On Wednesday, ANN told you about two daring Japanese
balloonists, who were attempting to be the first to cross the
Pacific Ocean since British entrepreneur Richard Branson made the
trip in 1991.
Unfortunately, things did not go as planned for the crew. The
balloon ditched in the Pacific late Tuesday after traveling about
1615km. Initial reports indicate they crew spent about 8 hours in
the sea before being rescued by a cargo ship. The Amanogawa 2 took
off at 20:52:45 UTC on January 26th from Tochigi City, 100 km north
of Tokyo. The balloon made the emergency landing on the Pacific
Ocean at 0930 UTC on 27th.
Reports indicate the crew performed a relatively soft landing on
the water's surface, resulting in no injuries t
There are pilots and then there are the guys that leave us
meager aviators breathing (barely) in their dust. Keystone
Helicopter, an industry leader in helicopter services for 50 years,
gave special recognition last week to one such pilot.
Larry Murphy was recognized for his recent skillful rooftop landing
of a CH-47 helicopter to pick up Afghan Persons Under Custody
during Operation Mountain Resolve in Afghanistan's Nuristan
Province. Murphy, a 10-year Keystone Helicopter EMS pilot at Lehigh
Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is currently on active
duty with Company G, 104th Aviation Regiment. As you can see in the
accompanying photo, Murphy knows his stuff.
Dr. Gustavus McLeod has reached Lima, Peru after overcoming some
nagging technical problems that forced his return to Florida late
January 22 was set to be the first day of a new bone-chilling
adventure for the pioneering aviatior. Unfortunately, he was forced
to return back to Florida after he noticed a series of abnormal
electrical and oil temperature indications on the aircraft's
The modified Velocity kitplane, called the Firefly, was worked
on over the weekend and the decision was made to depart southbound
on Monday. McLeod, 49 will head to Santiago, Chile today before
flying down to Ushuaia, Argentina. From there, McLeod will fly the
Firefly to the South Pole and back when weather cond
The old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" certainly
applies to DUAT weather briefings. And the FAA seems to agree.
The agency has decided to continue using contractors to provide
DUAT (direct user access terminal) briefings. That's a decision
AOPA strongly supported because it will provide better services for
Two private-sector contractors currently operate the DUAT
system. FAA had planned to take back the service and integrate it
into the new OASIS system now being installed in flight service
stations. But the private contractors are today providing a higher
level of service than what was planned for the FAA-operated system,
according to AOPA.
According to the decision made by FAA's associate administrator
for Air Traf
FAA Proposes to Designate Authority to Organizations
The FAA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that
could transform the way the agency regulates skydiving and other
aviation activities. The FAA is proposing the establishment of an
“Organization Designation Authorization” program, under
which the agency would designate various organizations with the
authority to perform specific regulatory functions on behalf of the
At its upcoming meeting, the United States Parachuting
Association's (USPA) Board of Directors will consider the
implications for USPA and the skydiving community and develop
USPA’s formal response to the proposal.
Eclipse Aviation Corporation, manufacturer of the Eclipse 500
jet, announced on Wednesday that it has signed long-term contracts
with a team of world class suppliers for its Avio system.
Autronics, Crossbow Technology, FreeFlight Systems, Harco
Laboratories, Hispano-Suiza and Meggitt Avionics have been added to
the Avio supplier team.
Eclipse claims that Avio, developed in partnership with its team
of suppliers, delivers a level of integration and safety that has
previously been available only in advanced military aircraft and
commercial airliners. This Total Aircraft Integration is
delivered through integral, redundant computer systems and an
advanced power distribution system, which monitor and control all
Here we go again. Just when we thought it was safe to land
another spacecraft on Mars, another set of technical glitches have
come back to haunt NASA.
As NASA scientists poured over striking new photos from Mars
revealing finely layered formations of ancient bedrock, engineers
labored on Tuesday to diagnose problems with two robotic rovers on
opposite sides of the Red Planet.
Besides a serious malfunction that has idled the first rover,
Spirit, since last Wednesday, mission controllers at NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory said they are now contending with a power
drain on Spirit's newly arrived twin, Opportunity.
Mission manager Jim Erickson told reporters said the power loss
appeared to be from one of th
The first T-38C Talon destined for operations in the 12th Flying
Training Wing touched down at Randolph AFB Jan. 21 at 10:06
a.m. There were no brass bands or flag-carrying marchers to
greet the new arrival. In fact, the small cluster of people waiting
on the ramp gave no hint of the importance of the event. But this
was a red-letter day for the future of flight training at
"This is a great day for the 560th Flying Training Squadron. ...
