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March 12, 2004

Cirrus Achieves Record Sales - Again (74 Planes!)

Winter is typically a cool time for general aviation aircraft sales. However, upon closing the February book of business, Cirrus revealed that aircraft sales for the month established yet another company record for single month performance. For the first time in company history, Cirrus surpassed 70 new aircraft sales in one month to set an all time company record of 74. “Frankly we don’t pay too much attention to projections and historical data,” states John M. Bingham, executive vice president sales and marketing.

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Groups Keeps Close Watch On Twin Cessna ADs


After months of pressure from AOPA and the Cessna Pilots Association (CPA), the FAA finally presented its evidence for pursuing two proposed twin Cessna airworthiness directives during a two-day meeting between the agency and those affected by the ADs. Prior to the meetings, the FAA had refused to release the data, forcing AOPA to pursue a Freedom of Information Act request to get it. The proposed ADs require inspection of wing-spar caps for fatigue cracks, repair or replacement of any cracked wing spars, and installation of a Cessna-manufactured spar strap modification kit on each wing spar. The meeting also demonstrated the FAA's growing concern about the aging general aviation fleet and hinted at the broader future use of engineering models to pinpoi

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PAC 750XL Gets FAA Certification

PAC Hails Flagship Aircraft

New Zealand-based Pacific Aerospace Corporation has received FAA certification for its flagship PAC 750XL aircraft. The certification, which was carried out under a bilateral agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, was completed after 18 months exhaustive testing. This entailed subjecting the PAC 750XL to 315 flights, 1000 spins and 2500 individual tests on top of 70,000 man-hours of design, manufacture and assembly - not to mention an investment of many millions of dollars. When the CAA cleared the PAC 750XL for take-off last year, it had the distinction of being the first passenger aircraft to be designed and manufactured in New Zealand. It's also believed to be the first new aircraft built in the last 25 years specif

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Cessna To Host Citation Customer Event

Domestic and International Citation Customer Conference

The owners and operators of 4,100 Cessna Citations are invited to attend the 31st Citation Customer Conference in Wichita, Kansas, April 26-28. The conference will focus on technical and special workshop sessions for the owners and operators of the various Citation models In addition to program updates for each model, special interest topics will be presented at the conference. In an effort to cater to its European clientele, Cessna will also conduct maintenance and operations roundtable discussions at the annual EBACE Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 25-27. These discussions will address specific European operator requirements, as well as review the topics presented in April at the Wichita Citation C

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Avidyne Offers Free Training Software For FlightMax EX500

Learn How To Power Your Integrated-Datalink MFD

On Thursday, Avidyne announced they are offering PC-based interactive training software for the FlightMax EX500 multi-function display. This new and EX500 trainer emulates the EX500 MFD’s operation right on the PC desktop, allowing the user to “fly” user-defined flight plans and retrieve datalinked graphical weather and TFRs along the route. The EX500 training software is downloadable free of charge from the Avidyne website.

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Delta Air Lines Awards WAI Scholarships

Students Receive $135,000 Collectively

Delta Air Lines will award seven scholarships to students pursuing degrees in aviation business management, aviation maintenance and engineering. The scholarships, totaling $135,000, will be awarded during the Women in Aviation International (WAI) conference, March 10-13, in Reno (NV). Delta will award three $5,000 academic scholarships to students and four training scholarships valued at $120,000. Including this year's scholarships, Delta has awarded $215,000 in scholarships to students pursuing degrees in aviation. Delta was the first organization to award a scholarship in Engineering through WAI.  

