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February 19, 2004

Black Pilot Strives For Aviation Feat

Lee Owens Thinks Global 

Lee Owens is $200,000 short and 25,000 miles from his goal of becoming the first Black man to fly around the world in a single-engine airplane. however, that isn't stopping him. The 54-year-old chief pilot at Glendale Aviation is determined to make the trip, his homage to the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, the all-Black flying group. So far, through donations, Owens has raised $125,000 of the $325,000 he has estimated it will cost to make the trip. Owen intends to mimic Charles Lindbergh's 1927 solo trans-Atlantic flight on May 27. Upon his return, he plans to speak to youths across the country to help educate them about the Tuskegee Airmen's contributions to aviation history. But first, he needs to get off the ground.

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CASA Clamps Down On Aussie Skydive Operation

Agency Claims Skydive City Busted Regs

Australia is known for its variety of outdoor activities, including flying and skydiving. However, one particular jump operation faces a considerable clamp down of its activities. Skydive City owner Luke McWilliam has been banned from dropping parachutists within two miles of the Barwon Heads airport. Concerns about the safety of parachutists, aircraft and people in the vicinity of the aerodrome prompted the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to impose the potentially devastating ban. McWilliam, who co-owns the aerodrome with Barbara Begg, said the ban, effective from last Friday, was costing the company up to $10,000 a day. He said the company was continuing to operate through the goodwill of a nearby private landholder who allowed them to

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Australian Air Traffic Chief Admits To Oversight

Smith Did Not Analyze New Airspace Plans

ANN first reported Wednesday about the growing debate in Australia over airspace changes that affect a variety of general aviation operations. Now, the government agency responsible for the airborne switcheroo has accepted fault for the growing confusion. The head of Australia's national air traffic control agency admitted last night that the agency had not done a full analysis of the controversial new airspace system before its introduction last year. Bernie Smith, chief executive of Airservices Australia, said the agency had relied on information provided by other groups about the new system, potentially leaving itself open to legal action in the event of an aviation incident.

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Farmer Builds Helo; Needs Permit To Fly

Nevermind The Aircraft Barely Leaves Ground

Americans certainly don't own a monopoly on bureaucratic battles with their aviation agency. Just ask a Vietnamese farmer that hopes to fly his own invention but find himself fighting the system instead. With directions from the Internet and an old Russian truck motor, the farmer fulfilled his dream of making his own helicopter. The job took two friends, seven years and $30,000. Now, military officials say he can't fly it, because he didn't get approval to build it. The result: They confiscated the makeshift copter.

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Textron Seeks Sales Climb In '06

Company Seeks 9.5 Percent Increase

Textron Inc., parent company of Bell Helicopters and Cessna Aircraft, said it plans to increase its revenue at least 9.5 percent in 2006 from last year as sales of airplanes rebound. Sales in 2006 will be between $10.8 billion and $11.4 billion, up from $9.86 billion last year, the company said. Sales this year will fall about 2 percent from last year, in part because of a drop in deliveries of Cessna Citation business jets, it said. Revenue at Textron, which also sells products ranging from golf carts to the V-22 Osprey military plane, has fallen for three straight years, mainly because of declining Citation deliveries. Since 2000, chief executive Lewis Campbell has sold businesses and laid off workers in an effort to reduce a

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Air Ambulance Crash Kills Crew

Second Crash In KS This Week

Three members of an air ambulance crew were killed early Tuesday when their twin-engine airplane crashed into a field near Dodge City (KS). The Kansas Highway Patrol said it was the second fatal plane crash in the state this week. In the other accident, 60-year-old Carl Johnson of Pratt died Monday afternoon when a single-engine plane he was piloting crashed into a field in Pawnee County. Two other Kansans died Tuesday morning when their plane crashed four miles east of Rich Hill (MO), near the Missouri-Kansas state line.

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Shuttle Flights May Be Delayed Until 2005

External Fuel Tank Remains A Concern

It could be January or March of next year before NASA is ready to launch its first space shuttle mission since Columbia disintegrated in the sky above Texas in February 2003, a top NASA administrator said on Tuesday. NASA has been targeting a launch date in September or October, but that looks unlikely because of ongoing research into air flow around the shuttle's huge external fuel tank, said NASA shuttle and space station director Michael Kostelnik. He said new research models required a broader look at the fuel tank issue, which was critical because investigators believe insulation foam broke loose from the tank, struck Columbia's wing and caused the spacecraft's demise by damaging its heat shield.

