronautical purposes, but Farris wrote that the land appears to be in a prime area for aviation ventures and that the city should make plans for such use. Hundreds of adults and children use t

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Dream Job? AOPA Looking For New Exec VP (Media and Public Relations)

AOPA tells ANN that it is seeking to fill the newly developed position of Vice President, Media and Public Relations. Working closely with the Executive VP of Communications, this position will be responsible for managing AOPA's overall positioning and image to its members, the aviation community and the general public. They will direct all appropriate communications channels to assure that AOPA's message reaches all appropriate media.

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AOPA Backs Mass. Aerobatic Pilots

Aviators Sued By Local Residents For Aircraft Noise

On Tuesday, AOPA provided initial support to four Massachusetts pilots -- all AOPA members -- facing a lawsuit filed by a few residents. The suit alleges that the noise signature from the aerobatics performed by the pilots caused significant harm; they are seeking approximately $1 million in damages. The pilots are based at various airports, some 20 miles from the homes of the litigants. The four pilots face a lawsuit brought by a group of area citizens calling itself "Stop The Noise."

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Swiss DHL Crash Controller Killed

Investigation Uncovering If Link To Air Crash Exists

Swiss police are investigating whether revenge was behind the stabbing death of the air traffic controller on duty during a midair collision in which dozens of Russian children were killed. The 36-year-old man was stabbed at his home in the Zurich suburb of Kloten on Tuesday night after a brief exchange of words with another man, who police said spoke broke German. The air traffic controller -- whose identity has never been made public -- was attacked in front of his wife, police told The Associated Press. Investigators refused to rule out a connection between the slaying and the July 1, 2002, collision of a Russian charter airliner with a DHL cargo plane in air space over southern Germany controlled by Switzerland.

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NATCA: Controllers Ensure Successful Intro Of New Equipment At HOU

Airport Ground Movement Alerting System Activated

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is patting itself on the back again. This time is for their work in Houston, where George Bush Intercontinental Airport became the 34th and final airport to commission the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS.) The technology provides air traffic controllers with visual and audible alerts to assist in preventing runway collisions. Commissioning of AMASS involves installation, a testing phase of at least 30 days and, finally, controller utilization for at least 30 days to ensure a complete evaluation. NATCA officials devoted thousands of hours to ensuring the system was safe and fully operational. After the system encountered many problems in the early development st

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Southwest's Workers Protest In Philly

Flight Attendants Want New Contract

Southwest Airlines' unionized flight attendants brought a year-old campaign for a new labor contract to Philadelphia Monday, where the discount carrier plans to start service May 9. A group of 10 flight attendants, joined by about 30 local labor leaders and members of other unions, gathered at noon in a cold drizzle in front of City Hall, chanting slogans and holding signs that read "Has The LUV Airline Lost Its Heart?" Southwest, which is based at Love Field in Dallas, uses LUV as its trading symbol on the New York Stock Exchange and often plays on the word luv in its advertising. The flight attendants, members of the Transport Workers Union, contend that Southwest, after building a reputation over three decades for good relations with its

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Big Bucks for New Boeing Jet

A $125 Million Price Tag For The 7E7

Boeing plans to sell the new baseline 7E7 at similar pricing to the list price of the 767-300ER, or about $125 million per copy, VP-Marketing Randy Baseler announced at Asian Aerospace 2004. That figure is viewed as being below expectations for an airplane that will not enter service before 2008. Key to the pricing, according to Thomas Waggener, 7E7 marketing director, is the significant cost savings in the manufacturing process. Boeing executives have been touting massive savings in production costs for new commercial programs from experience gained on military programs such as the Joint Strike Fighter.

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Sardinia Citation Accident Kills Six

Air Ambulance Crashes Into Rough Terrain 

A small plane carrying a medical team and a heart for a transplant patient crashed Tuesday in Sardinia, killing all six people aboard, officials said. The Cessna Citation 500 had taken off from Rome's Ciampino airport and was bound for the Sardinian city of Cagliari when it lost radar contact with air traffic controllers over a mountain range about 20 miles from Cagliari, said Capt. Francesco Di Simone, a spokesman for Italy's air force. On board were two pilots and a four-member medical team that had picked up the heart at a Rome hospital and was returning back to Sardinia for a transplant, Di Simone told Reuters by telephone. Italian news reports said the two pilots were Austrian.

