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February 04, 2004

Congrats First AB-DAR Class!

New Grads Train At FAA's OKC Center

On Monday, the EAA reported that the number of inspectors for homebuilt aircraft recently took a significant step forward. Last week, 20 new amateur built designated airworthiness representative (AB-DAR) candidates completed the first scheduled course at FAA and TSI (Transportation Safety Institute) facilities in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. EAA staff members Earl Lawrence and Joe Norris served as instructors along with FAA and TSI representatives during the three-day course held January 27-29. In preparation for the sport pilot and light-sport aircraft DAR (LSA DAR) program, EAA loaned the FAA a Buckeye Dream Machine powered parachute for additional hands-on training. Another AB-DAR course is scheduled for June 8-10. Off

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Everglades Airpark Handoff In The Works

Everglades City To Take Over

Amidst the slew of proposed airport closings across the US, it's nice to see a local government actually welcome ownership of its airport. Initial steps are taking place to transfer ownership of the Everglades Airpark (FL) from the Collier County government to city officials of Everglades City. In a meeting Monday at Everglades City Hall, Mayor Sammy Hamilton, County Manager Jim Mudd and airport authority officials agreed to schedule several meetings in the coming weeks to discuss details of a possible transfer plan. The city controlled the airport until 1968, when the government transferred ownership to county government through a warranty deed. A joint workshop between the Everglades City Council and Collier County Commission to d

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Wildfire Racer To Take Flight

Scheduled To Race At Reno

Air race fans take note: the Wildfire Unlimited Air Racer will fly again. Dave Morss, test pilot from Redwood City, CA., will be at the controls. After a lengthy hiatus, William H. Statler,of Statler Air, LLC tells us new funding has been obtained, which allows the project to go forward. Statler says the airplane is nearing completion and will begin flight tests this spring. If all goes according to plan, the Wildfire Air Race Team hopes to race at the 2004 National Championship Air Races in Reno to join the lies of Dago Red and Rare Bear (pictured, above). Dave Morss, a 24-year veteran Reno racer and 3 time Sport Champion, will pilot the plane. Powered by the Pratt &Whitney R2800 engine with a Hamilton Standard propeller, the airp

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It's Real: USAF Owns Up To Amazing Thunderbird Ejection Pic

It's been a source of some conjecture for several months. An amazing shot, taken at the very latest fraction of a second, of a stricken USAF Thunderbird F-16 in ejection mode, has finally been claimed by its photographer. Taken at (relatively) close range, the picture shows in extraordinary detail, the last fraction of a second ejection of Capt. Christopher Stricklin at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. After an error in judging entry altitude, Stricklin was forced to abandon his aircraft less than a second before impact, in the Thunderbirds' number six aircraft. The amazing photo is the superb work of Air Force Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III...

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The Debate Over GPS

U.S., Europe Deadlock Over Satellite Navigation  

U.S. and European negotiators have failed to break a deadlock over technical standards for Europe's planned multi-billion-dollar Galileo satellite navigation system, both sides said on Monday. An initiative launched by the European Union and the European Space Agency, Galileo will reportedly ensure complimentary synchronization with the current GPS system.   The United States has offered to share its satellite know-how if the Europeans agree to a radio frequency that Washington says would curb potential interference with what it deems a critical, coded military signal. Some Europeans say the U.S.-backed plan would undercut Galileo's accuracy in the name of defending allied security while in fact boost

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Club Airways Partners With PrivatPort

Closer Cooperation with Swissport Exec. Aviation and PrivatAir

Club Airways has chosen PrivatPort S.A., a recent joint venture between PrivatAir and Swissport Geneva, for the ground handling of its flights at Geneva International Airport. Ground services for Club Airways flights will be provided by Swissport Executive Aviation at the airports of Basle, Nice, and Zurich; PrivatAir will take responsibility for the handling of flights at Paris le Bourget airport. With these new collaborations, the company says members of Club Airways will experience ground handling services of superior quality perfectly suited to their needs. Club Airways, in turn, will benefit from higher visibility at the different locations. Club Airways will expand its offering by operating wi

