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January 22, 2004

Even The Best Can Err: Thunderbird Crash Found To Be Pilot Error

The Air Force has admiited that pilot error caused a US Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 aircraft to crash shortly after takeoff at an airshow Sept. 14 at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The pilot ejected just before the aircraft hit the ground. According to the accident investigation board report released Jan. 21, the pilot misinterpreted the altitude required to complete the "Split S" maneuver. He made his calculation with an incorrect airfield altitude. The pilot incorrectly climbed to 1,670 feet above ground level instead of 2,500 feet before initiating the pull down to the Split S maneuver. When he realized something was wrong, the pilot used maximum back stick pressure and rolled slightly left to ensure the aircraft would hit away from the crowd should he have to eject

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Want A Good Reason To Do Your FIRC?

AOPA ASF Offers Extra Incentives For Attending

Flight instructors now have even more reason to attend one of the Air Safety Foundation's refresher courses. ASF will give away several door prizes during each of their courses. And those who attend will also be entered in a monthly drawing for an interactive DVD video courses, donated by Sporty's Pilot Shop. The door prizes to be given away at each session include two copies of a video specifically designed to help flight instructors with the business side of being a flight instructor and an ASF video on a critical safety topic, Weather Decision Making. Two monthly prizes are Sporty's Instrument Rating Course and a Sporty's Recreational/Private Pilot Course. Each course is a complete training program that instruct

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Mineta Details Congestion Relief Plan for O’Hare

SecTrans Mineta has announced the signing of an order that will significantly reduce flight congestion and passenger inconvenience at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Under terms of the order signed by FAA Administrator Marion Blakey and accepted by both airlines, American and United have agreed to reduce by 5 percent those carriers’ operations during the peak hours between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.  This reduction of 62 scheduled flights, which takes effect in early March and lasts for six months, returns scheduled O’Hare operations to October 2003 levels, the last month prior to significant delays.  “Today’s announcement is a significant, first step toward getting planes into and out of Chicago on time,” said Secretary Mineta.&n

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Blue Skies, Col. Travis Hoover

An American Hero Is Honored

The Doolite Raiders name is synonymous with American heroism. This band of brave World War II pilots flew missions few would even dare attempt. This weekend we lost another hero.Retired Air Force Col. Travis Hoover (standing second from the left), a pilot who flew one of the bombers in the famous 1942 raid on Japan led by Jimmy Doolittle, passed away Saturday night. He was 86. Doolittle, then a lieutenant colonel, organized and trained a volunteer force for the raid on Japan in April 1942, just four months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II.Hoover, born in New Mexico, had entered military service with the National Guard in California in 1938, later becoming a cadet in what was then the Army

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FAA Goes For The GAT-II

Environmental Tectonics Corporation Announces Sale

Environmental Tectonics Corporation announced on Wednesday the recent sale of a GAT-II(R) General Aviation Trainer to the Federal Aviation Administration, Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, OK. CAMI studies the factors that influence human performance in the aviation environment, finds ways to understand them, and then communicates that understanding to the aviation community. According to Dr. Melchor J. Antunano, Director of CAMI, the FAA will use the GAT-II(R) to provide pilots with training in the hazards associated with spatial disorientation during flight. The CAMI's GAT-II is equipped with fourteen of the most common General Aviation Spatial Disorientation Illusions. According to Gle

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Sporty's Academy Awards 2003-04 Vorbeck Scholarships

Cap And Gown Not Included

The 2003-04 recipients of the Joseph (Joe) F. Vorbeck Memorial Scholarship have been announced. Second-year aviation students Stacy Biernacki and Eric Francis both received Vorbeck scholarships in the amount of $5,000 that will be used toward their pilot training. "Training for a career as a professional aviator requires a considerable commitment, both in time and money," remarked Sporty’s Founder/Chairman Hal Shevers. "We hope these scholarships for second-year aviation students will allow them to focus their efforts entirely into training." The Vorbeck Scholarship is given annually to two outstanding second-year aviation students enrolled in the Aviation Technology: Professional Pilot Training Program at the University of Cincinnati in

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Advocates To Airlines: Shut Your Trap!