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Human Factors Primary Cause In Military Aviation Mishaps

Civilian And Military Aviators Share Common Problem

While a growing concern for civilian pilots, top safety officials at the US Air Force report "human factors" is also a primary cause of military aircraft mishaps. That testimony by Air Force Chief of Safety Maj. Gen. Kenneth W. Hess came as part of a congressional hearing on military aviation safety, Feb. 11, where safety directors from all four service branches testified before the House Armed Services Committee. The general told committee members that "task saturation" is one example of how the human factor can be responsible for mishaps. General Hess said developmental technology, such as the tactile vest, improvements in the types of information being brought into cockpits, and better ground-based training are all going t

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Vintage Flying Boat To Fly Again In Asia

South East Asian Airlines To Launch Dornier 24ATT Service 

South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR), a German-backed commuter airline company based in the Philippines, has announced that it is putting back into service one of the world's most remarkable and historic flying boats, the Dornier 24ATT. SEAIR, which has been in operation in the Philippines for ten years serving some of the archipelago's top destinations, will use the luxury aircraft to service five-star resorts, offering discerning passengers the opportunity to fly and arrive in style, without hanging around at airports or ferry terminals. SEAIR chairman and founder Iren Dornier, grandson of German aircraft pioneer Claudius Dornier, removed the Dornier 24ATT from the Deutsch museum in Germany and brought it to the Ph

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Intelligence Official: Al Qaeda Poses Plane Threat

Group Keen On 9/11 Style Attacks

If recent intelligence is correct, airliners remain a target for terrorist plotters. A top U.S. intelligence official told Reuters that Al Qaeda has deployed operatives to hijack planes and fly them into targets in an echo of the Sept. 11 attacks. The official says the terrorist group is also looking at derailing trains possibly carrying hazardous material. Robert Hutchings, chairman of the National Intelligence Council, which reports to the CIA director, did not give details of the plots but provided the most recent public outline from an intelligence official of the Al Qaeda threat. The network, blamed for the Sept 11, 2001, attacks that killed 3,000 people, seeks targets that would strike a blow to the U.S. economy, Hutchings said in a Jan.

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Biggest Ever Indo-US Air Exercise Begins

Cope India 04 Gains Flight

In their biggest-ever fighter maneuvers, India and United States on Monday commenced a ten-day joint air exercises over the North Indian territory of Gwalior, pitting the Indian Air Force (IAF) against one of the most hi-tech forces in the world. In the combat exercises code-named Cope India 04, the Pacific Command of the US Air Force (USAF) will pit its F-15C air superiority fighters against the Indian Air Forces Mig-21, Mig 29 and Sukhoi-30 fighters as well as a Gwalior-based Mirage 2000 fighter in simulated Beyond Visual Range Combat, high value asset protection and a number of the low and high altitude combat missions. Dissimilar AIR COMBAT TRAINING, otherwise known as DACT, is simulated combat flying between two different types of aircraft.

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'Transformation Flight Plan' Gives AF Roadmap To Future

US Air Force Looks Ahead US Air Staff officials have put the finishing touches on the "Transformation Flight Plan," which spells out the future direction of the Air Force. The TFP, a 176-page document, can be accessed through the office of force transformation Web site at www.oft.osd.mil . In conjunction with joint partners, the Air Force is transforming by making capabilities-based changes in its operational concepts, organizational structures and/or technologies to expand the nation’s military capabilities. Since the flight plan is a "living document," officials plan to update it annually. This version is the second, superseding the one published in May 2002. The flight plan is a "sn

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Uh... DUCK!