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NATCA Criticizes White House ATC Budget Cuts

Group Says Cuts "Expose Credibility Gap"

Budget cuts are not only a hot issue for this year's presidential election, but also attract criticism from those in the affected industries, especially aviation. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) claimed Monday's White House budget proposal exposes a major credibility gap in the Bush Administration's aviation policy. The group specifically criticizes the portion of the budget that proposes a 16 percent cut in spending on air traffic control facilities and equipment, while simultaneously touting its modernization plan to drastically add system capacity. Carr called the Administration's plan to triple air traffic capacity in the next 15-20 years an "empty election year promise that sounds good but d

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Hiperbipe Reborn!

It's kinda like hearing good news from a favorite old girlfriend. You know the one... the sweetie that "rocked your world" more than anyone else -- and she wants you back... REAL bad. Sigh... On a similarly intense level, one of my favorite airplanes seems to be calling me... again. The unique and much-celebrated Sorrell Hiperbipe is in the process of a comeback. Mark Sorrell tells ANN than an SNS-540 is in the works, a higher-powered and upgraded version of the two seat, enclosed cabin Hiperbipe SNS-7 aerobat that seemed to do a little of everything REALLY well. Mark says it's "for all purposes, (it is) a 7 but improved and redesigned to accommodate a Lycoming IO-540 with composite 3 blade prop."

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New Additions To Mesa's Growing Family

Eight 50-Seat Regional Jets Join Fleet

Mesa Air Group, Inc. seems to continue growing at a rapid pace, as the company announced Monday it has reached a final agreement with US Airways to add eight 50-seat regional jets to its existing agreement. This amendment, which is subject to US Airways Board of Directors approval, increases the number of 50-seat regional jets under the contract with US Airways to 67. Mesa currently has 57 of its 50-seat regional jet aircraft in service with US Airways. The eight new aircraft, which will be acquired on an operating lease from a third party lessor, are expected to be placed into service starting in May of 2004. These aircraft will go into service for ten years. Mesa currently operates 159 aircraft with 1,012 daily system de

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Completed: Boundary Layer Research's King Air 200 Winglets

Boundary Layer Research has conpleted the development of its new King Air 200 Winglets... designed to aerodynamically enhance the King Air 200 series aircraft. Certification is expected by the October '04 NBAA Convention in Las Vegas. BLR already manufactures performance enhancing winglets for the Beechcraft Duke, known as Marquis Winglets. The new King Air 200 Winglets will offer similar benefits to King Air 200 model aircraft and operators. As you may know, winglets increase the effective wingspan of the aircraft and decrease lift induced drag.

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No Survivors In Hawaii Air Ambulance Crash

Wreckage Found In Rainforest

The Coast Guard on Monday located the wreckage of a missing air ambulance in a tropical rainforest on Hawaii's northeastern coast. The pilot and two paramedics were killed, officials said. The Cessna 414 (file photo, right), missing since early Saturday, was located about 22 miles northwest of Hilo, said Petty Officer Jennifer Johnson. The wreckage was located by a faint signal from an electronic transmitter. The wreckage site is about 5,000 feet above sea level in a forest marked by steep cliffs and deep ravines. The victims were identified as pilot Ron Laubacher, 38, and paramedics Mandy Shiraki and Joseph D. Villiaros. The plane was last heard from early Saturday, about an hour after taking off from Honolulu International

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Airport Group: 2003 Wasn't So Bad

Results For Nine Months to December 2003

BAA, the international airports group and owner of seven UK airports, including the world's busiest international airport, Heathrow, reported on Monday a continued year on year improvement in passenger numbers, revenue and profit in its third quarter and said that it expected this trend to continue. "Operationally, passenger numbers continued to rise, retail performance has been excellent and operating costs, including increased security and maintenance expenditure, have come in on target", commented Mike Clasper, Chief Executive of BAA. Group revenue was 499 million pounds sterling for the quarter, an increase of 4.2% on the comparable quarter in 2002 (479 million pounds restated(1)) while Group operating profit rose 8.

