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January 20, 2004

CBS' Bob Orr Writes ANN

The CBS reporter who worked last week's Anti-GA story on small airport security has responded to an e-mail sent him by ANN's Editor-In-Chief. His response is included below for everyone's consideration. CBS' Bob Orr gave us his phone number and we are pursuing the possibility of an interview in order to get more insight into how last week's story came together as well as the dialogue he advocates. We'll keep you apprised. Orr's E-Mail ...I'm sure you're aware that I have been thoroughly castigated by AOPA members for a story that was completely about the GOVERNMENT'S responsibilities in protecting our national air space and security. We're confident the story was factual, fair, and in context (when you consider we've done scores of reports since 9/11

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Crystal River Airport Fee Goes Sky High

Tenants Call  Extra Charge "Outrageous"

Aircraft owners and pilots who lease space at Crystal River Airport have a serious gripe against the facility's manger. They say a new minimum $60 surcharge for aircraft parking is unfair. Tom Davis, the airport manager, says its the fee is vital to airport's survival. Davis is president of Crystal Aero Group Inc., the company Citrus County contracts to run the Crystal River Airport. Davis claims he has been catching some unpleasant feedback from aircraft owners since the beginning of the year, when he started making plane owners pay an additional surcharge to rent space - either tie down or hangar - at the public airport. Angry plane owners called the new facility fee "outrageous" when compared with prices to lease space at

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US Pilot's Association: Pilots Outraged, 'Little' Airplanes Under Attack

Pilots nationwide are more than alarmed by CBS Evening News “Eye on America” Correspondent Bob Orr’s report last week, which described residential airpark communities and General Aviation airports as “an open invitation for terrorists.” In fact, according to Jan Hoynacki, executive director of the United States Pilots Association (USPA), aviation enthusiasts across America are themselves feeling terrorized by fear-driven security woes. “We feel like General Aviation is under attack by a movement in this country to eliminate ‘little’ airplanes,” Hoynacki alleged. And in context of the barrage of regulatory restrictions, codicils and conventions which have been imposed upon and proposed for General Aviation since 9-11, coupled wi

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RV-8 Ditches Off Kauai

Pilot Survives Ditching And Shows It Can Be Done

Most pilots fear ditching an aircraft into the ocean but one aviator recently proved even the worst of situations can be survivable. Bob Justman's RV-8 (file photo of RV-8 below) was cruising at 1,000 feet over the beautiful waters surrounding the Hawaiian islands on Sunday morning, when at 8:52 a.m., he lost engine power as he flew to Lihue from Honolulu. Justman promptly radioed the Honolulu ARTCC and set-up for a ditching approximately 60 miles from Oahu. Fortunately, he was under ATC's watchful eye as he made a last call about 200 feet over the water's surface. More importantly, his previous training helped him get out of a bad situation. Once into the water, Justman immediately went to work getting out of the airpla

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Cracks In Engine Parts Ground 120 Flights In Japan

Thousands Of Passengers Affected By Discovery

The Japanese air travel industry took a hit Monday after Japan Air System cancelled 120 domestic flights affecting 7,000 passengers after discovering cracks in engine parts from at least seven McDonnell Douglas aircraft. This discovery came after Asia's top carrier -- Japan Airlines System (JAS)-- reported engine troubles on January 6 and 7 with two of their MD-80 and MD-87 jets (MD-80 file photo above). When Pratt and Whitney was asked to check the engine parts for deficiencies, engineers discovered several cracks in engine compressors from the two aircraft. JAS followed with its own investigation on engine parts used in six other McDonnell Douglas jets and found the same type of cracks in those aircraft. The disco

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British Airways Flight Suffers Two Pax Deaths

Carrier Claims Incidents Were Unrelated

A British Airways (BA) flight from Miami to London was the scene of two unrelated deaths, which caused the diversion of the aircraft on its way to London's Heathrow airport. BA flight 208 was heavily delayed after a female passenger suffered what appeared to be a fatal heart attack, prompting an unscheduled stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, paramedics were unable to save her. After the flight had resumed, crew members were forced to deal with another death, this time in the rear of the aircraft, as a male traveler passed away of suspected meningitis. Witnesses said the rear portion of the plane was curtained off before other passengers learned of the male passenger's death.  

