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March 24, 2004

Certified: Citation XLS

Cessna's New Jet Reaches Milestone

On Tuesday, Cessna made an announcement, which not only proves beneficial to its shareholders, but the business aviation industry as a whole. Cessna announced its Citation XLS has received FAA program approval less than six months since its introduction at the 2003 NBAA convention. The manufacturer claims the jet's final performance numbers are better than or identical to those announced.

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Opportunity Reveals New Water Evidence On Mars

More Clues Emerge On Mars' Watery Past

Earth might not be the only planet in our solar system to have hosted salty seas. NASA's Opportunity has uncovered evidence that the rocks near its landing site on Mars not only were once wet, but likely formed at the bottom of a body of gently flowing saltwater. At a press conference at NASA Headquarters announcing the findings, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe said the discovery would have "profound implications for future exploration."

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Adam Aircraft Has A New Chief

Adam Appoints Joe Walker As President

On Tuesday, Adam Aircraft announced the appointment of Joe Walker as President of the Company. Prior to his appointment last year to Adam Aircraft's Board of Directors, Walker had a distinguished career with other leading aircraft manufacturers. Most recently he was Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Gulfstream Aerospace and Vice President of General Dynamics. He held senior roles at Gulfstream from 1995 to 2002 as the firm grew through an Initial Public Offering, and later an acquisition by General Dynamics. Walker is a multi-engine, instrument rated pilot and has owned several cabin-class piston twins. He holds a BS in aeronautical engineering and an MBA.

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Stolen Airplane Found in Hancock, MS

New Jersey Man Charged In Theft

The Sea Coast Echo reports a New Jersey resident has been charged with two counts of stolen property in connection with an airplane recovered at the Stennis International Airport in Hancock County (MS). Kyle P. Louitsky, 36, New Castle, Delaware, was arrested on March 17, at the Stennis Airport and charged with two counts of possession of stolen property.

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Texas Aviation Historical Society To Honor Pilots

Oliver "Ollie" Crawford To Speak At Banquet

The Texas Aviation Historical Society will honor all those who have "slipped the surly bonds of earth" at its Silver Wings Banquet on Saturday. The banquet will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at Tradewind Business Park Hangar One in Amarillo (TX). Featured speaker for the event "Silver Wings - the Best Among Us" will be Amarillo native Oliver "Ollie" Crawford. Crawford joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and received his wings and his commission as a fighter pilot in April 1945. He was assigned to fly the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk. Crawford was honored by the U.S. Air Force in 1992 with the "Exceptional Service Award" for his contributions to the defense effort.

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The Air Force's Newest Arrival

First C-130J Arrives For Active Duty

The US Air Force has welcomed its newest combat-ready aircraft. The first C-130J Hercules assigned to an active-duty unit arrived at the Little Rock Air Force Base on March 19. Little Rock AFB is scheduled to have seven C-130Js by December 2005. The J model represents a quantum leap forward in transport airlift technology, bringing 40 percent greater performance over the current C-130, Colonel Reheiser said. It can fly farther, faster, higher and longer while carrying more equipment or people. Onboard computer advances have allowed the removal of the flight engineer and the navigator, making the J model less expensive to operate in terms of man-hours. It can also carry heavier loads, more people and take off or land on shorter runways than

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Boeing Union Rejects Offer

Company, Union Go Back To The Drawing Board

Yesterday, ANN reported that Monday's vote by union members at Boeing's Wichita facility may reject the company's latest offer. It seems we were right on target. Members of Boeing's second-largest union voted 3-to-1 Monday to reject the company's latest offer of a new three-year labor agreement. The vote means Boeing and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) are headed back to the negotiating table and a possible stalemate.

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British Government Seeks Added Passenger Protection

Airline Insolvency Issues Addressed

There's nothing worse than flying away from home only to later find out the airline you've booked with has suddenly gone out of business. Unfortunately, this situation has confronted many travellers, which explains why the British government is working on measures to prevent this kind of situation from arising again. The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (AAA) is proposing to introduce greater protection for passengers booking direct with airlines. It wants individual passengers to enjoy the same protection given on bookings through tour operators. This measure is designed to cover the possibility of an airline going bust with passengers stranded overseas.

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Shuttle Program Gets Another Black Eye

Speed Brake Gears Were Installed Backward   

As if NASA needed any more controversy with its shuttle fleet program, the agency just released findings that would make any astronaut cringe. NASA said it will replace braking mechanisms on all its space shuttles after discovering some of the gears were installed backward. Shuttle program manager Bill Parsons said Monday he has launched an investigation into why the rudder speed brake gears — all old original parts in the shuttle tails — were never inspected in more than two decades of flight. If one of the improperly installed gears had been in a high-stress position, it probably would have led to the destruction of the spacecraft at touchdown, he said.

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Aerospace Giants Have Different Goals For 2004

Airbus Sees Orders; Boeing Clears Debt 

The current year is proving to be an important one for the two leading aerospace companies, but the priorities seem to be totally different. Airbus plans a strong sales push and expects to book orders for about 250 planes in 2004 and to deliver about 300, the company said on Tuesday. On the other end of the financial spectrum, Boeing seems to be focused on eliminating some of its debit and solving other cash-flow issues. On Tuesday, the company filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to periodically sell up to $1 billion in debt securities and common stock.

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Embraer 170 To Fly For Republic Airways Holdings

Airline Is Second U.S. Carrier to Operate Embraer's Newest Airliner

On Tuesday, Embraer announced an order from Republic Airways Holdings for up to 50 EMBRAER 170 airliners. Under the agreement, 13 firm aircraft will begin delivery in the third quarter of 2004. Republic Airways Holdings also holds options on another 37 aircraft of the same model, with 12 to be confirmed by July 1. Delivery of the 13 firm aircraft will begin in the third quarter and continue through the first quarter 2005. The total value of the firm order at list price is US$ 325 million, with a potential value of US$ 1.25 billion if all options are converted.

