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February 09, 2004

Aero-News Exclusive: Next-Gen Cirrus SR22 'G2' To Be Unveiled Today

Under the cloak of secrecy, Cirrus is getting set to discuss a number of new features and upgrades to their top-of-the-line SR22 to new owners... who are about to find out that they're getting more than they paid for. Customers are expected to be pleased to find that Cirrus has responded to the opportunities afforded them by a growing owner list that has been offering extensive feedback about the SR22's design and operation, and allowing Cirrus to tweak and upgrade the bird to extend the value and efficiency of the aircraft. The changes reportedly affect "Cirrus' core values of safety, quality, performance and innovation." The new version has been dubbed "G2."

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NOVA: The Deadly Legacy Of Swiss Air 111

A new program to air on PBS later this month reports the majority of America's civil aviation fleet is prone to undetectable and unfightable in-flight fires. "NOVA Presents: Crash Of Flight 111" further alleges the FAA and the airline industry have been aware of this problem since 1993 and have, in the case of most recommendations from the Canadian Transportation Safety Board, failed to act.

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NTSB Expert: AA 587 Copilot Overworked Rudder

From the start, NTSB investigators probing the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in November, 2001, have concentrated on co-pilot Sten Molin's manipulation of the rudder pedals. Just after taking off from JFK Airport in New York, the aircraft encountered extreme turbulence. Attempting to counteract the turbulence, co-pilot Molin actuated the rudder of the Airbus A300-600 at a speed of 250 kts. To this point, theories have suggested that Molin over manipulated the rudder, causing the aircraft's vertical stabilizer to snap completely away from the airframe. The aircraft spun into a residential area of Queens, killing 265 people. But now, an outside expert hired by the NTSB, suggests the very design of the aircraft could have played a major part in the crash. That plays right int

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Finger-Flailing Yanqui Heads Home From Brazil

Douglas Skolnick of Franklin Lakes (NJ) headed home from Brazil Sunday -- $17,200 lighter in the wallet. Skolnick was arrested in the resort town of Foz do Iguacu when he arrived with a tour group including his wife. As he was being routinely photographed and fingerprinted, Skolnick raised his middle finger in a gesture that can only be interpreted as... defiant.

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RIP: Jerome Lederer

Jerome Lederer dedicated his life to making flight -- in all its variations -- safer. Beginning in the pioneering days of air mail, Lederer went on to help one air mail pilot -- Charles Lindbergh -- inspect the Spirit of St. Louis one day before Lucky Lindy made the first transatlantic flight. Lederer died Friday of heart failure in Laguna Hills (CA). He was 101 years old.

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Save The Tower

Should the launch gantry that helped send Apollo 11 to the Moon be declared a national treasure, or should it be melted down for scrap metal? Launch Umbilical Tower (LUT) 1 was the starting point for eight Apollo missions, including the first moon mission and Skylab flights. The 380-foot tall tower was dismantled in 1983. It's remains are in the "boneyard" behind KSC headquarters and have been deemed an environmental hazard. Florida Today reports heavy metals and toxic substances are leeching into the groundwater underneath the boneyard, creating a danger to the environment.

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AOPA Surprises Winner Of Centennial Of Flight Sweepstakes

Texas pilot Mark Zeller woke up Sunday morning thinking it would be a normal Sunday. Little did he know that he was in for the surprise of his life — or that, as the winner of the grand prize in AOPA's Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes, he would become the envy of some 400,000 other AOPA members.

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Klyde Morris 02.09.04

Klyde's Got Mars Fever! 

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O'Hare Revamp Goes WAY Over Budget

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's plan for revamping O'Hare International Airport will cost more than twice the amount promised by the man aviators love to hate -- and may prove to be altogether unworkable, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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Government Watchdog Group Praises Rumsfeld for Scrutinizing Boeing Tanker Lease

Watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) this week has rare praise for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, after he said USAF negotiations on leasing Boeing 767 aircraft as refueling tankers appeared to have involved wrongdoing, though he did not single out a possible culprit. The secretary has called for a 90-day suspension of the lease, along with several investigations of the $17 billion deal.

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Up Against The Wall: F-22, Comanche Helicopter

In spite of its increased buying power, Washington now wants a review of the costs associated with development of the F/A-22 "Raptor" and the RAH-66 Comanche Stealth Helicopter. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the White House Office of Management and Budget is looking at cutting back -- or even cancelling -- one or both projects.

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American Airlines Eyes Southwest Airlines Model

It's not often you hear this kind of praise from one airline executive about another airline: "One of the reasons Southwest is so successful and has such high customer service ratings is that they promise a product that is very simple and deliver on that promise very consistently. It's a better paradigm... and that's where we need to move." But that's just what American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey had to say at the Goldman Sachs Transportation Conference in New York last week.

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Ma'am, Could You Explain This?

When you're an airport security inspector, we imagine you see a lot of things that, well, illuminate the human condition. Such was the case in Athens when a 40-year old British woman set off a metal detector's alarm. After a rather lengthy and certainly personal body search, security staffers found the cause -- the woman was wearing a chastity belt, officials said on Friday.

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NATA Members Discuss Alliance With OSHA

Members of the National Air Transportation Association's (NATA) Airline Services Council (ASC) met in Washington (DC) last week with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs to develop and implement an alliance that would address the health and safety needs of those working on the Airport Operating Area (AOA).

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (02.09.04)

"We're presently having new airplanes designed -- they're on the drawing board. Boeing has one. Airbus has what's called the Airbus 380, a 550 passenger airplane. The regulations haven't changed. They don't have to provide any more fire detection or fire protection than we had on Swiss Air 111." Source: ALPA's Ken Adams, who represented the pilots' union during the Canadian Transportation Safety Board's investigation into the crash of Swiss Air Flight 111 in November, 1998. NOVA, a PBS program produced by WGBH in Boston, reports materials previously thought to be fireproof -- metalized mylar and silicone duct caps, for instance -- in fact fed the fire that ultimately led to the destruction of the MD-11 and the deaths of all 221 people on board. "NOVA Presents: Cra

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Lightning Strikes Parked Airliner

One ground crew member was hurt at Seattle's Sea-Tac Friday, when lightning jolted a Horizon Air aircraft parked on the ramp.

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Fourth International Symposium On Aviation Emergencies Plans Set

For the fourth time in as many years, local, state and federal officials, along with their counterparts from other countries, will get together for the annual International Symposium on Aviation Emergencies. This year's event will be held in Weehawken (NJ).

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Small Business Administration Concerned About Charity/Sightseeing Rule

The Small Business Administration has raised serious concerns about the FAA's proposed charity/sightseeing rule change. The SBA's Office of Advocacy held a teleconference on Friday after contacting AOPA and numerous other general aviation industry groups for background information on the effects of the change.

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Frontier Only Airline in America to Win Fifth Consecutive FAA Diamond Award

Frontier Airlines has become the only airline in America whose maintenance department has been awarded the FAA Diamond Award for a fifth consecutive year. The Diamond Award is the highest honor given by the FAA and recognizes airlines and other maintenance facilities where at least 25 percent of its aircraft maintenance technicians complete certified training requirements beyond their initial certification.

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