Steve Fossett continues to plan another record assault and
fellow record-setter Richard Branson is backing him up... Branson's
Virgin Atlantic has unveiled the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer
aircraft in the Mojave Desert, California, the home of aviation
record-setting for over half a century. This somewhat aircraft
(which bears some intersting similarities to the original Voyager)
will be piloted by Steve Fossett later this year in his attempt to
break the last great aviation record by attempting the first solo
non-stop flight around the world.
The pioneering aircraft - the world's most efficient jet plane -
has been designed by aviation legend Burt Rutan. The unveiling is
the latest milestone following years of design and construction and
also marks the beginning of an excitin
Some Background Data On The Virgin Atlantic
The record attempt is the first solo non-stop circumnavigation
of the world in an aircraft, meeting the criteria of the Federation
Aeronautique Internationale (FAI).
Steve Fossett is the pilot, with Richard Branson reserve
The attempt will take place in 2004, either around April or
from October onwards depending on the favourability of the jet
streams and the flight-testing of the aircraft from January to
The route will be planned around a take off from a central
United States location. The aircraft will follow the jet stream
across the Atlantic to the UK. From there the aircraft will route
south to the Mediterranean and then route through the Gulf to
Somewhere in Iraq, there is a very good C-5 flight crew that is
badly in need of a change of laundry. An Air Force C-5 Galaxy
transport departing from Baghdad International Airport declared an
in-flight emergency shortly after taking off. The crew said there
was "excessive vibration" in their No. 4 engine, combined press
information center officials said.
The craft returned safely to the airport, with no injuries among
the 63 passengers and crew aboard. Air operations at the facility
continue, said officials.
Environmental Tectonics Corporation has delivered and installed
a GAT-II General Aviation Trainer at Randolph AFB, Texas.
Randolph Air Force Base is one of the few bases in the Air Force
that does instructor pilot training. Joint Undergraduate Navigator
and Electronic Warfare Officer Training is also held at Randolph.
The 12th Flying Training Wing provides air transportation and
immediate response emergency airlift, and trains and equips its
people to meet the Air Force's worldwide mobility commitment. In
addition, the 12th Flying Training Wing is responsible for the
operational test and evaluation of newly acquired training systems
and modifications to existing systems.
The USAF will use the GAT-II(R) to provide pilots' training in the
hazards associated with spatial disori
AD #: 2004-01-51
This Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) is prompted by
a report of a main gearbox freewheel unit slippage, resulting in an
engine overspeed and shut down, which occurred during the
single-engine phase of an acceptance flight. This condition, if not
corrected, could result in an engine overspeed, an engine shut
down, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. The FAA has
reviewed Eurocopter France (Eurocopter) Alert Telex No. 63.00.21
R1, dated December 19, 2003, which describes procedures for
contacting the manufacturer and cleaning the bevel reduction gear
pending the results of an ongoing investigation.
The Direction Generale De L’Aviation Civile (DGAC), the
airworthiness authority for
France, notified the FAA that a
A problem with the software for Garmin's GTX 330 and GTX 330D
Mode S transponders has prompted the FAA to propose an
airworthiness directive (AD) to fix the problem. But Garmin has
told AOPA that it has already sent updated software to fix the
problem to all Garmin Aviation Service Centers.
Without Garmin's recently released software 3.03, the Mode S
transponders may not reply to Traffic Collision Avoidance System
(TCAS) interrogations from other airborne traffic detection
systems. That could cause the "safety net" of TCAS/Transponder
operations to fail, thereby increasing the risk of a possible close
call or mid air collision.
Garmin issued a Safety Bulletin in mid-2003, and has since shipped
the upgraded software to all of its service centers.
"General aviation isn't the threat, but it is part of
That was the message AOPA President Phil Boyer gave to the
new acting head of the Transportation Security Administration, Rear
Admiral David M. Stone.
In a meeting Wednesday afternoon in Washington, D.C., Boyer along
with AOPA senior VP of government affairs Andy Cebula explained the
important role GA plays in the modern transportation system, and
how federal security actions have affected pilots' lawful use of
"I came to this initial meeting concerned that it would be
difficult for the new person to match the 'customer service' skills
of the previous TSA administrator, Admiral James Loy," said Boyer.
"It was a pleasant surprise to find a very different person, but
Expedition 8 Commander Michael Foale and Flight Engineer
Alexander Kaleri returned to their regular workload aboard the
International Space Station on Wednesday as flight controllers
continued the investigation into the slight decay of Station air
pressure. The crew used ultrasound equipment Tuesday to detect the
source of a tiny decay in air pressure, which was first noted two
Foale reported that he and Kaleri could not locate the origin of
the minute pressure loss. The pressure on the ISS has stabilized
over the last 24 hours with no further decay detected by sensors
and other atmospheric monitoring equipment. The ISS is operating in
excellent shape with the slight pressure decay posing no
Boeing has confirmed that Cathay Pacific will launch the
Boeing 747-400 Special Freighter program, with an initial agreement
to convert at least six, and as many as 12, 747-400 passenger
airplanes into freighters. Cathay Pacific will receive its
first Special Freighter in December 2005, and the sixth during
Boeing is pleased to be working with Taikoo (Xiamen) Aircraft
Engineering (TAECO) in Xiamen, China on the prototype
The airline will also purchase one new 747-400 Freighter, to be
delivered during February 2005. This order was previously
identified by Boeing on its Commercial Airplanes Orders and
Deliveries Web site.