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Man Dies After Jumping From Plane

Authorities Suspect Suicide

In a strange turn of events for a group of people flying over the Kansas countryside, a pleasure flight turned into a grizzly suicide on Monday afternoon. The Topeka Capitol-Journal reports a man was killed in an apparent suicide Monday when he jumped from an airplane flying at about 2,500 feet in southeast Geary County (KS). Geary County sheriff's officials weren't releasing the name or age of the man, whom Sheriff Jim Jensen said was one of three people on a plane that took off from Manhattan Regional Airport.

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Georgia Woman Soars To New Heights

Flying To 'The Edge Of Space & Back' Aboard A MiG-25

"Flying to the edge of space was an amazing experience I will never forget," Travelers Advantage "Edge of Space" Sweepstakes winner Kara Sutton said. "Both the trip to Russia and flight aboard a MiG-25 fighter jet were just unbelievable. A Georgia Tech graduate who works in a hospital Emergency Room here, Sutton entered the sweepstakes as a hobby and won the Travelers Advantage "Edge of Space" Sweepstakes. The free Space Adventures trip, which was valued at $18,995, included travel to Moscow, hotel accommodations and the flight from the Zhukovsky Air Force Base outside Moscow.

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China to Launch Moon Rover in 2012

Manned Missions Also Planned  

Move over NASA, you've got competition in the Lunar exploration program. China announced that it plans to launch its first moon rover in 2012 as part of its new ambitious space exploration program. While void of any Neil Armstrong wannabes, the spacecraft's main purpose will be to provide information on finding a suitable location to set up a moonbase, the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper said Sunday, citing Ouyang Ziyuan, lead scientist of the country's lunar probe program.

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Fighter Technology Moves Into Biz Av

Company Uses F-35 Lighting On Hawker Horizon 

Astronics Corporation announced Tuesday that its subsidiary, Luminescent Systems, Inc. (LSI), was awarded the contract to develop the landing and taxi lighting system for the Hawker Horizon. Scheduled for first delivery in late 2004, the Hawker Horizon will be Raytheon's largest business aircraft, with high cruise speed and intercontinental range. Astronics will use its metal halide high-intensity discharge (HID) technology in the landing and taxi light system for the Hawker Horizon.

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Pan Am Int'l Flight Academy Secures Korean Deal

Exclusive Training Contract With Korean Airlines

Pan Am International Flight Academy' Career Pilot division (PAIFA) has been awarded an exclusive contract to provide comprehensive, airline-oriented training to Korean Airlines (KAL). Training will be conducted at PAIFA's Livermore (CA) training center, and will utilize the Academy's fleet of Piper Seminole, Arrow and Archer aircraft. An estimated 60 KAL students will train with PAIFA this year. Since 2001, the Academy has (also) been the exclusive primary flight training provider to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

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Never Too Young To Sue

Eight-year-Old Sues Airline For Overcharging  

Proving that one can never be to young to sue, an 8-year-old Chinese boy is putting one of his country's airlines through the legal ringer. Lu Zhenyuan bought a ticket from China Eastern Airlines for travel to the southwestern city of Kunming during January's Lunar New Year festival. Qianlong state media reports he was forced to pay full price, as the carrier claimed he did not look young enough to merit an airfare discount. The legally savvy youngster has now decided to sue China Eastern as well as a Ningbo travel agency, asking for compensation and a public apology in a local newspaper, the report said.

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Luke AFB Expands Forward Air Control Program

Pilots Prepare for Action Overseas 

Unconventional warfare can be defined as the absence of a clearly defined enemy and lacking classic lines of battle. Combining this definition with the rugged terrain of Afghanistan and Iraq, it is easy to see why commanders throughout the combat air forces are clamoring for forward air control (airborne)-capable pilots. These pilots are known as FAC-As. The airborne controller supports a ground commander by solving tactical problems using airpower. The 310th Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB runs the only schoolhouse for F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots training to become FAC-As. Each class lasts five weeks and includes a 12-ride program that tests technical knowledge and piloting skills. The school graduates 13 classes of pilots annua

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ANG Commander Makes History

Air National Guard Col. Linda McTague does not see herself as a pioneer for women's achievements, but she realizes that other people consider her to be a role model for what women can accomplish in this country's military service. And she said she strives very hard to live up to those expectations, as well as to her own. Colonel McTague is in a good position to take that kind of stock in herself. She is the first woman to command an ANG wing, and is believed to be the first woman to command an Air Force fighter squadron, according to Air Force history office records. Specifically, the woman from Battle Creek, Mich., assumed command of the District of Columbia ANG's highly decorated 113th Wing on Dec. 1.

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Keystone Helicopter Signs Maintenance Agreement with America Rising

Supporting The Only Helicopter-based Scheduled Airline

Keystone Helicopter Corporation has signed an agreement with America Rising to provide overhaul and repair services for the helicopter airline's fleet. America Rising is the only helicopter operator in the U.S. authorized by the Department of Transportation to operate as a scheduled airline.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (03.24.04)

"Ten years ago, the culture was such that if you weren't a fighter pilot, you were not going to be the wing commander... Now, we've had women in traditional male fields for awhile, and our senior (leaders have) pushed the idea that we need to be a diverse organization, to tap the resources that we have available to us, and to not exclude anybody because of race or gender." Source: The personal reflections of Air National Guard Col. Linda McTague, who has assumed command of the District of Columbia ANG's highly decorated 113th Wing. She is the first woman to command an ANG wing, and is believed to be the first woman to command an Air Force fighter squadron, according to Air Force history

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