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October 02, 2008

DOT Says Airline On-Time Performance Improved In August

Posts Better Month-Over-Month, Year-To-Year Numbers

Flights operated by the nation’s largest airlines arrived on time at a higher rate this past August than in both the previous month and August 2007, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report released Thursday by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). 

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Southwest Draws A Bead On NWA At Minneapolis-St. Paul

Plans "Modest" Start-Up As Competitor Completes Delta Merger

Perhaps smelling blood in the water, on Wednesday Southwest Airlines announced its intent to begin service from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in March 2009. The carrier has not released specific service details... saying only that it will begin a "modest" operation at MSP with flights to Chicago Midway only.

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NATCA Says Supervisor's Cell Phone Conversation Contributed To Runway Incursion

Controllers Union Says FAA Worker Missed Trainee's Ground Vehicle Mishap

One week ago -- in what the National Air Traffic Controllers Association termed "a brazenly callous move" -- the Federal Aviation Administration supervisor at the Flying Cloud Airport (FCM) control tower turned his back on runway operations during an on-the-job training exercise to take a call on his cell phone... and missed his trainee mistakenly clear an airport vehicle to cross the runway in front of a departing aircraft.

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NATO Consortium Completes Agreement To Buy C-17s

Middling Deal Means Two New Orders For Boeing

It's not a deal that will save the C-17 Globemaster II program by any means... but every new order helps. Boeing announced this week an international consortium of 10 NATO members -- joined by Partnership for Peace nations Sweden and Finland -- signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on September 24 to acquire three Boeing C-17 Globemaster III long-range cargo jets.

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Delta Plans Fleet Shuffle After NWA Merger Finalized

Could Mean Long Commutes For Flight Crews

Executives at Delta Air Lines will waste no time in putting the right planes on the right routes, after the carrier's planned merger/acquisition of Northwest Airlines is completed later this year. By summer 2009, a number of different aircraft sporting Northwest liveries could be flying out of Delta's hub in Atlanta.

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NMB Grants Single-Carrier Status To Atlas, Polar Pilots

Allows Workforce To Negotiate As Single Entity

The Teamsters announced this week the National Mediation Board (NMB) granted single-carrier status for Atlas Air and Polar Air. The two air carriers are the operating entities for Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, based in Purchase, NY. Atlas is the world's largest Boeing 747 cargo carrier.

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FAA Reopens ADS-B Comment Period

AEA Encourages Public To Weigh In

The FAA has opted to reopen the comment period on a controversial plan to require all aircraft be equipped with so-called "ADS-B Out" equipment by 2020.

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Aero-News Featured Aero-Casts For Thursday 10.02.08

Ding, Dong, The VAAB Is Gone, With Mike Whaley

ANN Daily Touch N Go: 10.02.08 (ANN's Short-Form Daily News Program) ANN Daily Aero-Briefing: 10.02.08 (ANN's Long-Form Daily News Program) ANN Special Feature -- Ding, Dong, The VAAB Is Gone: 10.02.08 (ANN Special Report, with Kristi Cherry of Premier Aircraft Sales.)

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C206 Takeoff Accident Claims Two In Anchorage

Witnesses Describe Apparent Attempt To Return To Airport

Two people were killed when their Cessna 206 apparently lost engine power shortly after takeoff from Merrill Field (PAMR) in Anchorage, AK Wednesday, and impacted a one-story building just west of the airport.

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Investigators Find 'Small Amount' Of Remains At Fossett Accident Site

Could the mystery be over?

ANN RealTime Update, 10.02.08, 0753 EDT: The National Transportation Safety Board has told ANN that it has 'dispatched investigators to California to investigate the crash of a small plane that was found yesterday that appears to be the aircraft piloted by adventurer Steve Fossett.'

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ANN Daily Touch-And-Go: 10.02.08

A hiker says he's found Steve Fossett's pilot certificate.
The GAO says the FAA has no authority to auction slots.
And a former airline exec takes a plea deal in a price-fixing case.<

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ANN Special Feature: Mike Whaley, Valkaria Airport - 10.02.08

ANN's Paul Plack talks with Mike Whaley, a student pilot and activist on behalf of Valkaria Airport on the Florida Space Coast. Brevard County commissioners just disbanded the airport advisory boar

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ANN Daily Aero-Briefing: 10.02.08

A hiker says he's found Steve Fossett's pilot certificate.
The GAO says the FAA has no authority to auction slots.
And a former airline exec takes a plea deal in a price-fixing case.<

More AERO-Casts

The KC-10 Extender Shows Aero-TV It's Multi-Mission Tanker Role (Part 2)

Fascinating: KC-10 Pilots Detail The Intricacies Of Refueling Aircraft in Flight

One of the highlights of the 2008 Oshkosh Fly-In was the chance to get up close and personal with all manner of military aircraft -- the same birds that can be called upon at a moment's notice to serve and protect this nation...