We've anticipated this for quite some time now and are excited to
get under way," said Col. Margaret Woodward, 12th Operations Group
The tail number of Randolph's newest airplane, 67-921, shows that
it originally rolled off the Northrop Aircraft Company's assembly
line in 1967. The Boeing Aircraft Company did the ne
Despite a critical report by the investigating commission, NASA
officials said on Tuesday the space shuttle fleet -- grounded since
last year's Columbia disaster -- could fly again by
"There's not a show-stopper that says we can't get there," NASA's
Michael Kostelnik said of a possible launch window of Sept. 12-Oct.
10. At the same time, he and other space agency officials
acknowledged in a telephone news conference that there is much to
be done before then.
"It's been a tough year, it's been a hard year, it's been a year
full of lessons," said former astronaut William Readdy, now NASA's
associate administrator for space flight. "We're about fixing the
problems right now and returnin
Boeing Co. chief executive Harry Stonecipher tried to reassure
workers in Kansas after rumors of an imminent sale of the company's
Wichita facility surfaced last week. Boeing's top executive,
however, refuses to commit to owning the Wichita facility
In conversations with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and four members of
the Kansas congressional delegation, he didn't say a sale of the
Boeing Wichita facility would never happen.
Stonecipher arrived in Wichita on Tuesday night after two
separate conference calls with Kansas political leaders earlier in
the day. The calls were hastily arranged after a report in the
Seattle Times on Sunday described a Boeing planning document that
explores a sale of its Wichita plant.
There's a new big cheese at Raytheon but he's no stranger at the
Effective yesterday, William H. Swanson, 54, assumed
responsibilities as Chairman of the Raytheon Company board of
directors. He replaced Daniel P. Burnham, 57, who retired from the
Swanson was named Chairman on Dec. 17, 2003, effective Jan. 28,
2004. He became chief executive officer on July 1, 2003.
Swanson's new title is Chairman and CEO, Raytheon Company.
Former U.S. Senator Warren B. Rudman will remain in his position
as lead director of the Raytheon Company board of directors.
Those Seattle-area residents who loathe flying out of
Seattle-Tacoma International airport (SEATAC) may soon have another
option for their flying adventures.
Sen. Dave Schmidt, R-Mill Creek, introduced legislation Monday
in Olympia (WA) to fund a feasibility study on opening Paine Field
in Everett to commercial air traffic, an idea that has been kicking
around in the region for a few years.
The $100,000 study would examine the possibility of building a
new $20 million terminal at Paine Field, the first step toward
bringing commercial airliners to the field. Schmidt said opening
Paine Field to commercial flights would save Snohomish County
travelers time and money.
Paine Field, built in 1936, was intended to be
Promoting Math and Science On The Wings Of Space
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and NASA have joined forces
in a new five-year project that will train 10,000 high school
teachers how to make math and science more appealing by using human
space flight and exploration materials in their classrooms.
The project, part of an Embry-Riddle initiative called
TeachSpace, will offer an intensive three-day workshop to talented,
motivated teachers of high school math, science, and technology.
Teachers selected for the three-day summer workshops will receive
housing, meals, a $100 daily stipend, and one hour of graduate
Workshops for up to 20 teachers each will be held on the
campuses of Embry-Riddle. The first workshops will take place in
U.S. to Start Mandatory Airline Background Checks Soon
Homeland Security officials say a government plan to check all
airline passengers' backgrounds before they board a plane could be
fully implemented by this summer. However, the decision to launch
the controversial system could bring the feds a lot of flack from
The new security procedure -- called The Computer-Assisted
Passenger Prescreening System, or CAPPS II -- seems to be so urgent
for the government to implement that it will continue to order
airlines to provide background information on their customers to
test the program, Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson
This could add fire to a program, which has already plagued
those carriers who agreed to test
The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (Blue Angels) is
currently accepting officer applications for various positions.
Specifically, the openings are: two demonstration pilots (both
Navy and Marine), an events coordinator, a Marine C-130 Pilot, a
flight surgeon, a supply officer and an administrative/executive
Demonstration pilot applicants must be carrier qualified
tactical jet pilots with 1,250 hours of flight time by Sept. 30 of
year applying. Applicants are preferred to be rotating from sea
duty or have been on shore duty for less than 12 months. Marine
C-130 pilot applicants must have 1,200 hours of flight time and
hold an aircraft commander rating in the C-130. Events coordinator
applicants must be desi
"We expect at this point the airlines
will want a clear rule or directive from the government before
they'd release information"
Source: Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa
Hutchinson commenting on the proposed full introduction of the
Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS II) system
this summer. While several airlines have being highly criticized by
the public for helping test the system, Hutchinson indicated that
all carriers will be mandated to participate once it is fully