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December 29, 2011

FAA Issues New 51% Guidance

Resolves Vague Use Of Generic Checklists By Builders

The FAA put amateur builders into a state of regulatory limbo starting in 2008, when it announced it was rewriting its guidelines for inspectors. Inspectors evaluating rotorcraft, weight-shift aircraft and powered parachutes were instructed to use the old, vague, generic fabrication and assembly task checklist, creating a huge grey area. That vagueness appears to finally be resolved.

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NBAA Lets Web Stats Pick 2011 Top Stories

Resulting List Looks Like No Other In Aviation

As the year ends, it's natural for news organizations to huddle and decide which stories most touched our lives over the past 12 months. NBAA has tried a more objective, 21st-Century method of summing up 2011 - pulling web statistics which show which stories from its weekly newsletter were clicked the most. The results are...odd.

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Hard Times Close Michigan FBO

City Of Allegan May Decide To Seek New Partner

The longest runway at Padgham Field Airport (35D) in Allegan, Michigan is 4,300' long, which means it has to earn its keep as a general aviation facility. That's been hard for many GA airports to do through the long economic recession. The City of Allegan is reportedly considering pulling the plug on its long-time FBO partner, Dodgen Aircraft, which has ceased operations.

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Marathon Airport May Outsource Management

Retirement Of County Employee Spurs Debate Over Options

In 2012, the southernmost airport in the United States will be losing its manager to retirement. Reggie Paros is a county employee who's been managing the Marathon Airport in the Florida Keys. As the city plans for his replacement, a debate is brewing over the idea of hiring outside management for the facility.

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NASA's Voyager 1 To Exit Heliosheath

Scientists Not Sure Exactly When, But It's Close

The 34-year odyssey of NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has reached a distant point at the edge of our solar system where there is no outward motion of solar wind. The event is a major milestone in Voyager 1's passage through the heliosheath, the turbulent outer shell of the sun's sphere of influence, and the spacecraft's upcoming departure from our solar system.

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NTSB Prelim: Non-Certified Pilot Hurt In Tomahawk Forced Landing

No Fuel Found In Aircraft At Impact Site

OK... we're not sure what to make of this... since the lack of a pilot certificate or medical certificate is not an indicator of the requisite skill level of any potential aviator... but there is little doubt that the "pilot" had little or no fuel when he was forced to deadstick... experiencing serious injuries in the process. This guy definitely has some explaining to do...

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So Far, 2011 Is Safest Year Ever For Aviation

First 11 Months Better Than Any Year Since 1945

International Air Transport Association CEO Tony Tyler noted in a December 7 speech in Geneva, Switzerland that while it's been an up-and-down year from a business standpoint, 2011 has been a remarkably safe one for airlines. In fact, IATA now says the first 11 months of the year have been the safest since 1945, when records were first kept.

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NASA Propulsion Experiment Seeks to Improve Jet Efficiency

CCIE Funded By NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate

Aeronautics researchers at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center recently completed flight tests of a unique experimental jet engine inlet design in the Channeled Center-body Inlet Experiment, or CCIE. The experimental inlet was checked out on NASA Dryden's F-15B aeronautics research test bed aircraft, which continues to be an innovative and cost-effective tool for flight test of advanced propulsion concepts. The CCIE project's primary research objective was to define the airflow through the experimental jet engine inlet, then compare it to the airflow through a standard inlet. Inside, airflow around two interchangeable center bodies installed in an air inlet tube was measured. The structures are designed to direct

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FAA Lithium Battery Study 'Flawed' Says Industry Group

PRBA Assails 'Fundamental Flaws' In FAA Study of Lithium Battery Shipments

The Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA) is claiming that a recent FAA study on the potential risks posed by the air transport of lithium batteries was based on flawed assumptions, unsound methodology and faulty data. "Unfortunately, the FAA study has provoked unwarranted scare-mongering in the news media and distracted attention from important safety issues. Everyone agrees improperly packaged lithium batteries should not be shipped as cargo. This safety goal can best be achieved by rigorous enforcement that will ensure compliance with existing international battery transportation regulations," PRBA Executive Director George A. Kerchner said.  

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Arianespace Confirms Successful Orbits For Six Globalstar-2 Satellites

2011 Was a Good Year For Arianespace

On Wednesday, December 28, Arianespace and Starsem orbited six new satellites of the Globalstar-2 constellation. The 1,784th launch of a Soyuz family rocket (Soyuz-Fregat version) took place at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launcher lifted off at 17:09 Universal Time on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 (11:09 pm local time, 6:09 pm in Paris, and 9:09 am in San Francisco). Arianespace, Starsem and their Russian partners confirmed that the Fregat orbital stage accurately injected the six Globalstar-2 satellites into their targeted orbit.

