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March 25, 2004

Garmin's GPSMAP 296 Portable Offers Terrain Awareness Capability

There hasn't been a lot of activity in the portable GPS game, of late... but that is about to change. Garmin has just introduced the GPSMAP 296, a portable aviation device that delivers topographic mapping and terrain advisory alerting in brilliant color. Thanks to its 256-color, high-resolution (480x320-pixels) TFT transflective display, the GPSMAP 296 makes it easy for pilots to view and interpret navigation data in most lighting conditions.

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OurPlane Buys News SR22-G2s, May Add Light Jets

Diamond Aircraft Is In The Running

Just as OurPlane recently closed on a $4-million US deal to buy 10 more Cirrus SR22-G2 high-performance general aviation airplanes, its owner is already looking toward adding light jets to his growing fleet of aircraft. OurPlane Chief executive Graham Casson has hinted Diamond Aircraft is in the running for that high-value order.

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Sport Pilot Rule Set Back... Again

There is a lot of rumor-mongering circulating, at the moment, concerning the welfare and status of the FAA's much-ballyhooed Sport Pilot Rule. A high-level source, in regular contact with the FAA and Sport Pilot-associated officials, has confirmed the worst... that there are more delays in the works for the oft-delayed, over-promised Sport Pilot rule. It now appears that the FAA has taken back the Sport Pilot rule (albeit temporarily) from the officials who are working it over at OMB. The reason for this is simple... to work on the questions OMB was raising with certain aspects of the program.

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ARNAV Sold To French Avionics Company

Details Are sketchy, but a number of media reports have confirmed that French telecommunications and defence equipment firm Sagem Avionics, Inc., has acquired ARNAV Systems.   A Reuters report quotes Sagem Finance Director Herve Philippe saying that the transaction required "in the order of several million dollars" and was a cash (versus stock) deal as a result of the Chapter 11 status of ARNAV.

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Florida's Southwest Wants Safire

Collier County Officials Approve Incentives

Southwest Florida wants Safire Aircraft to move into its neighborhood. Collier County commissioners on Tuesday approved more than $1 million in local incentives they hope will give them a leg up in a competition to win over Miami-based jet maker Safire Aircraft Co. They are part of a larger inducement package for Safire that could cost the state and county more than $10.4 million.

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CAF Steps Up Safety Programs

Retains Safety Expert To Review Flight Operations The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has implemented a top-to-bottom safety program. "It is essential that we change our corporate culture," said Doug Rozendaal, member of the CAF's board of directors, "to send a loud and clear message to the entire CAF that we must change the way we do business if we wish to continue flying our warbirds." To assist in bringing about this change in corporate culture, the CAF has retained the services of aviation consultant Dick Hanusa who will review and evaluate the CAF's regulations, safety program, staffing and its accident/incident history.

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DOT Secretary Announces New Plans To Reduce Flight Delays

Mineta Targets Most Heavily Congested Routes

During a visit to the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center on Wednesday, U. S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta announced a series of new steps aimed at reducing potential gridlock and delays during this year’s upcoming peak travel period, including the creation of new air traffic “express lanes,” within many of our nation’s most heavily congested routes. The majority of aviation delays are caused by bad weather, the Secretary said, and managing these delays is particularly challenging during the spring and summer months. He said the Department’s plan for managing delays includes a new, innovative approach to air traffic operations that creates “express lanes” wi

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Helicopter Feared Lost In Gulf Of Mexico

Aircraft Was Enroute To Oil Platform

Unocal Corporation announced Wednesday that contact was lost with an Era Aviation helicopter that was in route to a drilling location in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday evening at about 7:15 p.m. CST. The helicopter, with eight passengers and two crew members aboard, was last contacted about 70 miles south of Galveston while transporting workers to a drill ship. The sea vessel was in transit to a drill site i200 miles south of Galveston. The helicopter operator, Era Aviation of Lake Charles (LA), is under contract to Unocal.

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Making History Over The Mile High City

Balloonist Claims Altitude Record   

A daring balloonist sailed into a world record attempt on Tuesday, but only to find himself in hot water with the FAA. David Hempleman-Adams took off from Greeley (CO) and landed about 3 1/2 hours later in a farmer's field near Akron, 100 miles east of Denver on the Colorado plains. The British balloonist claims he

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X-43A Ready For Hypersonic Flight

Unmanned Vehicle To Gather Valuable Data

NASA has set Saturday, March 27, for the flight of its experimental X-43A hypersonic research aircraft. The unmanned 12-foot-long vehicle, part aircraft and part spacecraft, will be dropped from the wing of a modified B-52 aircraft, boosted to nearly 100,000 feet altitude by a booster rocket and released over the Pacific Ocean to briefly fly under its own power at seven times the speed of sound, almost 5,000 mph. The flight is part of the Hyper-X program, a research effort designed to demonstrate alternate propulsion technologies for access to space and high-speed flight within the atmosphere. It will provide unique "first time" free flight data on hypersonic air-breathing engine technologies that have large potential pay-offs.

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Richard Branson Expands His Empire

Virgin To Expand Fleet And Routes

Sir Richard Branson's reach into the aviation industry is ever so deep, as evidenced by Virgin Atlantic Airways latest expansion plans. The airline announced that plans to order two more A340-600 aircraft, recruit 1,400 staff, add new routes to Cuba and the Bahamas, while expanding capacity on existing routes. The expansion plans for the next year come as Branson, Virgin's Chairman, claims there are encouraging signs commercial aviation is returning to health.