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NASA's Mars Rover Lander Debuts in Toy Stores

Forget About Buzz Lightyear, Jr. Wants A Rover!

With all the recent excitement of the Spirit's landing and exploration on the Martian surface, it seems the next logical step for NASA was to licence its image for commercial purposes. However, the spacecraft's likeness has gone beyond the traditional exposure at NASA's gift shops, filled with mugs and t-shirts and posters.  The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) which runs the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA, patented and licensed images of the golf-cart sized rover for a somewhat younger crowd. Before anyone realized it, toy-versions of the rover were already popping up on retail shelves. Danish toy maker Lego Co. was one of the first companies to sign an agreement and is already selling a build-it-you

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The Parker-Hannifin Verdict: 4 Million Mistakes... And Counting

A Triumph Of Emotion Over Evidence The aviation world was dealt several tough blows last week as a CBS News report relied on hysteria and half-truths to publicize a non-existent danger, while a St. Louis jury clobbered an airframe supplier (Parker-Hannifin) for having it's equipment on board an aircraft that crashed in a tragic spatial disorientation accident. We've said as much as we need to, for the moment, on CBS' lackluster journalistic standards, but the Parker-Hannifin case really needs to ne examined, carefully and objectively. The fact of the matter is that this case should never have been allowed to go to trial. The evidence simply did not support the case. Period. In various criminal/legal enterprises, Judges and Lawyers are required to show

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Mid-Continent Airport's Growing Pains

Expansion Includes Buying Residential Area

Wichita's Mid-Continent airport needs some elbowroom, and as a result, some residents may lose their homes in the not-too-distant future. A final plan for Mid-Continent and Col. James Jabara Airport in northeast Wichita is expected to go before the City Council in the spring or late summer. The tentative 20-year master plan for Mid-Continent includes acquiring additional land, including a residential area containing about two dozen homes. Obviously, this comes as bad news for those residents, who may end up fighting an eminent domain battle if they don't chose to sell. The comprehensive plan also includes expanding the airport's air cargo facilities, extending the east parallel runway by 1,400 feet and developing some addition

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The FAA Orders A Challenger 604

Has Options For Two More Aircraft

On Monday, Bombardier Aerospace announced it has received one firm order and two options for Bombardier Challenger 604 widebody aircraft from the FAA for use in runway and airway calibration and other special missions. The new aircraft will join a fleet of three Bombardier Challenger 601-3R jets and six Bombardier Learjet 60 midsize aircraft currently being used by the FAA for civil and military runway calibration worldwide. It is scheduled for delivery in November 2004. The aircraft will be produced at Bombardier’s facility in Montreal, and outfitted with a special mission interior at a completion center in the United States. The FAA took delivery of its first of three Bombardier Challenger 601-3R for use in a multi-role

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Fumes On New Qantas Plane Sickens Those Onboard

Galley Smell Spoils Pax Appetite

Fumes overtook some passengers and crew onboard a brand-new Qantas jet on Sunday night. The seven crew members and two passengers were in a stable condition after suffering nausea-like symptoms from fumes on a scheduled Melbourne to Perth flight. While airline food -- a rare commodity these days -- can be a sickening sight at times, this particular incident is attributed to fumes coming from the jet's galley. The pilot of the Airbus A330-300, which only began operating for Qantas early last month, opted to make an emergency landing in Adelaide about 1005 CDT. Ambulance and fire crews awaited the emergency landing at the airport with medical staff rushing nine people to the Royal Adelaide Hospital. A hospital spokesman said the nine pass

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Sportys Intro's New Ground Lesson Guide