The KC-10 Extender Shows Aero-TV Its Multi-Mission Tanker Role (Part 2)

Fascinating: KC-10 Pilots Detail The Intricacies Of Refueling Aircraft in Flight 

While the fighters get most of the glory and the bombers get some notice here and there, rarely do we hear about the tankers. Take the KC-10 for instance... According to the US Air Force, the KC-10 'Extender' is an Air Mobility Command advanced tanker and cargo aircraft designed to provide increased global mobility for US armed forces.

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FAA Says American Eagle Violated Weight, Balance Restrictions

Airline Confirms Planes Flew Out Of Envelope

The Federal Aviation Administration has determined regional airline American Eagle flew its planes in violation of federal weight and balance guidelines at least 19 times in the past five months, according to an ABC News report.

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Court Says USAF Erred In Awarding KC-135 Maintenance Contract To Boeing

Yep... Yet Another USAF/Boeing Tanker Mess. Get The Popcorn.

Between the following news item and the neverending KC-X contract fight... we're betting more than few people at Boeing regret ever hearing the word "tanker."

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Bandidos Swipe Five Planes From Mexico Airport

Invaders Seized Officer's Gun, Took Time To Fuel Up

In the US, federal threats to impose oppressive security measures at small general aviation airports are generally viewed as a solution looking for a problem. But in Mexico, authorities are battling an epidemic of small aircraft thefts as drug rings steal planes to get cocaine north to the US.

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NASA Challenges Students To Design Tools For Moon Rovers

Offers Chance To Be Involved With Future Missions

On the eve of the space agency's 50th anniversary, NASA announced a new contest that challenges college-level students to design tools or instrument packages that could be used on the next generation of human-driven moon rovers. Students will have the opportunity to engage in NASA's return to the moon by designing equipment that will help astronauts accomplish tasks on the lunar surface.

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Country Singer Drops Drawers At TSA Checkpoint

We Sense A Song May Come From This...

If you suffer from that common nightmare that you're suddenly standing in front of a crowd in your underwear, you may want to move onto the next story. The Tennessean newspaper reports a young country singer will have material for a new song after his encounter with the Transportation Security Administration.

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Lockheed Logs 50th F-35A Flight

F-35B Prepares For Transition To STOVL Flights

The conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II notched its 50th flight last week in preparation for testing at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, while the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant began a planned modification interval that will lead to STOVL-mode flight early next year.

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NAFI Names September 2008 Master Instructors

"The Best Of The Best"

The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) takes pride in announcing a significant aviation accomplishment on the part of these very special aviation educators. Recently, they were all accredited as Master Instructors by NAFI, their professional aviation education association.

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Hawker Beechcraft Celebrates Grand Opening Of Little Rock Expansion

Planemaker Says More Room Was Needed To Handle Growth

Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) held a grand opening Wednesday celebrating the expansion to its aircraft completions facility in Little Rock, AR. The ceremony, attended by the nearly 900 employees, commemorated the growth of the HBC Little Rock Completions Center, which includes a 112,000 square foot expansion to the existing structure and the creation of over 400 new jobs.

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Arik Air Orders Three A340-500s For Expansion

Sometimes, Only Four Engines Will Do

In today's environment of high fuel prices and a precarious global economy, one might find any airline's decision to order a four-engined airliner to be, well, slightly odd. Nevertheless, Nigerian private airline Arik Air signed a firm contract this week to buy three Airbus A340-500s.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (10.02.08)

Aero-Linx!

In the six-plus decades since the beginning of World War II, its remnants, like the withering memories of those who lived it have become the province of historians. For most of us, the past is little more than a fading echo, muddled in the sensory overload of a 21st Century world. Perhaps that is why a fighter plane, a technological hero in its time, the North American P-51 Mustang has achieved iconic status.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (10.02.08): Terrain Following

Aero-Terms!

The flight of a military aircraft maintaining a constant AGL altitude above the terrain or the highest obstruction. The altitude of the aircraft will constantly change with the varying terrain and/or obstruction.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (10.02.08)

"I think had I been in some tighty-whiteys it wouldn't have happened, but it was boxers. I thought, 'It's not a big deal. They send a sales paper out every week that has some guy standing there in his boxers, no one is offended by that.' But that airport was. I thought it was going to shut down. People started yelling. It was a huge scene. Police were running through the airport, and TSA officers were running toward me and I'm like, 'What?'"

Source: Country music singer Jimmy Wayne, who says he misinterpreted instructions from a TSA screener at an unnamed California airport to remove items from his shorts... by instead, removing his shorts.

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