Builds and Sells 422 Helos in 2003!
Robinson Helicopter Company produced 422 new helicopters
in 2003, a record for the company. The total included 219 R44 Raven
IIs, 75 R44 Raven Is, and 128 R22s. An additional 46 R22s were
overhauled on the Robinson production line.
Sales in 2004 should be even better; R44 and R22 production is
already sold out more than five months in advance. Robinson
attributes the boom in sales to the excellent market reception for
the higher performance Raven II, and to improvements in the U.S.
economy, which has helped the domestic market while the weak
American dollar has greatly stimulated the foreign export
Robinson employment increased by over 300 employees in
2003 to a total of 950. A new additional
"Stinging" Letter Sent To CBS News President
AOPA President Phil Boyer (shown right, with Former TSA
Head Admiral Loy, to his right) today sent a stinging letter to the
president of CBS News, complaining about the "slanted, incomplete,
factually erroneous, and salaciously inflammatory" story on general
aviation airport security. That story aired Wednesday night on the
CBS Evening News and claimed that there was "no security" at GA
airports and that "nothing had been done" since 9/11.
Boyer took the story apart piece by piece.
"Your irresponsible reporting techniques
included ... failure to mention a wide range of security
initiatives — developed by AOPA and other organizations in
concert with the FAA and Homeland
NATA President James K. Coyne (right) has described
wednesday night's CBS Evening News segment on the lack of
security at general aviation airports in the United States as
"irresponsible journalism in its most egregious form."
"Even a cursory check with the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA)-the government agency charged with aviation
security-would have revealed to the CBS reporter that NATA and all
of the general aviation industry have been working with the TSA
over the past year to formulate general aviation airport security
guidelines," Coyne stressed. "Those guidelines were submitted
to the TSA last fall and the TSA is now in the process of refining
them and distributing them to the industry. And long before
that we worked hand-in-glove with th
New Piper Aircraft has introduced special 20th anniversary
models of the company's flagship aircraft, the Malibu Mirage and
the Malibu Meridian, to celebrate the significant innovations these
models have brought to New Piper as well as the general aviation
industry as a whole.
"These models continue unchallenged in their niche," said New Piper
President and CEO Chuck Suma. "The Malibu was Piper's first
pressurized, cabin-class, single-engine aircraft, and the Mirage
and the Meridian are proud inheritors of that legacy."
When the Malibu was first designed, it was not intended to be an
enhanced version of an existing model, but rather a totally new
airplane. The primary goals were passenger comfort and supreme
performance. It was also the first Piper model to be made with
Opportunity for Operators To Drum Up Additional
Air tour operators have been holding their breath over the last
few weeks, as the January 20 deadline for comment on the FAA's
latest regulatory hammer drew near. However, late Wednesday night,
the agency decided to extend the deadline to April 19, 2004 and
that bit of extra time is giving operators the opportunity to
gather additional support against the devastating proposal.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) would raise the minimum
number of hours required for pilots conducting charity fund raising
flights from 200 to 500 and remove an exemption that allows Part 91
sightseeing flights within 25 nm of an airport. The rule, if
adopted, would also force Part 91 operators to upgrade to at least
ANN Readers are really PO'ed and continue to send record
amounts of e-mail (thousands...) to us over the matter. Here's
a few more samples...
Message(s) Sent To CBS
Congratulations. You have proven once again that the terrorists are
winning - with your help.
The primary purpose of terrorism is not to win wars outright. It is
to create terror within their enemy. And thereby cause their enemy
to collapse from within. Last evenings Evening News does a great
job in promoting this terror. Never mind that the piece was full of
incorrect "facts" and no real expert on GA and its relation to
terror was consulted in its preparation. Never mind that no small
GA aircraft has ever, anywhere in the world, been used as an
instrument of terror (except as i
From time to time, we tend to hear inaccuracies from the general
media, especially when covering aviation stories. From "Boeing
A320s" to "a supersonic Cessna"(yep, we've heard it), those who are
not "in the know" often stick their journalistic foot right in the
kisser. However, CBS's latest volley against general aviation (GA)
is just downright shameful.
As I watched CBS' Eye on America segment -- called Airport
Terror Targets -- during Wednesday's evening news program, I not
only became angry at news correspondent Bob Orr's apparent total
disregard of journalistic integrity for not seeking the other side
of the story (some of us in the industry can't even spell FAIR),
but more disappointed at the so-called "aviation experts" use
NASA's Amazing "Martian Rovers" Continue Extraordinary
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit successfully drove
off its lander platform and onto the soil of Mars early Thursday.
The robot's first picture looking back at the now-empty lander and
showing wheel tracks in the soil set off cheers from the robot's
flight team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena,
"Spirit is now ready to start its mission of exploration and
discovery. We have six wheels in the dirt," said JPL Director Dr.
Since Spirit landed inside Mars' Gusev Crater on Jan. 3 (PST and
EST; Jan. 4 Universal Time), JPL engineers have put it through a
careful sequence of unfolding, standing up, checking its
surroundings and other steps leading up to to
The Aviation Weather Center (AWC) went operational this week
with the release of their experimental Forecast Icing Potential
(FIP) web-based graphical product. Many pilots already use the
Current Icing Potential (CIP) that can be found within the other
Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) suite of graphical
Don't get too excited. At this point in time, FIP is not quite
ready for prime time; according to the AWC disclaimer, FIP is
"authorized for operational use by meteorologists and dispatchers."
Therefore, pilots should not use this product as primary guidance
for icing forecasts.