"The decision to acquire both new and converted freighters makes
sound economic sense, both as a way to make best use of
The engineers and scientists for NASA's Spirit are eager to get
the rover off its lander and out exploring the terrain that
Spirit's pictures are revealing, but caution comes first.
An added "lift and tuck" to get deflated airbag material out of the
way extends the number of activities Spirit needs to finish before
it can get its wheels onto martian ground.
"We'll lift up the left petal of the lander, retract the airbag,
then let the petal back down," said Art Thompson, rover tactical
uplink lead at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
This and other added activities have pushed the earliest scenario
for roll-off to Jan. 14, and it could be later.
The first stereo image mosaic from Spirit's panoramic camera
provided new details of the landscape's shapes,
Poor situational awareness was the likely cause of an F-16
Fighting Falcon crash in South Korea on Sept. 9, a U.S. Air Force
investigation team determined. Capt. Kevin Dydyk, of the 35th
Fighter Squadron at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, sustained minor
injuries when the aircraft he was flying crashed into the Yellow
Sea about 56 miles southwest of the base.
Neither Captain Dydyk nor Capt. Tood Houchins, an instructor pilot
flying another F-16, gained enough situational awareness of a
low-altitude condition early enough to prevent the crash, according
to the investigation report.
Captain Dydyk was flying lead in a two-ship training formation over
the Yellow Sea when the mishap occurred.
On the final mission of the day he unknowingly set-up and
began the engageme
"A lake bed is typically flat, with
very fine-grain sediments. That's not what we're looking at.
If these are lake sediments, then they've been chewed up by impacts
and rocks have been brought in."
Source: Dr. Ray Arvidson of Washington University
in St. Louis, MO, Deputy Principal Investigator for the Mars
Rover's science instruments, a member of the science team gathered
in Pasadena right now having the time of their lives going over the
data coming back from Columbia Memorial Station, Mars.
The Avionics Department of Pentastar Aviation was granted an FAA
STC for the first airborne high speed data system installed in
Gulfstream series aircraft capable of transmission speeds up to 256
Pentastar notes that this is the first operationally capable 256
kbps data system utilizing the EMS Technologies HSD-128
Aeronautical Data Unit (shown below) and two HSD-X Extension Units
which deliver the ability to utilize multiple ISDN communication
devices simultaneously without sacrificing bandwidth. What this
means, in plain English, is that data services are now available to
travelers in the air, at speeds that are comparable to ground based
users. The true benefit of this system is that Internet, e-mail,
phone, and fax devices can all operate in harmony with no loss of
Over 100 Channels of Live Digital Audio Available to All
AirTran Airways is excited to announce that the airline
has selected XM Satellite Radio as the airline's new inflight
entertainment system. As the launch airline customer for XM
Satellite Radio, AirTran Airways will provide its passengers with
the best selection of digital audio entertainment available. The
service will be free for all passengers.
US Airways flight attendants, represented by the Association of
Flight Attendants, CWA/AFL-CIO, filed a lawsuit, Thursday, in
the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to
prevent airline management from executing an illegal process in the
involuntary furlough of 552 flight attendants.
"The jobs and livelihoods of people are at stake," said AFA US
Airways Master Executive Council President Perry Hayes. "AFA will
fight with all legal means necessary to protect the US Airways
flight attendants from this kind of blatant disregard for our
contract and rights."
At the same time US Airways management has made a public spectacle
of asking for employee cooperation in turning the airline around,
it has set off this clash over furloughs, which also comes on
An American Black Hawk helicopter, performing Medevac duty, was
shot down Thursday, near Fallujah. Originally described as an
emergency landing, the downed Black Hawk had nine persons on board,
now reported to all be soldiers.
The area of the accident is a major area of concern in that it has
become a major battleground for Iraqi insurgents and has been the
scene of previous helicopter downings.
Military sources now say that the aircraft was crewed entirely
by soldiers, though a number of media reports detailed
conflicting stories that postulated as few as four soldiers
and as many as five "passengers" were on board (though most reports
now agree that there were a total of 9 people on board), while
the aircraft was a Medevac version. It has not
The Boss Heads Home For The Weekend
Issued: 01/07/2004 23:21
Effective: 01/10/2004 00:05 - 01/12/2004 17:35
Facility: ZFW - FORT WORTH (ARTCC),TX.
Description: CRAWFORD, TEXAS, JANUARY 9-12, 2004 LOCAL.
The Boss Heads Home For The Weekend
Issued: 01/07/2004 23:15
Effective: 01/09/2004 23:35 - 01/12/2004 18:05
Facility: ZFW - FORT WORTH (ARTCC),TX.
Description: WACO, TEXAS, JANUARY 9-12, 2004 LOCAL.
TFR Issued For Natural Gas Well Blowout
Issued: 01/08/2004 18:47
Effective: Immediately - Until Further Notice
Facility: ZHU - HOUSTON (ARTCC),TX.
Description: WESTFIELD, LA.