Privacy Group Pushes for Northwest Probe  

As ANN previously reported, Northwest Airlines recently admitted to secretly turning over up to 11 million passenger records to the US government in 2001. If a civil-liberties group has their way, the carrier should be held accountable and possibly fined for sharing this sensitive information. "Northwest broke a promise to keep customer records private and should be investigated for deceptive business practices, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)," wrote in a filing with the Department of Transportation. Sobel indicated EPIC would likely file suit later in the week to compel NASA to disclose more about its research, including whether other airlines were involved. In its filing, EPIC also asked t

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Air Force Academy Gives Thumbs-up To Training Flights

Twin Otters Still Grounded   

Forty-five training gliders and other aircraft grounded because of safety concerns have been cleared to fly, the US Air Force Academy announced Tuesday. However, three UV-18 Twin Otter planes used by the cadet parachute program remain grounded for a "few more days," Tech Sgt. Dean Miller said. The institution's aircraft fleet which consists of motorized and non-motorized gliders, T-41s, Cessna 150s and Twin Otters, were grounded on Jan. 9 after officials discovered irregularities in maintenance records involving Doss Aviation of Colorado Springs. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which also conducts some flight training for the US Air Force Academy, was not a sunject of the investigation. Safety concerns were hei

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2004 Astronaut Hall of Fame Honorees Announced

The List Of Invited Guests Is Truly Out Of This World

The first American woman to walk in space, the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission commander, the first African-American to command a spaceship, the first American to occupy Russia's Mir space station, and the commander of the 1986 ill- fated Challenger 51-L have been chosen for 2004 induction in the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Joining such illustrious American icons as Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, John Glenn and Sally Ride as Hall of Fame inductees will be: Kathryn D. Sullivan, Richard O. Covey, Frederick D. Gregory, Norman E. Thagard and Francis R. Dick Scobee, who will be represented by June Scobee. The honorees will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame during a May 1 public ceremony at the Kennedy Space C

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Crash Witness: I Called 911 And They Did Nothing

No Rescue Effort For Hours

What if you had a tragic accident and nobody came? That's what apparently happened in Venice (FL) over the weekend, in the crash of a Cessna 150 near the municipal airport. When 32-year old Larry Bradshaw and 57-year old Miguel Hernandez went down Saturday night, Cindy Toepfer and her husband, Sheldon, heard it. She called 911. But no emergency crews responded until the crash was spotted by the Civil Air Patrol the next afternoon. The bodies weren't recovered until 19 hours after the crash.

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Report: NASA Behind The Power Curve For Shuttle Flights

Agency Criticized For Lagging Progress

Nearly a year after the Columbia disaster, NASA is only beginning to implement the sweeping changes recommended as conditions for the space shuttles' return to flight, an independent task group reported on Tuesday.The independent panel, called the Return to Flight Task Group, was charged with monitoring NASA's progress in complying with recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, which probed the shuttle's fatal Feb. 1, 2003, break-up over Texas. The task group, headed by former shuttle commander Richard Covey and Apollo mission commander Thomas Stafford, reported that NASA's plan to create a central authority responsible for safety was "missing critical elements" and its implementation was "under way, but incomp

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Chicago's Growing Pains Causes Congestion And Expansion Issues

Report Says Chicago Skies Too Crowded For O'Hare Growth

A new report by a former FAA official indicates Chicago's plan to expand O'Hare Airport would turn O'Hare into a "truly frightening airport" due to congested airspace and other problems. City officials disputed the new report announced by Sen. Peter G. Fitzgerald (R-Ill.) on Monday. In the report, which was commissioned by expansion opponents, Fitzgerald said it indicates the danger, disruption, and air and land congestion the expansion would cause is not worth the minimum 400,000 new landings it would add to the world's busiest airport. He also charged that a new analysis by Joseph Del Balzo of JDA Aviation Technology indicates the city ignored the expansion's impact on airspace congestion, and used other flawed

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US Air Union: If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

Pilots Agree To Chat With Company Reps

Sometimes you just have to bear it and grin. Faced with the prospect that US Airways Group Inc. may have to sell assets to fly through its financial problems, leaders of its pilots union Tuesday grudgingly agreed to talks on reducing costs and boosting productivity. This tightening of the belt is all in the name of fighting off the many low-cost airlines trying to get a piece of US Air's piece of the action.  The Air Line Pilots Association said its ruling council decided to engage in the talks, which could eventually lead to formal negotiations. This comes as good news during some dark days at the nation's seventh-largest carrier. The airline's corporate credit rating was lowered last week by Standard & Poor's Corp. on f