It amazes me, even after many years of seeing such incidents, the damage that can be done by our fine feathered friends. Thankfully, this time, the only casualties were to a few of our avian brethren.... UNITED PARCEL SERVICE UPS971, B757 ACFT, ON DEPARTURE ROLL HIT SEVERAL  DUCKS DAMAGING LEFT ENGINE, ACFT RETURNED AND LANDED WITHOUT INCIDENT,  PORTLAND, OR

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Russia To Build New Spacecraft

Craft Will Overshadow Soyuz's Size

Russian engineers have begun design work on a new spacecraft that would be twice as big and spacious as the existing Soyuz crew capsules, the nation's top space official said Tuesday. The new craft will be able to carry at least six cosmonauts and have a reusable crew section, Russian Aerospace Agency director Yuri Koptev said at a news conference. Soyuz carries three cosmonauts and isn't reusable. Koptev said that his agency was willing to consider possible participation in the planned U.S. moon and Mars missions, but hadn't yet received any formal proposals from NASA. At the same time, he reaffirmed his skepticism about Bush's space plan, saying that the U.S. administration would have trouble raising resources for the planned missions.

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MN TFR: 02/19 (1730-1845)

TFR Issued For Blasting Activity Hazard NOTAM: 4/1224 Issued: 02/18/2004 19:11 Effective: 02/19/2004 17:30 - 02/19/2004 18:45 State: MN Facility: ZMP - MINNEAPOLIS (ARTCC),MN. Type: HAZARDS Description: ELY, MN.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (02.19.04)

Aero-News: Quote of the Day

"The Tuskegee Airmen, they made it possible for me to become a pilot, a better person, a better human being. If I have to mortgage my house . . . whatever we have to do to make this trip." Source: Lee Owens commenting on his goal of becoming the first Black man to fly around the world in a single-engine airplane. Owens plans to circumnavigate in style via a P-51 in memory of the Tuskegee Airmen.

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AD: BeechJet

AD NUMBER: 2004-03-35

MANUFACTURER: Raytheon SUBJECT: Airworthiness Directive 2004-03-35 SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain Raytheon Model Beech 400A and 400T series airplanes, that requires an inspection to determine the part number of the A194 roll trim printed circuit board (PCB), and replacement of certain PCBs with improved parts. This action is necessary to prevent intermittent sticking of the relays on the PCB in either the open or closed position, which could result in an out-of-trim condition that could require using considerable control wheel force to keep the wings level, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane. This action is intended

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AD: Pilatus PC-7/12

AD NUMBER: 2004-04-01

MANUFACTURER: Pilatus SUBJECT: Engine-driven fuel pump SUMMARY: The FAA adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that supersedes AD 2002-01-09, which applies to all Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. (Pilatus) Models PC-7, PC-12, and PC-12/45 airplanes that incorporate a certain engine-driven pump. AD 2002-01-09 currently requires you to inspect the joints between the engine-driven pump housing, the relief valve housing, and the relief valve cover for signs of fuel leakage and extruding gasket material; replace any engine-driven pump with any of the above problems; and ensure that the relief valve attachment screws are adequately torqued and re-torque as necessary.

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AD: Boeing 727 - Main Cargo Door

AD NUMBER: 2004-03-31

MANUFACTURER: Boeing SUBJECT: Main Cargo Door SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain Boeing Model 727, 727-100C, 727-200F, and 727C series airplanes, that requires repetitive open-hole high frequency eddy current inspections for cracks in the fuselage skin, strap (bearstrap), and doubler at the forward and aft hinge fittings for the main deck cargo door, and repair of any cracks found.This action is necessary to detect and correct such cracks, which could reach critical crack length and result in rapid decompression of the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

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AD: Piper Meridian

AD NUMBER: 2004-03-32

MANUFACTURER: New Piper SUBJECT: Elcetronic Control Modules SUMMARY: The FAA adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The New Piper Aircraft, Inc. (Piper) Model PA-46-500TP airplanes. This AD requires you to replace all electronic control modules in the airplane electrical system with newly designed modules. This AD is the result of smoke in the cockpit and loss of electrical systems function. We are issuing this AD to prevent short circuit failure and electrical arcing of the electronic control modules, which could result in loss of the electrical systems components or burning of wiring insulation and cause smoke in the cockpit.This condition could lead to the inability to proper

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AD: Boeing 727 - Cargo Opening

AD NUMBER: 2004-03-30

MANUFACTURER: Boeing SUBJECT: Aft Cargo Opening SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to all Boeing Model 727, 727C, 727-100, and 727-100C series airplanes, that requires repetitive detailed and special detailed inspections for cracks in the web, inner chord, and outer chord of the forward and aft frames of the aft cargo door opening; and repair of any crack found. This action is necessary to detect and correct such cracks, which could result in loss of the aft cargo door and rapid decompression of the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

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