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December 23, 2003

Jon Johanson Sends Thanks

The following letter was sent by Jon Johanson, now safe at home after being stuck for a number of less then pleasant days, in the Antarctic.

Dear friends, Since returning to Adelaide last Tuesday afternoon I haven't had time to think, let alone work out what day it is. I am only just becoming aware of the tremendous amount of help that so many people offered to the "mission control" team in Adelaide over the past eleven days - A mission control like no other, as so many people around the world have discovered. Thank you does not seem to cover my gratitude adequately; still all I can say is thank you, tha

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Condition Orange Tightens Screws On GA

Several NOTAMs have been issued in response to the December 21st change in National Security Alert Status to Code Orange. NOTAM FDC 3/2030 - Suspends Ingress/Egress Test Procedures for Certain Airports in the DC ADIZ NOTAM FDC 3/2031 - Outlines Additional Restrictions for Operating Into CGS, VKX, W32 in the DC ADIZ Area NOTAM FDC 3/2033 - Suspends All Waivers to FDC NOTAM 3/2126 for Operations Into the DC FRZ NOTAM FDC 3/2035 - Suspends All Waivers to FDC NOTAM 3/1862 (Sporting Events)

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A Few Notes On Recent Weather Patterns

Are you feeling an overwhelming sense of deja vu lately? Well here in the US, the weather patterns are becoming all too predictable in last month or two especially in the eastern third of the country. Not to rain or snow on your parade, but it appears the same pattern is likely to persist through then end of the year before we get a bit of a break. "We're all getting a bit tired of this," said Scott Dennstaedt a certified flight instructor and meteorologist in the Baltimore area. "If it is not the rain, snow or sleet, it's the two days of gusty winds, wind shear, moderate turbulence and icing." About every three to four days, a new upper-level disturbance gets ejected out of the Pacific Northwest, drops down into the Midwest and begins to gain strength as it moves into the s

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Breakfast With John Glenn

We’re sitting down for breakfast on Tuesday the 16th, as the celebration for the Centennial of Flight is hitting high gear. News commentator Mort Crim, a friend from Detroit and Oshkosh, joins Jim Campbell and I at the table for 8, and in a minute, calls out, “Senator, come sit down.”With U.S. Senators from North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Alaska expected for the commemoration, we hadn’t considered anyone else at the ANN table. We looked up into the smiling faces of John and Annie Glenn.

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Could It Be True? Santa Claus Chooses Comp Air 7SLX

Santa Needs A Heavy-Lifter To Deliver Toys, Give Reindeer A Break

Rumors continue to swirl down form the North Pole suggesting that the world's most renowned on-time delivery expert has chosen the Comp Air 7SLX to replace his fleet of aging reindeer. According to current rumors, the geriatric reindeer all have health problems; many are related to joint fatigue from the unusually high number of landing cycles they experienced. Other reindeer teams have been used in the past, however due to their high maintenance cost, and ever increasing cost of FAA Approved hazardous in-flight waste collection systems and toxic emissions, Santa decided to move to a fixed wing. "It was a tough decision, but I had to get into something more modern" Santa said. Santa picked the Aeroco

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'Polar First' Crash Survivors On The Mend

The intrepid globe-trotting team of Jennifer Murray and Colin Bodill have survived their Antarctic Bell 407 crash.... the following is the latest update on their recovery and the circumstances surrouinding their unfortuante, weather-related, accident. 22 December 2003 - Update On The Progress Of Jennifer and Colin Helicopter pilots Jennifer Murray and Colin Bodill are in hospital in the Chilean city of Punta Arenas recovering from Saturday’s accident on the northern section of the Ronne Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Colin has a fracture to the lumbar 1 vertebrae, which will require an operation.

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Santa To Help Test New KSC Control Tower

On Christmas Eve, when Santa Claus slips into NASA-Kennedy Space Center airspace under cover of darkness, a radar controller at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) will be following his every move from a brand new, state-of-the-art traffic control tower. "We've been in contact with Santa, although for security reasons I can't elaborate," said Ron Feile, lead air traffic controller with Space Gateway Services (SGS). "Santa knows about the control tower, and he's very pleased that he can help us give it a shakedown." SLF employees look forward to working in the new facility. It replaces a control tower that has been in use since 1987. Located just south of the SLF's midpoint, the old tower stands only 20 feet above the runway surface, too low to see the launch pads to the east.

