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December 27, 2003

LA TFR: TFN

TFR Issued for Natural Gas Well Blowout NOTAM: 3/2210 Issued: 12/27/2003 03:47 Effective: Immediately - Until Further Notice State: LA Facility: ZHU - HOUSTON (ARTCC),TX. Type: HAZARDS Description: WESTFIELD, LA.

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Air France Resumes Flights To/From LAX

After cancelling six flights into and out of Los Angeles, Air France has resumed its normal schedule. Investigators say they've found no evidence of a Christmas Day plot to use Air France aircraft as human-guided weapons. French officials said they cancelled the flights at the request of the American embassy in Paris. Sources within the French government cited "a variety of sources" indicating a threat "sufficiently specific enough to be taken seriously."

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Beagle 2 Remains Silent

Beagle 2, the European Mars lander, remains eerily silent, two days after it supposedly touched down. The American Mars Odyssey orbiter continues to listen for sign that the 143-pound European machine is alive, but has so far heard nothing. "It's like sending somebody a love letter, and you know they got it and you're waiting for a response," said Beagle Mission Leader, Professor Colin Pillinger, the day after the small lander was supposed to open its solar panels and call home.

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Stowaway (Deceased) Discovered In Wheel Well

It was a grisly Christmas day discovery. American Airlines ground personnel found the body of a man Thursday in the wheel well of Flight 1190, which departed Montego Bay, Jamaica on Wednesday. There was no immediate indication of where or how the 25-year old man got onto the A300 aircraft. Airline officials speculated the man may have been there for several days.

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Delta Sick-Out

Why did so many Delta flight attendants call in sick Christmas day? More than 30 flights were cancelled because there simply weren't enough of them to go around. Was it a job action? At least on the surface, that doesn't seem likely. Delta's flight attendants don't belong to any union.

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RIP: Harry Combs

Less than a week after he was honored as one of aviation's top 100 pioneers, the founder of AMR/Combs died at a Phoenix (AZ) hospice of apparent heart failure. He was 90 years old. "He was a very dynamic individual -- a perfectionist, really, in everything he did," said close friend Jim Greenwood, a former aviation public relations executive in Wichita (KS). "He was a real aviation pioneer."

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (12.27.03)

"You have to liken this to the early days of mobile phones. We've got one mobile phone, one mobile phone mast and one satellite, and we have to match these things up and it's not that easy." Source: Beagle 2 Chief Scientist Professor Colin Pillinger, the day after the small lander was supposed to open its solar panels and call home. It hasn't done so for three days now, fueling speculation that the lander has either crashed or is somehow unserviceable.

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Beech Down In Las Vegas

Authorities in North Las Vegas (NV) are trying to discover why a Beechcraft B-36 went down shortly after take-off, killing all six people aboard. It happened Christmas day. On Friday, the B-36 still rested in a concrete wash just south of the North Las Vegas Airport.

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Airlines Cash In On Baghdad Flights

The Pentagon has so far spent $1.2 billion dollars on commercial flights ferrying troops and equipment to Iraq. It's a sort of lifeline thrown to an industry battered by the war on terror and the SARS outbreak earlier this year. The military says it split the money this way: Ten airlines shared $636.2 million to get troops to the battlefront between February and June. Another 14 cargo carriers got $574 million for the dangerous privilege of flying freight into the combat zone and neighboring countries during the same period.

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