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Intergalactic Battle Brews As Spacehab Sues NASA

Equipment Loss Cited As Main Beef Against Agency

Spacehab Inc., maker of the living modules used in the U.S. space shuttle fleet, slapped NASA with a big lawsuit on Tuesday, as it tries to recoup its losses from the tragic Columbia crash. The company filed an $87.7 million formal claim against the space agency for equipment destroyed during the shuttle disaster last year. Spacehab bases the merits of its case on the recent findings of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB). Spacehab, which had filed a draft claim in July, said it revised its newest claim to incorporate the findings of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board report. The CAIB said in August that NASA officials missed eight chances to address fears that falling insulation foam may have damaged

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Adam Aircraft Appoints New US Dealer

Columbia Aircraft Sales Gets The Nod

On Tuesday, Adam Aircraft announced Columbia Aircraft Sales, Inc. of Groton (CT) as the factory authorized dealer for Adam Aircraft products in the northeastern United States. This territory includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. As part of this relationship, Columbia Air Services, Inc. will be a factory authorized service center for the corresponding territory. Adam claims Columbia Air Services' experience in maintaining general aviation aircraft is a key component to the dealer relationship. "Columbia Air Services, Inc. has been maintaining complex turbine and piston powered aircraft for more than 25 years. We have an impeccable safety record, and o

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Update: U.S. Probes Cracks In MD-80 Jets

MD-80 Operators Worldwide Notified of Problem

On Tuesday, ANN reported the massive travel delays in Japan caused by the grounding of some McDonnell Douglas jets. Japan Air System's MD-80 fleet is undergoing emergency inspections after cracks were found in some Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 engines used on this series of aircraft. Now, the US government is stepping in to monitor the situation and take domestic action, as necessary. A FAA spokesman said the FAA is keeping an eye on the situation but say it is too early to order inspections of similar jetliners in the United States. "We are aware of the situation and if we believe any action is warranted on our part we certainly wouldn't hesitate to take it," spokesman Les Dorr said. Mechanics found a crack

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BA Chief Leans Toward Pistol Packing Marshals

Eddington Ponders Pros And Cons Of Packing Heat

While he's certainly no fan of armed guards onboard his aircraft, British Airways CEO Rod Eddington admits it may be appropriate to put sky marshals aboard airliners. However, the BA chief quickly pointed out standards must be set to make sure it's done safely, as Europeans view the notion of putting weapons on airplanes as "abhorrent. We want some protocols agreed to," Eddington said. "The hows, the whens, the wheres, the whys." These protocols were the subject of a meeting last week between Asa Hutchinson, U.S. undersecretary for border and transportation security and European civil aviation officials. Hutchison said the U.S. government would urgently pursue bilateral security standards with European countries to tighte

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AZ TFR: TFN

Prison Riot TFR Reissued NOTAM: 4/0489 Issued: 01/21/2004 16:31 Effective: Immediately - Until Further Notice State: AZ Facility: ZAB - ALBUQUERQUE (ARTCC),NM. Type: HAZARDS Description: LEWIS STATE PRISON, AZ.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (01.22.04)

"He was very humbly proud of his service. Just truly dedicated to the uniform and his country. He considered the guys who didn't get back the heroes." Source: Jim Zerkel talking about his father-in-law, Retired Air Force Col. Travis Hoover, a pilot who flew one of the bombers in the famous 1942 raid on Japan led by Jimmy Doolittle. Hoover passed away Saturday night. He was 86.  

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Aero-News Alert: AZ TFR Issued With VERY Little Notice, 01/21-01/22

This Was Just Published Moments Ago... Thanks for the Warning, Eh? NOTAM: 4/0485 Issued: 01/21/2004 14:33 Effective: 01/21/2004 19:35 - 01/22/2004 15:50 State: AZ Facility: ZAB - ALBUQUERQUE (ARTCC),NM. Type: VIP Description: PHOENIX, ARIZONA, JANUARY 21-22, 2004 LOCAL.

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