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January 17, 2004

Parker Hannifin Slapped With $4 Million Judgement

A Jackson County (MO) jury Friday awarded the family of Mel Carnahan $4 million, deciding that vacuum pump maker Parker Hannifin was partly to blame for the governor's death more than three years ago. This, in spite of an NTSB report that shows the twin pumps aboard the aircraft were apparently working at the time of the crash. Carnahan was flying aboard a Cessna 335 piloted by his son, Randy, on October 16, 2000, when they ran into rough weather in southeastern Missouri. The pilot reported his primary attitude indicator had failed. The aircraft went down near Hillsboro (MO), killing all three people on board.

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Bethune Set To Retire

Well, it's not quite goodbye just yet. But Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, widely credited with bringing the airline back from the brink of financial ruin, will retire at the end of the year. Continental says he'll be replaced by the airline's current president, Larry Kellner. When Bethune joined Continental ten years ago (as of next month), the airline was staggering out of its second bankruptcy in a decade. In a few short years, Continental rose in all standings, from customer service to on-time performance.

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US Airways Express Flight Lands At Wrong Airport

When passengers aboard a US Airways Express flight got on board in Pittsburgh (PA) last week, they thought they were going to University Park Airport outside State College (PA). When they go off the flight, however, they discovered they weren't in State College at all. The pilot instead landed at Mid-State Airport, near Philipsburg, about 20 miles away. Mid-State business manager Joann Shields was there to greet the unexpected flight.

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Well, At Least He Wasn't Driving

So imagine a big ol' TSA dude walking up to your cockpit window, knocking on it with his flashlight and saying, "Son, you in a whole lotta trouble." That sort of imagery could very well have been going through the mind of 44-year old Vincent Salamone of Pottstown (PA) Thursday evening after he landed his Piper Cherokee. Salamone, president of a Pottstown concrete company, is accused of flying his 1967 Cherokee while drunk. And it was apparently some kind of wild ride.

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Former FAA Senior Exec Flunks O'Hare Modernization Plan

Chicago's plan to expand O'Hare International Airport -- the most complex and controversial airport development issue in civil aviation today -- is so fundamentally flawed that it should be scrapped, the former acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday. "Chicago's plan is in serious trouble. It will cost too much, will not produce the claimed benefits and will fail to meet FAA safety standards," said Joseph Del Balzo, who served as acting administrator at the FAA in 1994. The O'Hare plan would not just fail to reduce delays, but would actually increase them at the nation's most pivotal airport, he said.

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FL TFR: 01/17

Beware "Controlled Burn" NOTAM: 4/0433 Issued: 01/16/2004 20:17 Effective: 01/17/2004 14:00 - 01/17/2004 23:00 State: FL Facility: ZJX - JACKSONVILLE (ARTCC),FL. Type: HAZARDS Description: SOPCHOPPY, FL.

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FL TFR: 01/18

Providing "A Safe Environment For Building Demolition?" NOTAM: 4/0435 Issued: 01/16/2004 22:24 Effective: 01/18/2004 12:00 - 01/18/2004 14:00 State: FL Facility: ZMA - MIAMI (ARTCC), FL. Type: HAZARDS Description: BAL HARBOUR, FL.

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Russia Eyes New Goals In Space

The Russians want in on President Bush's plan to go to the moon and Mars over the next 25 years. In fact, they might just go themselves. "Even though our space engineers lacked money to build new hardware, they have done a lot of prospective design work," said Russian Space Agency spokesman Vyacheslav Mikhailichenko. "We have preserved and developed our scientific potential." Russian aerospace firms hope they can bring that sort of forward thinking to the table as NASA figures out what sorts of vehicles it will need to get to the moon and stay there, much less the space vehicles it needs to allow humans to explore Mars.

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That's Right, I'm A Pilot AND A Teamster!

Pilots at North American Airlines, a charter carrier that provides service to civilian and military passengers, have voted to join the Teamsters Union. Out of 117 eligible pilots, the vote was 78 for the Teamsters and two for the Air Line Pilots Association. "This indicates a major success for members of the pilots group, who wanted a strong collective voice," said Don Treichler, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (01.17.04)

"It's clear to us that this was a compromise verdict. We came here not for money but to vindicate Parker's good name, and we think we achieved that in this verdict." Source: Lorrie Paul Crum, vice president of corporate communications at Parker Hannifin, after a Missouri jury awarded the family of Governor Mel Carnahan $4 million dollars for his death and that of his son. They, along with an aide to the governor, were killed October 16, 2000, when their Cessna 335 went down in southeastern Missouri. The family blamed Parker Hannifin, which made the vacuum pumps aboard the 335, for the deaths, saying it was just one of more than 20 fatal aviation accidents attributable to the pumps.

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