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Aero-TV: Nextant Aerospace 400XT -- Recrafting The Beechjet For Today's Missions

Aero-Recycling... Who'da Thunk It???

It may be the ultimate form of aero-recycling... recrafting solid older airframes with the latest technology and aerodynamic improvements, with the result being very economical high-performance aircraft available for a fraction of the cost of their "newer" counterparts.

Aero-TV: Nextant Aerospace 400XT -- Recrafting The Beechjet For Today's Missions

Aero-Recycling... Who'da Thunk It???

It may be the ultimate form of aero-recycling... recrafting solid older airframes with the latest technology and aerodynamic improvements, with the result being very economical high-performance aircraft available for a fraction of the cost of their "newer" counterparts. In the case of Nextant Aerospace, they saw incredible potential in the ruggedly capable Beechjet 400A/XP. The bird built a reasonable amount of market share due to its cabin size, speed and reliability -- and its a favorite for a number of operators. But... Nextant thought the bird could use some updating, especially in terms of range. The standard 400A/XP has a

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NTSB Prelim: Downed TBM 700 Climbed in Ice To 17.9K Before Descent

Pilot Confirmed Icing Conditions, Asked For Higher Altitude

A brutally tragic pre-holiday that claimed the lives of five people is receiving intense media and government scrutiny. The first of a series of updates and reports expected from the NTSB has been published and confirms the reports that the TBM pilot knew he was icing up and was attempting to climb through it before the flight went awry.

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China Throws Switch On Satellite Nav System

Alternative To US-Run GPS Also Supports SMS Messaging

The GPS system is used for all sorts of everyday, civilian purposes. But the it was designed and built by and for the US Department of Defense, which reserves the option to intentionally disrupt the system if necessary to deter an attack. That has prompted development of redundant systems by other nations, and China announced Tuesday that its alternative to GPS is now up and running.

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GRAIL Mission Approaches Lunar Orbit

NASA's Twin Spacecraft On Final Approach For Moon

Now... this what we call celebrating the holiday... with further exploration of our Moon. NASA's twin spacecraft to study the moon from crust to core are nearing their New Year's Eve and New Year's Day main-engine burns to place the duo in lunar orbit. Named Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL), the spacecraft are scheduled to be placed in orbit beginning at 1:21 p.m. PST (4:21 p.m. EST) for GRAIL-A on Dec. 31, and 2:05 p.m. PST (5:05 p.m. EST) on Jan. 1 for GRAIL-B.

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Superbowl Costly For GA Travelers

Outer Ring Airports Budget For High Demand

If you're going to Superbowl XLVI in Indianapolis in February, you expect a few things in town to be expensive that weekend. If you're taking your own aircraft, get ready for inflated prices, even for a tie-down, at airports around the city.

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NORAD Chases NORDO Bird Out Of Capital Airspace... Again

NORAD Fighters Intercept GA Aircraft Over D.C.

OK folks, I hardly need to tell you that we need this kind of press like a hole in the head... while the aviation world wants the rest of the world, especially the ground hogs, to know how much fun it is to fly and how cool pilots are; it is transgressions like these that make us all look DUMB.

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Transaero To Be Russian Launch Customer For B787

First Dreamliner Delivery Under Deal Set For 2014

Boeing reports a Memo of Understanding with Transaero Airlines to purchase four Dreamliners in a deal with $774 million at list prices. The first of the four 787s is reportedly scheduled for delivery in 2014, and will make Transaero the first airline in Russia to operate the type.

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Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (12.29.11)

"Our team may not get to partake in a traditional New Year's celebration, but I expect seeing our two spacecraft safely in lunar orbit should give us all the excitement and feeling of euphoria anyone in this line of work would ever need." Source: David Lehman, project manager for GRAIL at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, as he prepares for the two NASA spacecraft to reach the Moon.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (12.29.11): ROA (NextGen)

An FAA NextGen Implementation Plan Acronym for Remotely Operated Aircraft.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (12.29.11)

Interference (FCC)

We've heard a lot this year about interference that could disrupt GPS receivers installed in airplanes and countless other vehicles. The FCC has a clear definition for interference, as today's AeroLinx explains.

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Emergency AD: Hawker Beechcraft

AD NUMBER: 2011-27-51

MANUFACTURER: Hawker Beechcraft Corporation SUBJECT: Airworthiness Directive 2011-27-51

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