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January 05, 2004

Egypt Crash: Was 737-300 Airworthy?

The Egyptian charter company whose 737-300 crashed into the Red Sea Saturday had been banned from Switzerland because it was, in the words of Swiss officials, "a danger to aviation security.""If a company is forbidden (to use a country's airspace)... that means the problems are serious," said Celestine Perissinotto, a spokeswoman for the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation. She said the ban was instituted after civil aviation officials found a big difference between maintenance records and a physical inspection of a Flash aircraft. It's not clear at this point if it was the same 737 that went down off the Egyptian coast Saturday, killing all 148 people on board.

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Rover Speaks!

It was a celebration reminiscent of the scene in Mission Control when Apollo 11 landed. Controllers whooped and waved and hugged each other like long-lost relatives. The Spirit has landed. The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit is the first of two robotic vehicles NASA sent to the Red Planet. The other, Opportunity, is scheduled to land later this month. Spirit's bouncy landing came after the European Space Agency lost contact with its own lander, Beagle 2. In fact, Spirit's touchdown in the Gusev Crater is the first successful Mars landing since 1997.

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European Scientists Revise Attempts To Contact Beagle 2

As scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena (CA) were whooping it up on news that the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit had successfully landed on the Red Planet, it was quite a different scene half a world away. The European Space Agency's Beagle 2 rover, which was slated to land on Mars Christmas Day, has yet to be heard from. Sunday, British scientists say powerful radio telescopes trying to pick up evidence of Beagle's survival have found nothing. They also say the best way to contact Beagle -- its mothership, Mars Express -- is in the wrong place and had to be moved. The Mars Express orbiter was moved last week into a lower polar orbit. That was part of the plan. But apparently, it's the wrong orbit -- or at least, not the one ESA officials had hoped for.

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2003 Aero-News-Makers and Heartbreakers (Part Tres)

The Folks Who Made This Year So.... "Interesting" (Part Three, of Four)

Read Part One 

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Klyde Morris 01.05.04

Klyde Just Loves FAA Security...

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Female Suicide Bomber Reportedly Suspected On BA Flight

"Smuggling a bomb on to a plane by this method is one of our worst nightmares. If you do not have specific information about the suspect, it would be impossible to carry out an intimate body search of every female passenger." That's the word from a senior official at Scotland Yard. The British Daily Mirror quotes that official as saying the al Qaeda wanted to put a female suicide bomber on British Airways Flight BA223. The source told the Mirror that the woman planned to evade close inspection by hiding eight to 12 ounces of plastic explosive in her vagina.

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Attack In Sunni Triangle Downs US Helicopter

One US soldier is dead, another wounded, after the military says their OH-58 Kiowa helicopter (file photo of type, below) was downed by groundfire near the Iraqi town of Fallujah Friday. It was the third time in as many months that an American military helicopter had been shot down in that particular part of the so-called "Sunni Triangle," where Saddam Hussein loyalists and Iraqi resitance fighters seem concentrated. This time, US officials aren't yet certain what type of weapon was used to bring down the helicopter. But one witness, an Iraqi farmer, says he saw the Kiowa hovering over a group of US soldiers sweeping an area for mines at around noon.

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It May Not Have Been The Most Profitable Of Years

While 2003 wasn't the year everybody made money in aviation, it was certainly the safest on record -- at least, as far as commercial aviation is concerned. Twenty-five commercial aircraft were involved in fatal accidents last year -- 26-percent lower than the previous record, set in 2001. "It's amazing," said Harro Ranter, president of the Dutch organization Aviation Safety Network, in an interview with Knight Ridder Newspapers. "It was most definitely the safest year for airline passengers in the world."

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A Different Way To Get That Shot

Israel's latest UAV is on track for market entry soon. The new helicopter, called the Steadicopter, offers new military and rescue capabilities. However development of the Steadicopter was slowed down due to the suspicious disappearance of the Steadicopter prototype last month. The Steadicopter, which weighs 30 pounds and is five feet long, had just completed its final test flights according to CEO Tuvia Segal. He said the helicopter was unique in that it was capable of independent flying without remote control. "Many companies have tried but none of their tests worked," he told Globes.