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A380 Vertical Tail Plane Assembly Starts In Stade, Germany

The Airbus plant in Stade, northern Germany, has launched the assembly and equipping of the A380 vertical tail plane, or VTP. The A380 vertical tail plane has a surface120 square metres and integrates many components manufactured in different types of material. The Airbus plant in Stade is a centre of excellence for carbon fibre reinforced plastic manufacturing and producing the VTP’s spars, ribs, rudder fittings and skin panels. Other parts for the VTP come from Airbus’ facilities in Puerto Real, Spain for the rudders, fin tips and dorsal fins, and from Varel, Germany which manufactures complex machined parts. Key external suppliers include Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries, which produces the leading and trailing edge sub-assemblies, as well as the carbo

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AK TFR: 12/23

Hazard To Flight Near Valdez NOTAM: 3/2058 Issued: 12/22/2003 19:53 Effective: 12/22/2003 20:00 - 12/23/2003 09:00 State: AK Facility: ZAN - ANCHORAGE (ARTCC),AK. Type: HAZARDS Description: THOMPSON PASS NEAR VALDEZ, AK.

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ETOPS Tests Completed: Boeing 777-300ER

Boeing's 777-300ER passenger airplane has completed its Extended Operations (ETOPS) certification tests, demonstrating the superior reliability of the airplane and its two General Electric engines. Two 777-300ER (extended range) airplanes made 38 flights totaling 267 flight hours during testing. The flights included various system checks and simulated malfunctions to ensure the airplane's systems work in the long-range environment. "The ETOPS flight-test program exceeded our expectations," said Don Ruhmann, senior engineering manager for the 777 ETOPS program. "The comprehensive testing again showed how safe and reliable today's jet engines are, and how airplanes can fly safely for long periods of time, if necessary, on one engine."

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Northrop Grumman Restarts EA-6B Production Line

St. Augustine Plant to Build New EA-6B Aircraft Parts

The US Navy can anticipate enhanced readiness for its fleet of EA-6B Prowler electronic attack aircraft due to a decision by Northrop Grumman Corporation to restart its production line for making outer wing panels for the aircraft. The outer wing panel extends from wing fold to wing tip and includes the interior wing structure plus its outer metal "skin." The EA-6B Prowler is the US military's only tactical electronic attack aircraft. It provides an umbrella of protection for strike aircraft, ground troops and ships by jamming enemy radar, electronic data links and communications. Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector, the Navy's EA-6B prime contractor, held a ceremony on Dec. 17 to mark the re-opening of

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American Announces Fuel Surcharge Hike

Because of rising fuel costs, American Airlines announced today that it will increase its fuel surcharge by $3 one-way, $6 round trip, for travel in the domestic 50 States and travel between the U.S. and Canada. The increase is effective immediately. The Dallas Morning News reports American paid $0.74 for a gallon of JP4 back in June. Now, the airline pays $0.90.

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Skyhawk vs Caravan: It Doesn't Get ANY Closer Than This

Two Cessnas, a Skyhawk and a Caravan, survived a Prop to Main Gear contact while on final for Homestead, FL... it doesn't get much closer or scarier than this. SEE AND AVOID! SEE AND AVOID! SEE AND AVOID! DESCRIPTION MID AIR COLLISION WHILE BOTH AIRCRAFT ON FINAL TO RUNWAY 36, PROP OF N9639F, CESSNA 208 HIT THE TIRE OF AIRCRAFT N5421D, A CESSNA 172, BOTH AIRCRAFT LANDED WITHOUT FURTHER INCIDENT, NO INJURIES REPORTED, HOMESTEAD, FL

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FALCON Phase 1 Contractors Selected

Nine contractors have begun work to place a small satellite or other payload weighing about 1,000 pounds into a low Earth orbit. The project is part of the Force Application and Launch from the Continental United States, or FALCON, program. Task 1, Phase 1 on the small launch vehicle includes developing conceptual designs, performance predictions, cost objectives and development and demonstration plans. Three more contractors have also begun work on the phase's Task 2, hypersonic weapon systems. This includes the common aero vehicle, the enhanced common aero vehicle and the hypersonic cruise vehicle.

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EXTRA Aircraft Announces Grand Prize Winner

Officials with EXTRA Aircraft have announced the award-winning pick from their recent AOPA prize drawing. Steven Hodosh of Barrington, RI was awarded a two- day Emergency Maneuver Training course, courtesy of EXTRA Aircraft and FCI Training. Hodosh (shown at right), a practicing dentist and an avid pilot, was notified earlier this month of the grand prize. "I'm very surprised and extremely happy," Hodosh said. "I'm eager to get underway with training at FCI."

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ASA Appoints Board of Directors

The Aviation Suppliers Association (ASA) has announced  the appointment of Debra Maier of The Boeing Company and Richard Levin of A.J. Levin Co. and as new board members to the Aviation Suppliers Association's Board of Directors.

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