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April 01, 2012

Pentagon Orders USAF, Navy To Buy Vintage Warbirds

Lower Operating Costs, Plenty Of Firepower Make For Significant Savings

ANN April 1st Special Edition The Pentagon on April 1st announced that it has initiated a program to buy up vintage warbirds as part of its effort to comply with mandatory budget cuts imposed by the Obama administration. The military has set aside an undisclosed sum for the purchase of as many P-51 Mustangs, P-38 Lightnings, and F4-U Corsairs as it can find, and bring them back to military standards. "Even with the cost of purchasing and upgrading the aircraft, the cost is significantly lower than the development of a new airplane," said Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. "We can operate squadrons of these airplanes for the cost of a single F-35. In most places in the world, they stil

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Brent Wouters To Take Reins Of LightSquared

Former Cirrus CEO Reportedly In Talks With China To Back The Company

ANN April 1st Special Edition ANN has learned that Brent Wouters has been named as the new president and CEO of LighSquared, even as that company already seems headed for the history books. Wouters is reportedly in discussions with the Chinese government to acquire a major stake in the company.

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Commercial Space Companies Buy NASA

Musk: "Commercial Space Will Be The Only Space"

ANN April 1st Special Edition SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced April 1st that a consortium of commercial space companies have closed a deal with the federal government for the outright purchase of NASA. The consortium is led by SpaceX and ULA, which both have operational boosters that are nearly ready to begin carrying humans into orbit. "The Obama administration was thrilled to be shed of the agency, which it saw as nothing more than a cost center," Musk said. "Between the ULA Atlas boosters which are very reliable, and with Falcon 9 nearly ready to begin operations, we just saw this as the right deal at the right time. In very short order, commercial space will be the only space." Other con

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CAIGA Signs Agreement To Purchase Sun 'n Fun Fly-In

China and SnF -- Made For Each Other?

ANN April 1st Special Edition The Chinese government owned corporation that has already scooped up some of the (once) major players in the General Aviation industry, CAIGA, has set its sights on purchasing the once-mighty Lakeland Fly-In. After years of fading attendance figures, increasing vendor dissatisfaction and an overall erosion in support from the sport aviation community, the Fly-In was quietly put up for sale last year as part of the new management's effort to save the Fly-In, "at all costs."

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President Obama Goes For Private Pilot Certificate

First Lesson In AF1 Ends In Runway Excursion

ANN April 1st Special Edition Saying that he needed to see what all those pilots were "fussing about" when it comes to user fees, President Barack Obama has begun taking flying lessons, with AF1 as his primary trainer.

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FAA Considers Relaxing Rules On Anti-Depressant Use

Huerta: 'It's Been A Really Tough Couple Of Years'

ANN April 1st Special Edition FAA administrator Michael Huerta announced April 1st that the agency is drafting an NPRM to relax its rules on the use of anti-depressants by pilots, citing an unusually difficult environment for the industry. "Safety is, of course, our number-one issue," Huerta (pictured) said in a news release. "But with all the pressure that's been brought on the industry by the economy, the uncertaintly about user fees and taxes, and decreased aircraft sales, we just thought we'd at least open the issue up to public comments to get a better understanding."

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Former Shuttle Workers Hope To Make Atlantis Operational Again

Letter Sent To ANN Reveals 'Black' Program ANN April 1st Special Edition A plan formulated by a group of former NASA employees who live near the Kennedy Space Center to make space shuttle Atlantis flyable again has been revealed in a letter received by ANN. In the letter, the group, which calls its self "Occupy Atlantis", says displaced workers on the shuttle program have been able to gain access to the shuttle processing facility and reverse the decommissioning of the orbiter. "We're getting the band back together again," the letter states. "We have the technology, we can rebuild her, and make her faster, stronger, and better than she was before."

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NBAA Launches 'No Respect' Campaign

Digitally-Recreated Rodney Dangerfield Is The Effort's Spokesman

ANN April 1st Special Edition After a year in which the business aviation community has been under continuous assault by the Obama Administration, the NBAA on April 1st announced its new "No Respect" campaign to promote biz-av.

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McDonald's To Sponsor Regional Airline Convention

Fast Food Chain Will Recruit At The Event, Potentially Offering Better Pay And Benefits

ANN April 1st Special Edition The Regional Airline Association said April 1st that McDonald's has come on board as a major sponsor for its annual convention, and plans to recruit among the pilots and others attending the event.

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Cessna Flirts With LAS Program

Withdraws Bid After Admitting To Typo In The RFP

ANN April 1st Special Edition Officials at Cessna withdrew the company's bid recommending the Skycatcher for the U.S. Air Force LAS program on April 1st, admitting it thought the RFP contained a typo. The bid came to light through Wikileaks. Cessna had placed the bid thinking that the Air Force was looking for a new Primary Trainer for the Academy. "We thought the Air Force was going to give us a chance to place some airplanes at the Pueblo Gateway with all those Diamond DA20s," said a high-ranking official at Cessna who requested anonymity. "It's certainly plausible that someone at the Pentagon was a wee bit dyslexic, and just transposed the "SA" in the RFP."