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Two Killed In U.S. Copter Crash In Iraq

Reports: Kiowa Hit Tension Line

A U.S. military helicopter crashed Wednesday into the Euphrates River in western Iraq, killing two crew members, a spokesman for the American-led coalition said. It is not known whether the helicopter was attacked or went down because of mechanical difficulties, said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, a U.S. Army spokesman. The chopper is an OH-58 Kiowa, a reconnaissance craft that carries two crew members. The aircraft is in the Euphrates River on its side, and dive teams have been contacted for assistance. Some news reports indicated the helicopter may have hit a high-tension wire, as it skimmed low over the ground. Military officials did not confirm these reports by ANN's deadline.

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Lockheed Martin Forms New Space Exploration Organization

John Karas to Lead New Group

Lockheed Martin has formed a new organization to manage the corporation's efforts in support of NASA's space exploration initiative. The organization, which will be called Space Exploration, will be led by John C. Karas and be headquartered in Denver (CO) as part of the Space Systems Company. The new organization's chief products include space launch systems, defense systems, interplanetary and science spacecraft, spacecraft for commercial and government customers, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems. Karas will report to G. Thomas Marsh, executive vice president for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, and will be supported by Jay Honeycutt, vice president and special assistant for Human Spaceflight and Space Shuttle Return to F

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Metal Storm to Weaponize Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Scheduled Demonstration In The U.S.

Metal Storm Limited announced Wednesday that it is planning to live-fire its 40mm electronic-weapon system on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) helicopter in the U.S. shortly. Preparation and fabrication are well advanced and a UAV airframe has already been shipped into Australia to commence the weapon/UAV integration process. The live firing, anticipated to be held in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2004, is the key deliverable under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that Metal Storm signed with Dragonfly Pictures Inc (DPI) on February 23. Under the MOU the company's electronic-weapon technology will be integrated with DPI's new Dragonfly DP-4X UAV helicopter for these live firings.

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Germany Plays Down Pre-9/11 Tip On Hijacker

Government Claims Ignorance

Germany had "no idea" a man whose first name and telephone number it passed to U.S. authorities long before the Sept. 11 attacks would turn out to be a key player in the plot, German Interior Minister Otto Schily said on Tuesday. The minister said a New York Times article saying Germany had given the Central Intelligence Agency the information about Marwan al-Shehhi in March 1999 was misleading. U.S. officials say al-Shehhi was the pilot who flew the second plane into the World Trade Center. The attacks, which destroyed the Twin Towers, damaged the Pentagon and caused one aircraft to crash into a Pennsylvania field, claimed about 3,000 lives.

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Evergreen Aviation Museum Goes Virtual

Interactive Learning Center Opens

Through West Coast Bank's $55,000, five-year commitment to the Evergreen Aviation Museum, the "West Coast Bank Interactive Learning Center" has been developed at the popular McMinnville tourist attraction and will be open to the public on February 27th. The Learning Center includes 30 personal computers equipped with Microsoft's flight simulator software and other aviation-related equipment. Evergreen International Aviation founder and CEO Delford M. Smith established the museum in memory of his son, Captain Michael King Smith. The museum is best known as the home of the world's largest flying boat and airplane, by wing span, the Howard Hughes "Spruce Goose."

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (02.26.04)

Aero-News: Quote of the Day

"This is potentially an issue that could affect all pilots engaged in any type of air commerce — from a Cub to a 747. We are fully prepared to take this through the federal system if necessary." Source: AOPA President Phil Boyer commenting on a lawsuit filed by a group of rural Massachusetts citizens, calling itself "Stop The Noise", against four aerobatic pilots. The group's attorney claims the legal practice flights violate the group's property rights and create a public health hazard due to noise pollution. The group has recently expanded its scope and has also targeted motorcycles and Sport pilots.

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