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January 31, 2004

Another Wave Of Terror Hijacking Threats

The bad news is that, once again, there is "specific and credible" information that terrorists -- possibly linked to al Qaeda -- want to hijack foreign flag passenger aircraft and crash them into targets inside the United States. The good news, if it can be called that, is that the threats don't appear as serious as they were over the holidays. Over a three week period starting around Christmas, 15 flights headed for the US from other countries were canceled. Dozens of other flights were delayed as authorities searched passengers, passenger lists and luggage for possible hazards.

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Sex Abuse Scandals Aside, More Women Apply To USAFA

The US Air Force Academy, besieged by sexual abuse scandals over the past year, is still attracting women. In fact, they're applying at a record rate. As of this week, 34-percent more women had applied to the academy than last year. It was just a year ago that the academy was embroiled in a controversy involving accusations that male cadets had sexually harassed, abused and even raped female cadets -- most without suffering consequences. The USAF admitted that some of the accused were still on active duty. But since the scandal broke, top commanders at the academy have been replaced, training regimes have been altered and a new sexual harassment policy has been put into place.

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Opportunity Ready To Roll

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena (CA) were getting ready Friday to roll the Mars rover Opportunity off its lander, as its beleaguered twin, Spirit, began transmitting scientific data for the first time in more than 10 days. Spirit's problems were apparently solved when JPL engineers deleted about 1700 "non-essential files" from its internal drive. They then rebooted the rover's computer and returned it to normal operating mode, whereas before, it had been in "crippled" or safe mode. In the meantime, Spirit's twin rover, Opportunity, was being readied to leave its lander at 12:30 a.m. EST Saturday morning. Compared to the obstructions Spirit faced, Opportunity appears to have a clear path to its first destination.

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PA TFR: 1/31

Less Than 24 Hours Notice... Let's Keep Our Eyes Peeled NOTAM: 4/0721 Issued: 01/30/2004 14:58 Effective: 01/31/2004 14:50 - 01/31/2004 18:10 State: PA Facility: ZNY - NEW YORK (ARTCC),NY. Type: VIP Description: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, JANUARY 31, 2004 LOCAL.

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Caravan Down In Lake Erie Located

Recovery teams on frozen Lake Erie Friday raised the wrecked fuselage of a Cessna 208 near Pelee Island, with the bodies of all ten victims still inside the aircraft. The Caravan went down in bad weather on January 17th, as it was returning a group of hunters from the island to Windsor (ON). All but one of the passengers aboard the flight, operated by Georgian Express, were from Ontario. They were identified as Fred Freitas, 39, and Larry Janik, 49, both of Kingsville; Ted Reeve, 54, Tom Reeve, 50, and Robert Brisco, 47, all of Chatham; Ronald Spencler, 54, and Walter Sadowski, 49, both of Windsor, and Jim Allen, 52, of Mitchell's Bay.

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AirVenture Museum Lists 2004 Events

Special events, exhibits and activities are among the spectacular highlights of this year's schedule at the world-class EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, which celebrates its 21st year of operation in 2004. Among the feature events in 2004 are programs featuring the Tuskegee Airmen, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion and honoring the 100th anniversary of famed pilot/designer Steve Wittman's birth. In addition, May 15th will see the unveiling of a large new permanent gallery attraction. The KidVenture Gallery has been designed specifically for young people, with permanent simulators, interactive displays and many other activities to spark young interest in flight.

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Boeing Employment Pulling Out Of Nosedive

After more than two years of deep, painful payroll cuts, Boeing may finally be on the mend. Seattle's KIRO TV says the aerospace manufacturer predicts at least a year of stable employment.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (01.31.04)

"I'm pleased to report that it seems to be working fine. We alleviated the problem." Source: Glenn Reeves, NASA's chief software engineer for the Mars rover, Spirit. After deleting 1700 "non-essential" files from the rover's hard drive and rebooting its systems Friday, Spirit returned to normal operating mode. That leads scientists to believe that the problems which caused Spirit to stop communicating with Earth last week. Friday, Spirit transmitted its first picture in a week, clearly indicating the rover is on the mend.

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