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Ultralight/Whooping Crane Migration Plan Succeeds

The first whooping crane to return to Wisconsin from Florida this year has been confirmed. The crane, known as “6-01”, was confirmed amid 20 sandhill cranes Sunday in Marquette County, Wisconsin by the International Crane Foundation’s Field Ecology Project Coordinator, Anne Lacy. This crane is one of five pioneering endangered birds from the first year of an ongoing reintroduction effort that uses ultralight aircraft to guide young cranes on their first southward migration.

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ACI-NA Prez To Speak At FAA Aviation Forecast Conference

David Z. Plavin Will Discuss Congestion, Capacity

The 29th Annual FAA Aviation Forecast Conference, co-sponsored by Airports Council International-North America (ACI- NA), will be held today and tomorrow -- March 25-26, 2004 -- at the Washington, DC Convention Center. Throughout the conference, speakers and panels comprised of government and industry officials will address the future of the U.S. aviation system under the theme "The 2nd Century of Flight: The Outlook for Commercial and Civil Aviation."

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Feeding The Osprey

V-22 Starts Air-to-Air Refueling Tests

On the afternoon of March 22, the V-22 Integrated Test Team flew the first air-to-air refueling flights since the program’s return to flight in May of 2002. Over the course of two one-hour sorties using Osprey No. 22, test pilots Lt. Col. Kevin Gross, USMC and Steve Grohsmeyer each logged five “dry plugs” behind a VX-20 KC-130F operating near NAS Patuxent River. The pilots were assisted by crew chiefs Staff Sgt. Brett Heuvelman, USMC and Staff Sgt. Craig Mynard, USMC. The primary reason for the flights was to re-establish Gross and Grohsmeyer’s day aerial refueling qualifications. Eventually the ITT will have six pilots qualified to tank day and night, and at night while wearing night vision goggles – all par

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XCOR CEO Testifies Before Presidential Commission

Testimony Highlighted Role Of Entrepreneurs In Space

Jeff Greason, President and CEO of XCOR Aerospace testified at a public hearing before the President's Commission on Implementation of U.S. Space Exploration Policy (Moon, Mars and Beyond) in Atlanta at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The Commission, also known as the Aldridge Commission, is comprised of business, aerospace and planetary science leaders. The Commission is charged with building consensus, providing recommendations to the President regarding moon research activities, increasing young people's interest in space science, and bringing together industry and other countries as space partners.

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Pentagon Delays Marine One Selection

Team US101 Comments On Decision

The US Navy has decided to delay its decision on selecting the supplier for the new Marine One Presidential transport helicopter. On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced it has indefinitely postponed its decision on whether Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft or challenger Lockheed Martin will clinch the high-profile manufacturing deal. The Navy, which oversees the program, was scheduled to announce its decision May 1, just four months after receiving bids for the contract, which Sikorsky has held exclusively since 1957. The competition between Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin’s team, which includes European conglomerate AgustaWestland, has become politically charged amid election year debate over loss of American manufacturing to overseas markets. N

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Flying The Unfriendly Skies

A-10 Pilot Takes Aim On Terrorism

Talk to almost anyone in the 455th Expeditionary Operations Group, and a recurring theme is the desire to provide the best support possible for friendly forces on the ground. The way to do that is by making sure A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft here are always ready to fly at a moment's notice, so that an overwhelming air presence is constantly available in the sky over Afghanistan, whenever and wherever needed. Ultimately, the fighter pilots of the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron make air dominance in Operation Enduring Freedom a daily reality.

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MA TFR: 03/25-03/26

VIP Travel

NOTAM:  4/2389  Issued:  03/23/2004 20:06  Effective:  03/25/2004 20:05 - 03/26/2004 00:45  State:   MA Facility:  ZBW - BOSTON (ARTCC),MA.  Type:  VIP  Description:  BOSTON, MA. MARCH 25, 2004 LOCAL. 

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NH TFR: 03/25

VIP Travel

NOTAM:  4/2392  Issued:  03/23/2004 20:25  Effective:  03/25/2004 17:15 - 03/25/2004 20:35  State:  NH  Facility:  ZBW - BOSTON (ARTCC),MA.  Type:  VIP  Description:  NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, MARCH 25, 2004

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (03.25.04)

Aero-News: Quote of the Day

"As the economy improves and passengers return to our skies, the federal government is acting to reduce the kind of gridlock we saw before 9/11. These new tools for managing congestion in bad weather and during peak travel periods demonstrate a new era of cooperation between the federal government and all users of the system to improve customer service and maintain a strong aviation industry." Source: U. S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta commenting on the DOT's latest air traffic inititative. During a visit to the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center on Wednesday, Mineta announced a series of new steps aimed at reducing potential gridlock and dela

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AD: Dornier

AD: Dornier

AD NUMBER: 2004-06-01 MANUFACTURER: Fairchild Dornier SUBJECT: Main Landing Gear Assembly SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain Dornier Model 328-100 series airplanes, that requires replacement of the existing main landing gear (MLG) leg assembly with a modified assembly.

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AD: Pilatus

AD: Pilatus

AD NUMBER: 2004-06-05 MANUFACTURER: Pilatus SUBJECT: Attachment Bolts SUMMARY: The FAA adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. (Pilatus) Models PC-12 and PC-12/45 airplanes. This AD requires owners/operators to determine whether certain main landing gear shock absorber attachment bolts have been replaced and, if not replaced, would require you to replace shock absorber attachment bolts on main landing gear assemblies that have a serial number beginning with AM001 through AM053.

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