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CAP's Texas, Louisiana Wings To Participate In Hurricane Exercise

'Ardent Sentry' Drill Held Each Year For Storm Preparadness

Members of Civil Air Patrol’s Texas and Louisiana wings will participate May 2-9 in a training scenario involving a hurricane striking Texas from the Gulf of Mexico – one stage of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command's Ardent Sentry 12 homeland security and disaster response exercise.

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Ryanair Institutes On-Time Gratuity

Says Prospect Of Extra Cash Will Incentivize Airline To Better Performance

ANN April 1st Special Edition Low-cost carrier Ryanair says it will begin requiring passengers to tip up to 20 percent of their ticket cost when their flights arrive on time or early, and their luggage appears on the carousel as promised. CEO Michael O'Leary said in a news release April 1st that he took the idea from U.S. restaurants which often have a policy of automatically adding a gratuity to a bill for large parties. "The plane has, what, 50-150 people on board? That's a large party. We're again innovating in terms of revenue streams to keep the airline solvent."

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FAA Signs Contract With Novartis

Pharmaceutical Company Produces 'No-Doz'

ANN April 1st Special Edition The FAA said April 1st that it has signed a multi-million dollar contact with Novartis Pharmaceuticals to supply the nation's air traffic control centers with No-Doz. The move comes after numerous reports of controllers having difficulty staying awake during long overnight shifts. "While we don't advocate drug use, this is a safe, over the counter product that we think will help controllers stay alert and focused during long periods of low activity," said acting FAA administrator Michael Huerta. "The safety of the traveling public and the aviation community is our primary concern, and an alert controller is key to that safety."

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Pilot's Unions Plan 'Save The Pilots' Telethon

John Travolta Agrees To Host The Star-Studded Event

ANN April 1st Special Edition A group of pilot's unions announced April 1st that they are planning a "Save the Pilots" telethon to be aired on December 3rd, 2012, in conjunction with the anniversary of the first heavier-than-air flight by the Wright brothers. The move stems from the wave of airline bankruptcies and mergers which have occurred in recent years, as well as proposed new flight time requirements for First Officers flying for airlines. "These men and women need help," said ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak, who's union represents more than 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the United States and Canada.

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EAA To Purchase Retired Air Force Laser Test Bed

Will Add Spectacular Laser Lights To AirVenture Night Air Show

ANN April 1st Special Edition Seizing on what he calls a "golden opportunity," EAA president and CEO Rod Hightower announced April 1st that the organization would be purchasing the airborne laser test bed recently retired by the U.S. Air Force. The Boeing 747 has already been added to the lineup for the very popular Night Air Show at AirVenture 2012.

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UAV, LSA Manufacturers Eye Joint R & D Program

Move Could Make Medical Issue Moot

ANN April 1st Special Edition Several UAV and LSA manufacturers have gotten together to explore a joint research and development program that could finally open up aviation to the masses. The group announced April 1st that they hope to develop a low-cost Autonomous LSA that will take the pilot completely out of the loop.

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Next SynthVis To Be Presented In 3D

Avidyne, Honeywell, Aspen Developing Game-Changing Software

ANN April 1st Special Edition A consortium of avionics companies plan to announce at AEA next week that the next generation of synthetic vision terrain avoidance will be presented in 3D. Avidyne, Aspen, and Honeywell are collaborating on what they way will be game-changing technology.

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Hightower May Cancel Next 'Grass Roots' Tour

Says Able-Bodied Roadies Are Just Difficult To Find Among EAA Members

ANN April 1st Special Edition EAA president and CEO Rod Hightower may be forced to cancel plans for a 2012 "Grass Roots" tour similar to the one he undertook last year because he's having difficulties finding roadies able to take the pace.

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ANN Quote Of The Day 04.01.2012

"OK, folks... ANN did not suddenly lose its mind (though, there ARE moments... oh, never mind). Check the DATE. 04.01.12. It's April FIRST... a/k/a APRIL Fool's Day.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (04.01.12): FAA?

Acronym for "Feeling Appropriately Abashed" ... if you were fooled by any of our April Fools shenanigans. April fool's, everyone. Bwahahahaha!!!!

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Aero-Linx (04.01.12)

April Fools Day

April 1 is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 274 days remaining until the end of the year. April 1 is most notable in many countries for being April Fools' Day. It is also, of course, the day that ANN goes a little nuts and has more than a little fun with the world of aviation. You werew warned...

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