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NTSB: Buckle Up

On January 8, 2003, about 0848 eastern standard time, Air Midwest flight 5481, a Raytheon (Beechcraft) 1900D, N233YV, crashed shortly after takeoff from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina. The 2 flight crew members and 19 passengers on board were killed and 1 person on the ground sustained minor injuries. The impact and postcrash fire destroyed the airplane. At the accident site, the first officer’s body was found still restrained in his seat, but the captain’s body had been ejected and was found 4 feet in front of the cockpit, and her rotary seatbelt buckle was found unbuckled. During the investigation of this accident, an Air Midwest Beech 1900 pilot informed National Transportation Safety Board investigators that he had previously exp

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RIP: Mr. Aviation

They called Fred Reese Mr. Aviation, a man who gave astronaut Gordon Cooper his first airplane ride, a ferry pilot during World War II and manager of the Shawnee Airport (OK). He was an accomplished balloon aviator and beloved by friends and family alike. His kids called him Poppy because they heard some of the younger pilots at Shawnee call him "Pappy." Even after he reached his late 70s, Reese was known to climb out of bed and gas up thirsty airplanes in the middle of the night. "One of the things Poppy would always do, even up to 78 years old, was, if someone called in the middle of the night wanting fuel, he'd always go sell it to them," said his daughter, Nancy Reese Barrett. "He was afraid if he didn't, they would try to go to Seminole or Ada and not make it. That was

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Three Dead In Israeli GA Accident

An Israeli couple and their daughter were killed Friday flying from Tel Aviv to Paris when their GA aircraft went down in a wooded area of France. The aircraft, a Piper PA-31 (file photo of type, right), was reportedly descending toward a small airport west of Paris. French civil aviation officials reported the pilot radioed that he was picking up ice on his wings before apparently losing control of the aircraft.

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A&E Puts Reality TV In The Air

Reality television takes to the sky ways Monday night with the premier of the A&E Network's Airline. Network honchos think that travelers will readily identify with a series about flying commercial -- from the crew's point of view. "When you go to cocktail parties, there is always somebody talking about the long delay on their last flight. Everyone in the room wants to share their travel stories — the love-hate relationship we have with air travel," said Nancy Dubuc, vice president of documentary programming at A&E. "It's that common connection."

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AOPA Blasts FAA Over Moored Balloon Experiment

AOPA last week sent a strongly worded letter to the FAA, opposing a moored balloon experiment near Lancaster (PA), and blasting the agency for giving a mere 10 days' notice. Moreover, the comment period on the proposal ends one day after the entire experiment is scheduled to end. "We would hope that in the future, common sense would prevail at the FAA," said AOPA Senior Vice President of Government and Technical Affairs Andy Cebula. "While there are no written guidelines for public comment periods on weather studies, it only makes sense to solicit ways to mitigate impact before a proposal is implemented — not during or after the effective period."

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Search Underway For Missing Aircraft

The search for a Cessna 182 carrying four people widened over the weekend, after it was reported missing Thursday night. Volunteers were out at dawn Saturday, searching for debris and -- hopefully -- survivors. Police in Glasgow (MT) identified the pilot as Bill Newman, a car dealer in his 40s; sons Lance, 14, and Ray, 24; and Ray's fiancee Jessica Gordy, 21. Newman's last transmission, at about 6:30 local time Thursday evening, indicated they were running into rough weather on a flight from Mobridge (SD) to Cut Bank (MT). Newman identified his position as somewhere near the Fort Peck Reservoir.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (01.05.03)

"During an inspection we discovered that the airline was a danger to aviation security." Source: Celestine Perissinotto, a spokeswoman for the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation, who says her country banned Flash Airlines from landing or even flying in Swiss airspace. One of the company's two 737-300s crashed in the Red Sea shortly after taking off from Egypt, killing 148 people. Most of the passengers were young vacationers from France.

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NASM-Udvar-Hazy @ Dulles (Part Four)

How big is it? 346,774 square feet. That’s 346 times the size of my apartment.  This is a big place. They can put their building from the mall inside here, no sweat. They will eventually have more than 200 aircraft on display. Now, they have 82. I continued my stroll last Friday through the facility. My feet were getting tired, but it was worth every step. I thought I had seen all the “historic” aircraft. Not quite. Unlike most museums, with aircraft parked on the floor, the planes here are flying on wires suspended at a dozen different levels. There are walks across the center and the length of the hangar that put you at nose or cockpit height, and you’re 30 or 40 feet off the floor. Leo Loudenslager's Laser 200, complete with Bud Light logos, is nose

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Another Wisconsin Aviation Hall Of Fame Member

A flying physician from Wisconsin Rapids (WI) was the 100th person to join the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame (WAHF) during its 2003 "100 for 100" Membership Drive, which ended December 17, the centennial anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight. Tim Wogahn, a family practice physician originally from Iowa, is an instrument rated private pilot who has been flying since 1999. He's a 1/3 owner of a 1960 Beech Debonair, along with fellow physician Doug Galuk and aviation educator Dan Fara. Wogahn became part owner of the Debonair in September 2003 and has already logged over 150 hours in it. Married to wife Linda and a father of three, the 270-hour pilot has made several trips throughout the Midwest, including, before its closure, Meigs Field on Chicago's lakefront. Wogahn a

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