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Study: Radar May Prevent Icing

Technology Examined For Weather Threat

Looking for ways to prevent air crashes that have claimed hundreds of lives, including '50s singing stars Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, researchers are testing a pair of radars they hope will detect icing conditions. Using the radars together should help determine the amount of tiny droplets of water in the air, too small for most radars, that are colder than freezing but still liquid. Marcia Politovich, director of the icing program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder (CO) said Wednesday that the icing research experiment is continuing through the end of March. The team attached a small Ka-band radar to a large S-band unit, similar to the radars used by the National Weather Service. The researchers ho

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Baltimore FSDO Presents 'Good Friend' Award To AOPA

ADIZ, TFR Education Efforts Noted

AOPA was honored on Wednesday for its significant efforts to educate and alert pilots of flight restrictions across the country. Representatives from the Baltimore Flight Standards District Office, which handles violations of the Baltimore-Washington Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and Prohibited Area P-40 over Camp David, came to AOPA headquarters to present the staff with the "Good Friend" Award. As the FSDO citation noted, AOPA sent out more than two million individual e-mails in 2003, alerting pilots to temporary flight restrictions likely to have significant impacts on flight operations. In addition, a scrolling banner at the top of the AOPA Online home page lists TFRs issued under FAR 91.141 for Presidential, Vice Presidential, or

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NATCA Bashes FAA...Again

AFL-CIO Condemns FAA's "Draconian" Approach To Bargaining

The AFL-CIO condemned the FAA on Thursday for what it called "misguided attempts to unilaterally impose the terms and conditions of a contract with its employees represented by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)". The union called this bargaining approach "draconian." NATCA filed a lawsuit Jan. 30, asking a federal court to order the Federal Service Impasses Panel to resolve the impasses affecting employees in 11 of NATCA's non-controller bargaining units. The lawsuit asks the court to rule the FSIP does indeed have the jurisdiction and authority to resolve the impasses. However, shortly after the suit was filed, the FAA, in NATCA's view, circumvented the law and the collective bargaining prog

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Klyde Morris 03.12.04

Klyde Looks At FAA "Security"

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Marine Corps Plane Crashes At San Diego Base

Transport Jet Burst Into Flames After Impact

A small Marine Corps jet with four people onboard crashed during an attempted landing at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, authorities said. It was not immediately known whether there were any survivors, said FAA spokesman Bruce Nelson. The UC-35 --a modified version of a Cessna Citation -- slammed into a brushy area about a half-mile short of the runway at about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nelso said. The plane burst into flames after it went down east of Interstate 15. Rescue teams from the base and the San Diego Fire Department searched for survivors late into the evening. The National Weather Service reported light fog in the area but no major visibility problems.

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EU: U.S. Airline Market Offer Falls Short

Transport Commissioner Wants More Access to US Domestic Market

A current U.S. offer on opening airline markets is insufficient and more talks are needed, EU transport ministers said, adding that a deal may not be possible this year. The EU wants the United States to further ease ownership limits and give EU carriers more access to U.S. routes. For Washington, a key goal is having more carriers operating out of Europe's busiest airport, Heathrow in London. EU transport ministers urged the European Commission to ask for further U.S. concessions in another round of talks due on March 29. European Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio said a deal might be possible this year, but Washington had to improve its offer on access to its domestic market.

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Naval Reserve Pilots Lead Training Detachment

A First For Reservists

Naval Reserve instructor pilots are setting the example for the next generation of naval aviators. The instructors are part of Squadron Augment Unit (SAU) 9, the Reserve component of Training Squadron (VT) 9, one of two training squadrons that operate from Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian (MS), as part of Training Wing (TW) 1. VT-9 has come to Key West (FL) to teach Navy and Marine Corps student pilots formation flying and gunnery techniques. This detachment represents the first time Reservists have been in charge of a training mission.