A new Sporty’s Ground Lesson Guide for the Recreational and Private Pilot has been developed with flight and groundschool instructors in mind. Another Sporty’s aviation industry first, the Ground Lesson Guide is a step-by-step guide for teaching the groundschool lessons found in Sporty’s integrated Training Course Outline. Key points and reference materials will allow both instructors and students to be properly prepared for the next lesson. Use of Sporty’s Ground Lesson Guide complements Sporty’s Complete Flight Training Course on Interactive DVD. Originally produced to provide a method of standardization among Sporty’s own 30 flight instructors, this book allows any qualified instructor to step in and teach a ground lesson from Sporty’s

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Alitalia Unions Go On One-Day Strike

Travelers, Airports Hit Hard

Monday was a bad day to fly in or out of Italy, as the country's national airline -- Alitalia  -- cancelled 364 flights in response to a devastating worker strike. The airline expected about 18,000 passengers to face travel disruptions as a result of the one-day walk-out protesting job losses.The debate stems from Alitalia's management proposal to cut 2,700 jobs to help reduce the state-run airline's financial woes. Company officials also claim the move will help prepare for its transformation to a private operation.Obviously, the unions don't agree with this cost-cutting plan. As a result of the disagreements and subsequent one-day strike, which called an 8-hour stoppage between 0900 and 1700 GMT on Monday, check-in counters at R

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HMM-265 'Dragons' Achieve 60K Safe Flight Hours

The Marines of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-265 (Reinforced), currently attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, celebrated 60,000 flight hours without a Class-A mishap with an award presentation and cake-cutting ceremony Jan. 5. A Class-A mishap is any incident that results in death or monetary damage equal to or more than $1 million, according to Maj. Paul M. Riegert, director of safety and standardization for HMM-265 (REIN), also known as the Dragons. The 15-year journey to 60,000 hours began May 31, 1989 when the Dragons experienced their last Class-A mishap. Since then, they have used many methods to prevent mishaps and implement safety. One way the Dragons exercise safety is by using Operational Risk Management (ORM). The five-step ORM process include

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Privatair Adds Six New Aircraft

International business aviation specialist PrivatAir announced that it has added six aircraft to its charter and managed fleet. The aircraft include a Gulfstream IV SP based in Raleigh, North Carolina, a Gulfstream IV based in McMinnville, Oregon, three Gulfstream III; two based in Stratford, CT and one in Manassas, Virginia, and a Hawker 700 based in Nashua, New Hampshire.  All of these aircraft are available for charter through PrivatAir's charter sales network. PrivatAir's CEO Greg Thomas says, "With the addition of these aircraft, our fleet is becoming more specialized in the long-range category, which now accounts for fifty percent of our airplanes and enables us to meet the growing demand for large cabin aircraft within the charter market."

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E&S to Upgrade Air France Simulator with EP-1000CT Visuals

Air France has selected Evans & Sutherland's EP-1000CT visual system to upgrade one of its A320 simulators. The upgrade also includes new E&S ESCP-2000 projectors and a new 180-degree by 40-degree field of view display system. This represents the first EP-1000CT system for Air France; the airline has purchased five E&S ESIG image generators over the past five years. The EP-1000CT was selected following a rigorous and competitive evaluation process. "When you find a supplier that can demonstrate its technological capabilities, it makes the decision process much easier," said Serge Gourlaouen of Air France. "The competition was very tough this time because we were evaluating new technology from visual system suppliers. We concluded that E&S offered the best com

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (01.20.04)

"A lot of people would panic, but you do need to relax to do the correct thing." Source: Bob Justman commenting how he survived a ditching in his RV-8 about 60 miles from the coast of Oahu. A Coast Guard civilian volunteer who flies over Hawaii's waters in his own plane, Justman said he learned valuable information two weeks ago from a Coast Guard training course on emergency procedures. This training proved quite valuable after his aircraft lost engine power over the open water.

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