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Vietnam-US Aviation Talks Take Flight

Safety Is Main Point Of Discussion

Top officials from the FAA arrived in Hanoi Sunday to discuss the recently approved Air Services Agreement, and its impact on bilateral relations. However, the United States wants a review of Vietnam's airport safety standards before it implements the landmark bilateral trade pact that would start direct flights between the two former foes. FAA Deputy Administrator Robert Sturgell and the Assistant Administrator for International Aviation Douglas E. Lavin are heading the delegation. Mr. Sturgell will meet with officials at the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as representatives from the US and Vietnamese airline industries. Officials will discuss the recently-approved Air Servic

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Adopt-A-Pilot Program At Southwest Airlines

Teaching Kids About Aviation

On your next Southwest Airlines flight, you won't be asked to take a test, but you might be asked to help grade a few papers. Celebrating its seventh year, Southwest's Adopt- A-Pilot program has successfully enhanced both educational activities for thousands of students and community relations for the airline.   The award-winning Adopt-A-Pilot program includes creative teaching tools and fun classroom activities, enabling Southwest Airlines Pilots to personally connect with more than 18,000 fifth-grade students across the country. This year, the free educational program is also offered in Spanish, providing translated curriculum and bilingual Pilots to mentor classes with students who speak Spanish as their primary language. <

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Report: Crossair Crash Caused By Pilot Error

Claims Pilot Descended Below Minimums

A report profiling a Crossair crash near Zurich, two years ago that killed 24 people, says serious pilot errors were to blame for the accident.    Switzerland's Air Accident Investigation Bureau also criticized shortcomings of the aircraft operator, Crossair. The Federal Prosecutor's Office said on Tuesday that it had opened a criminal investigation into possible negligent homicide and grievous bodily harm by negligence. The accident report confirmed that the pilot of the Avro RJ-100 descended below minimums, ignoring automatic alarm signals. The jet, which was flying from Berlin to Zurich on the night of November 24, 2001, crashed into woodland just short of the runway, killing 24 of the 33 people on boa

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MN TFR: 02/04

Beware Blasting Activity NOTAM:4/0843 Issued:02/03/2004 19:28 Effective:02/04/2004 17:00 - 02/04/2004 18:15 State:MN Facility:ZMP - MINNEAPOLIS (ARTCC),MN. Type:HAZARDS Description:ELY, MN.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (02.04.04)

Aero-News: Quote of the Day

"Once you lose one (airport), you never get another one. The airport means a lot to our city. We've had a lot of things taken away from us. We don't need any more" Source: Everglades City Mayor Sammy Hamilton commenting on the proposed transfer of the Everglades Airpark from county to city ownership. FMI:  www.florida-everglades.com/chamber/home.htm

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Upgrade: Mesa Air Group Promotions

Barkhurst And Brookshire Climb The Corporate Ladder

Mesa Air Group has promoted two if its managers to the next rung in the corporate ladder. Carla Barkhurst, currently the Company's Senior Director of Customer Service, has been promoted to Vice President of Customer Service. Carla has been with Mesa Air Group since 1994, originally joining the company as Director of Training for Liberty Express, a Mesa Air Group subsidiary. Kristen S. Brookshire, currently the Company's Senior Director of Inflight, has been promoted to Vice President of Inflight. Kristen began her service with Mesa Air Group in 1999 as Director of Inflight. Mesa currently operates 159 aircraft with 1,012 daily system departures to 151 cities, 40 states, the District of Columbia, Canada

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Legendary Airman, Duane Cole, Flies West

Much Respected, Much Loved Flyer Passes On At 89 Legendary flyer, airshowman, prolific author, flight instructor and unrepentant aviation advocate Duane Cole has gone west... well beyond the concerns of the merciless FAA that he fought so bravely, or the aero-ignorance that he battled at every turn. He was out-spoken, opinionated, tremendously knowledgeable and about as gifted a stick and rudder flyer as I know... and his loss seems to bring the cumulative sum of all existent aviation knowledge down several percentage points. Duane was 89, and had been ill for quite a while... so the news is not shocking... though the impact is undeniable. An early founding member of EAA (member #48, no less), Duane was best-known for his graceful dead-stick aerobatic routin

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