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Widow: 9/11 Passengers Planned To Resist Hijackers

Phone Call Made To Wife, Mother

Passengers on one of the planes terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, planned to resist the hijackers, according to the widow of one of the passengers who was interviewed by CNN. About three-and-a-half minutes before the doomed United Airlines Flight 175 struck the trade center's south tower, Brian David Sweeney, a 38-year-old former U.S. Navy pilot from Barnstable, Mass., made two phone calls. Sweeney left a message for his wife, Julie, on his home answering machine, then he called his mom. The calls came to light in a January statement from the independent commission investigating the attacks. Louise Sweeney confirmed that her son called, but said the details were too personal for her to discuss. Telephone calls

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Airline Deals With Messy Situation

EasyJet Bans 'Urinating' Golfers

A group of golfers has been banned from flying with UK-based Easyjet after one allegedly urinated into an airplane seat pocket. The airline claims the incident took place on a flight from Bristol to Faro airport in Portugal on Friday night. The 15 golfers - most of whom were in their 40s and from Abergavenny and Cardiff - were told they must find alternative transport home on Monday. The men, who deny any wrongdoing, are considering legal action to recover the money they had to spend to get home. Easyjet spokeswoman Samantha Day insisted the low-cost airline would not compensate the group and said the men owed the cabin crew on flight EZY 6007 an apology.

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Swiss Airline Chief Resigns Amidst Crash Probe

Feared Attacks By Legal Investigation

The airline Swiss suffered a setback in its attempts to fly out of financial trouble when chief executive Andre Dose announced he was resigning from the post. Dose said in a statement he was standing down because he was likely to be targeted by a legal probe into the crash of a Crossair airliner near Zurich in November 2001, in which 24 people were killed. The outgoing head of Swiss was at the helm of the regional airline Crossair at the time of the accident. Swiss announced in a statement that chairman Pieter Bouw would take over the chief executive's role on a temporary basis with immediate effect.

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U.S. May Up High-tech Ante In Bin Laden Hunt

Aerial Resources Called In To Find Terrorist

The Pentagon is considering beefing up the already enhanced technology U.S. forces are using to search for al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden along the mountainous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Troops will start using ground sensors, U-2 spy planes and unmanned Predator drones to monitor the area 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The U.S. military also is examining using the E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, a long-range, air-to-ground surveillance system designed to locate, classify and track in any type of weather. The U.S. military also may use the RC-135 Rivet Joint, an aircraft that allows the U.S. military to monitor electronic activity.

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Terminal Design Aims To Trim RDU Traveler Congestion

Raleigh-Durham International Airport Needs Help

With the number of business passengers at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on the upswing, a congestion-free terminal is more important than ever. That makes the ideas of the design team at Fentress Bradburn Architects, the Denver firm hired to redesign Terminal C, crucial to efficiently moving travelers through RDU. Designers are planning simple design elements to smooth passenger flow. Thom Walsh, one of the architects working on Terminal C, says designers are discussing strategies to get people from the parking lot to their airplanes more quickly. Tim Clancy, chairman of the RDU Airport Authority and president of Clancy & Theys Construction Co., notes that there will be a moving sidewalk from the lobby down the con

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (03.12.04)

Aero-News: Quote of the Day

"The good news is the FAA finally showed its hand and explained why it wants to impose the ADs on most 400-series Cessnas. The bad news is the data made the case for potential structural problems with the twin Cessnas' wing spars and justified the agency's moving forward with developing the directives." Source: AOPA Director of Regulatory and Certification Policy Luis Gutierrez commenting on two proposed airworthiness directives for twin Cessna aircraft. The proposed ADs require inspection of wing-spar caps for fatigue cracks, repair or replacement of any cracked wing spars, and installation of a Cessna-manufactured spar strap modification kit on each wing spar. The ADs would requir

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AD: Bombardier DHC-8

AD NUMBER: 2004-05-13

MANUFACTURER: Bombardier SUBJECT: Fatigue Cracks SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Bombardier Model DHC-8-401 and -402 airplanes. This action requires a records review to determine the repair/modification status of the airplane, and follow-on and corrective actions as necessary. This action is necessary to prevent cracks in the lower fuselage skin due to fatigue damage in the vicinity of the Number 2 VHF antenna, which could result in rapid decompression of the airplane.

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