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January 24, 2004

Student Pilot Crashes Into Police Station

A student pilot practicing touch-and-goes in Farmington (NM) apparently lost power Thursday night, causing his plane to pile into a police building near Four Corners Regional Airport. The student-pilot, who's not yet been identified, was seriously injured, according to local authorities. The aircraft impacted a part of the building that houses the detective unit, according to Fire Marshal Herb Veazey. "There’s some structural damage inside the building a lot of glass and debris strewn about...bent and twisted I-beams inside the office area," says Veazey. "We have a lot of fuel leaking down inside the building."

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Pilot's License Revoked After Alleged Drunken Flight

John V. Salamone won't be flying himself around for awhile. The FAA, ruling that he endangered his life and the lives of others, revoked his license after he allegedly flew his 1967 Cherokee Six (file photo of type, below) while drunk last week. Authorities say a preliminary breath test rang up .13 percent -- the amount of alcohol in his bloodstream. The legal limit for flying is .04 percent, while the legal limit for driving in Pennsylvania is .08 percent. The FAA ordered Salamone to either mail in his flight certificate or deliver it to the office in Jamaica (NY). All this, after Salamone's flight of January 15th, when officials say he penetrated Philidelphia Class B airspace without permission.

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Helo Down At Camp Pendleton

Four US Marines aboard a UH-1 helicopter were killed when it went down at Camp Pendleton (CA) Thursday night. It was an especially hard blow for members of Pendleton's aviation unit. Three of their own were killed in a UH-1N crash in Iraq last March. "This certainly is a tragedy, and we hope we are able to assist the families of the victims during this time," Maj. T.V. Johnson said.

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Airline Industry To Work On Privacy Issues

Airline passengers worried about privacy in an age where airlines and the government are sharing their personal information have been calling the Air Transport Association, as the government continues to move toward using information like credit reports to weed out potential hijackers. And there doesn't appear to be an easy answer on the horizon. ATA members met with Nuala O'Connor Kelly Friday. She's the chief privacy officer at the Homeland Security Department. But the meeting apparently didn't yield much in the way of solutions to the thorny issue of balancing privacy with protection.

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ANN Free Classifieds Featured Ad: Bellanca Viking

For Sale: Bellanca 17-30 Viking

1900 TTA, 260 SMOH, ski tube, aux tank, NDH, always hangared. Exterior Quality: 9, Interior Quality: 9 Used, will sell for $85,000.00

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GOP Candidate Catches Flak Over Air Combat Photo

Something looked a little fishy when Pennsylvania Republican congressional candidate Frank Ryan's mailer went out recently. The brochure showed a picture of a military aircraft firing flares. Ryan, a former Marine, said in the copy that he took the photo on a "bombing run" that was his "personal response to September 11th that I unleashed against Al Qaeda and the Taliban." There's just one thing. The aircraft Ryan said was on a "bombing run" was a C-130 Hercules. "Our C-130s are not bombers," Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Stephanie Holcombe said.

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Joe Norris: Country's First AB-DAR

Put this one in the history books: The first amateur-built designated airworthiness representative (AB-DAR) was officially and fully authorized this week to perform homebuilt aircraft inspections on behalf of the FAA. Suitably, the first AB-DAR hails from EAA: Joe Norris, senior aviation information specialist. Joe received his final orientation via telephone interview Thursday from the principal inspector at Minneapolis (MSP) Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO).

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Lawrence Livermore Labs: Let There Be Light

There's more life in store for critical components for commercial aircraft. That's the result of an advanced laser peening technology developed by researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a New Jersey firm. The payoff is already proving huge: turbine engine parts that last longer, reduced maintenance costs, and annual savings of hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (01.24.04)

"I was pulling into the back entrance of the police department when a plane was on coming on a northwestern approach to the airport and appeared to have lost power and fell straight into the north end of the building of the Farmington police department." Source: Farmington (NM) police sergeant who witnessed the crash of a B36 into a police building near the Four Corners Regional Airport Thursday night. The unidentified student pilot, who was the only person on board the aircraft, miraculously survived the accident with head and facial injuries. Ten inmates locked up at the station were transferred to the San Juan County Detention Center. No one on the ground was hurt.

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