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January 11, 2004

Cabin Door Falls From Airplane

Losing a door in flight is not fun. Doing so with a planeload of prisoners is outright scary. This is exactly what happened when the main cabin door of a Beechcraft King Air E-90 (file photo of type, right) fell right off in flight over Galesburg (IL) on Thursday. The turboprop -- Tidewater Aero LLC of Norfolk (VA) -- was headed for Marion (VA) and four prisoners and two guards onboard when the pilot reported hearing "a loud bang" after departing the Galesburg Municipal Airport at 2:20 p.m.  

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FAA Relaxes Flight Precautions In WA, OR

Pilots in Washington State and Oregon can now enjoy a slight sigh of relief, now that some of the region's more intrusive TFR's have been relaxed. Imposed after the September 11th terrorist attacks, the flight restrictions affected a wide area covering airspace in Oregon and Washinton state  

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Beagle: Lost?

It looks more and more like the ESA Mars lander "Beagle 2" has been lost for good. Beagle's mothership, Mars Express, continues to orbit the Red Plant in "listening-only" mode, hoping for signs of life from the Beagle lander. So far, its attempts have been met with only silence. Beagle 2 hasn't been heard from since it was ordered by controllers in Germany to begin its landing sequence on Mars. Attempts by NASA's Mars Odyssey failed to pick up any indication that the Beagle had survived the plunge into the Martian atmosphere. Powerful radio telescopes on Earth listened and heard nothing. They even scanned the Martian surface, hoping to spot signs of faint radiation emanating from Beagle. But those attempts were not successful.

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IN TFR: 01/12

Beware Explosive Demolition Hazard NOTAM: 4/0230 Issued: 01/09/2004 18:50 Effective: 01/12/2004 17:00 - 01/12/2004 19:00 State: IN Facility: ZID - INDIANAPOLIS (ARTCC),IN. Type: HAZARDS Description: CHARLESTON, IN.

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MDW Air Traffic Controllers Say City Crews Caused Delays

Working aircraft in wintery conditions can be tough, but recent problems with icy runways caused a mess at Chicago's Midway airport. The controllers claim the airport was a "zoo" on Wednesday when more than 40 flights were delayed because of ice accumulation on two runways. The controllers say the ice was there because city crews failed to clear snow that was leftover from Sunday's winter storm. Chicago aviation officials disagree with the chilly details and claim they were unaware of any major traffic delays at the busy reliever airport.

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TSA Responds Favorably To EAA, AOPA Requests

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) concurred late Friday with calls to suspend a number of airspace restrictions that were implemented when the national terrorist threat level rose to "orange" before the holidays. TSA and FAA has rescinded notices to airmen (NOTAMs) that put in place Gateway procedures at the Maryland 3 airports, suspended waivers in the National Capital Region (NCR) and suspension of waivers for sporting event stadium overflights and created a temporary flight restriction (TFR) in downtown Chicago (IL).

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On FOD Patrol At Tallil

Master Sgt. George Sims spends his day removing debris from the runway. That's not an easy or cut-and-dry job at the coalition's Tallil Air Base in Iraq. More than 1,600 pounds of debris has been removed from the airfield since November. Sergeant Sims is the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron airfield manager, deployed to Tallil from Langley Air Force Base (VA). Sims works as aircraft come and go at Tallil. But without him, the aircraft will not come, and the aircraft will not go.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (01.11.04)

"I think the only thing I can say to the whole team at this stage is -- play to the final whistle. It only takes a fraction of a second to score a goal." Source: Professor Colin Pellinger, chief scientist on the ESA's Beagle 2 Mars mission. Once again, the Beagle has failed to show any sign of life during the most recent overflight of its mothership, Mars Express. The next -- and perhaps last -- chance for Beagle to bark comes early Monday morning, when Mars Express flies overhead again.

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