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April 06, 2004

(Almost) Certified: Lancair Columbia 400

GA's Speediest Piston Bird Gets Ready For The Big-Time

As rumored for several weeks, and now confirmed as of publication deadline, Lancair will finally get their TC for the Lancair Columbia 400 next week, in Lakeland, FL. Several senior FAA officials will be on hand to award Lancair it's long awaited (and somewhat delayed) certification at a press conference on Friday, April 16th.

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Battle Over Charity/Sightseeing Rule Kicks Into High Gear

The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy says the FAA's charity/sightseeing notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is filled with incomplete or questionable data and needs to be withdrawn. In formal comments submitted to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, the Office of Advocacy says the agency failed to accurately account for the economic impact of the proposed rule, formally known as the National Air Tours Standards, or how many small businesses it would force to close.

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Upstart Low-Fare Carriers Top Traditional Airlines In Survey

In a head-to-head competition between so-called legacy carriers -- the old guard, like American, United and Delta -- and low-cost carriers such as JetBlue and Southwest, you'll never guess who won the most recent battle. Yup, the new kids on the block.

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BWI Terminal Evacuated Because Of Security Threat

Portions of Baltimore-Washington International Airport were evacuated Monday after a baggage screener was unable to stop a passenger carrying a knife in a backpack.

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Airports Under Seige: Livermore Municipal

Worried that an expanded airport will mean more noise and more pollution, folks who live in Livermore and Pleasanton (CA) are mobilizing against Livermore Municipal, supporting their claims with data that airport officials say is incorrect.

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Cessna Adds FMS To CJ-3

Cessna says its Citation CJ3's standard avionics package has been significantly improved. All Citation CJ3s will now come equipped with a standard FMS performance database. The new standard FMS performance database will provide takeoff and landing performance data at customer's fingertips.

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A Terrifying Plunge

For Brian Templeton of Waterford (MI), the end of the world came in the form of a flat spin from which he simply could not recover. That's what witnesses to the March 25th accident told the NTSB about the crash of a Royal Air Freight Mitsubishi MU-2B near Pittsfield (MA). And radar data seems to confirm that, in the span of less than a minute, Templeton's aircraft plummeted more than 12,000 feet.

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What, Again?

Delta Airlines stock has recently dropped below last year's basement levels. It's debt is now rated as junk and the "B-word" -- bankruptcy -- is being bandied about more and more these days in the company's Atlanta headquarters. Delta is in trouble.

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Saturn On A Clear Day

A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words. Well, take a look at this and start talking. The latest, sharpest, most detailed picture of Saturn ever taken comes from the Cassini-Huygens probe, set to orbit the ringed giant on July 1st.

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Aussie Professor Needs Pilots' Help

If you're flying in Australia, Graeme White needs your help. He's looking for a very big hole in the ground. Well, several of them to be specific. The holes could have been made by a swarm of meteors which fell to the ground in a spectacular light show last week. Nearby airline crews and passengers reported the fireballs passed beside and beneath their aircraft, about 60 NM north-northeast of Mount Isa in Queensland.

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Keystone Helicopter Divisions Earn FAA's Diamond Awards

Keystone Helicopter's Helicopter Services Division and the Engine Services Division for the third consecutive year have each received the FAA Diamond Award Certificate of Excellence.

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Ocean City Asks For More Time

It's an airport. It's a golf course. Okay, it's a golf course next door to an airport. But here's the rub: the golf course near the airport in Ocean City (MD) was purchased by the city with FAA money. The idea back then was to use the land for airport expansion. That was more than 20 years ago.

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Fighting To Save The Tower

Now members of congress are getting into the act. They're joining in the fight to keep the control tower at Lake Tahoe Airport open, in spite of FAA efforts to shut it down.

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Two Dead In Florida Crash

The NTSB is investigating Sunday's fatal accident involving a Piper Comanche in Fernandina Beach (FL). Two people were killed in the accident shortly after take-off.

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New TSA Security Directives Issued - Have You Complied?

Recently, the TSA released two Security Directives (SDs) applicable to international passenger and cargo operations. All members subject to the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP) should have already obtained the SD applicable to their operations. NATA recommends that operators take immediate action to comply with the new requirements.

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Body Of Second Jaguar Pilot Found In Kashmir

The Indian Air Force hotly denies allegations that it's been using sub-standard parts in its Jaguar aircraft, even as the body of a second pilot was pulled from the wreckage of two aircraft in Kashmir Province Sunday.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (04.06.04)

"The sightseeing and air tour industries contend that requiring a Part 119 certificate would cause thousands, not hundreds of small operators to go out of business. Because the FAA likely underestimated the number of small Part 91 operators and failed to provide accurate data on Part 91 operations, revenues and costs, Advocacy believes the industry's estimate may be sound. Consequently, the actual incidence of business closure is likely to be significantly higher than estimated." Source: Statement from the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, which has landed firmly on the side of the aviation industry when it comes to proposed FAA rules on sightseeing and charity tours.

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Louisiana TFR: TFN

4/2796 Issued: 04/05/2004 13:14 Effective: Immediately - Until Further Notice State: LA Facility: ZFW - FORT WORTH (ARTCC),TX. Type: HAZARDS Description: SHREVEPORT, LA.

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That Sound You Just Heard Was Continental's Computer Crashing

Perhaps what Continental Airlines needs is a bigger hammer. The company's main computer system crashed Sunday, stranding hundreds of passengers at its Bush Intercontinental hub in Houston (TX) and nationwide.

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Showdown: US Airways And Southwest Duke It Out In Philly

This isn't what US Airways CEO David Siegel had been hoping for. Just months after his airline emerged from bankruptcy, still limping, the company faces a new threat in one of its biggest hub markets. Southwest Airlines is coming. US Airways now faces competition at the gate from the low-cost carrier with one of the best reputations in the business. And it doesn't help that US Airways still carries the highest cost-per-passenger-mile in the business.

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