CIP attempts to provide the likelihood of encountering icing based
on data such as model output, pilot reports, satellite, radar and
surface observations. FIP, on the other hand, provide
The canard-equipped folks at Velocity understand that not
everyone has the time to break away to visit the Velocity factory
in sunny Florida... so Velocity plans to reach out to customers
this year by offering demonstration rides in selected cities across
The 2004 Barnstorming Tour begins in Houston, Texas on Thursday,
May 13th and is followed by a visit to the Dallas area on Sunday,
May 16th. Velocity will be attending the EAA Southwest Regional
Fly-In in New Braunfels, Texas during the 14th and 15th of
Velocity enthusiasts who live near the scheduled cities are invited
to bring friends and family to see the Velocity XL-RG and to take
part in a demonstration ride. The demo ride costs $150, which
covers you and up to two additional guests (depending upon weight
A serviceman missing in action from the Vietnam War has been
identified and returned to his family for burial. He is Army Capt.
Clinton A. Musil Sr. of Minneapolis, Minn.
On May 31, 1971, Musil was aboard an OV-1A Mohawk helicopter flying
a daylight reconnaissance mission over Savannakhet Province in
Laos. Though enemy antiaircraft artillery was known to be in the
area, none of the crewmembers in other aircraft noted any attack on
Several people did see a large fireball when the helicopter
crashed. Attempts to contact him by radio were unsuccessful, and
search and rescue efforts were precluded by enemy forces in the
During two investigations in 1993 and 1995, U.S. and Lao
specialists learned of a potential crash site from local residents.
Raytheon Aircraft Parts Inventory & Distribution (RAPID) has
teamed with Aviall Inc. to further increase the quantity and range
of spare parts available for Beechcraft and Hawker customers.
Aviall, which markets and distributes products for more than 215
aviation manufacturers, will provide a full line of non-factory
parts such as aviation batteries, hoses, wheels and brakes, oxygen
and paint mixing services. These parts listings, totaling more than
60,000, have been integrated into the RAPID web site for immediate
customer access. The expanded listings were activated in late
“Our partnership with Aviall gives Beechcraft and Hawker
customers a greater variety of parts selection in a seamless
transition,” said Ed Dolanski, Vice President –
Raisbeck Engineering has completed the aerodynamic flight tests
required under FAA TIA (Type Inspection Authorization), necessary
to achieve it’s upcoming ZR Technology STC. RVSM
qualification testing was also completed.
The FAA flight tests were conducted during the last Quarter of 2003
and completed December 4th. The flights were conducted on S/N
35-634, the same Learjet 35 which was flown over 300 hours in
development flight-testing, to define the various elements of the
ZR Technology package. The airplane was configured with ZR
production and pre-production assemblies to define the aerodynamic
configuration necessary for FAA Certification testing.
The test aircraft has been returned to baseline configuration
pending completion of the first production ZR Technology
Global Positioning System satellite IIR-10, which launched from
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Dec. 21, is now fully
"It is officially 'turned on' for the warfighter as of Jan. 12,"
said Capt. Thomas R. Ste. Marie, an Air Force launch controller
with the 1st Space Launch Squadron. "IIR-10 will appear on GPS user
sets as the number 22 and is visible locally from 10:41 p.m. to
4:56 a.m. today. Each day, the time window slips four minutes
This particular satellite has replaced another that began running
low on power.
It is expected to provide military, commercial and civilian users
worldwide with increased positioning and timing accuracy for the
next 10 years.
"The fact is that within weeks of the
9-11 terrorist attacks NATA formed an Aviation Business Task Force
composed of industry and government representatives and created a
comprehensive list of best security practices for the
industry. Those best practices were widely distributed
throughout the industry and have been implemented at many
fixed-base operations at general aviation airports throughout the
country. CBS has done itself and all of general aviation a huge
disservice by airing this report and not bothering to check the
Source: NATA President James K.
Coyne, describing Wednesday night's CBS Evening News
segment on the (so-called) lack of security at general aviation
airports in the United Stat
Eurocopter AS 355 (Twin Ecureuil) Series
AD/AS 355/75 MGB Free-Wheel 3/2004 DM
Applicability: AS 355 E, F, F1, F2 and N
model helicopters fitted with a main gearbox (MGB)
1. A bevel reduction gear supplied or installed by Eurocopter
2. A combiner gearbox supplied or installed by Eurocopter
3. Has less than 10 hours flying time in service since installation
of an applicable bevel reduction gear or combiner gearbox.
Requirement: 1. Replace the combiner gearbox;
2. Clean the combiner gearbox in accordance with a DGAC approved
Eurocopter Technical Support Directorate published procedure.
AD NUMBER: 2004-01-13
SUBJECT: Airworthiness Directive 2004-01-13
SUMMARY: The FAA supersedes Airworthiness
Directive (AD) 97-22-16, which applies to certain Raytheon Model
1900, 1900C, and 1900D airplanes. AD 97-22-16 currently requires
you to replace the bearings on the vent blower assemblies with
improved design bearings and install a thermal protection device
for the vent blowers. That AD resulted from reports of vent blower
assembly bearings seizing and locking the blower motor on several
of the affected airplanes. This AD retains the actions required in
AD 97-22-16 for certain vent blower assemblies and requires you to
incorporate further product improvement modifications o
AD NUMBER: 2003-26-11
MANUFACTURER: General Electric
SUBJECT: Airworthiness Directive 2003-26-11
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness
directive (AD) for General Electric Company (GE) CF6-80E1A2 and
-80E1A4 turbofan engines with left vertical link bolts part number
(P/N) 1304M26P02 installed, and pylon attachment bolts originally
torqued to 450-500 lb ft. This AD requires reducing the torque of
pylon attachment bolts, and replacing left vertical link bolts with
life-limited serialized bolts.