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March 09, 2004

Little Wing Autogyro Sets Record

An interesting bit of history appears to have been set late last month with a long-distance flight in an unusual design somewhat reminiscent of the golden-age of hybrid rotorcraft. A retired Aussie diplomat by the name of Andy Keech (right) tanked up his Little Wing autogyro (powered by a 914 Rotax) after doing an annual inspection, and set off on what turned out to be a nearly 1000 km journey... and a probable record-setter.

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Harrison Ford Is EAA's New Young Eagles Chairman

Actor Takes The Program's Reins

Harrison Ford, best known as a renowned actor in more than three dozen films but also an extremely active pilot and member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), was introduced Monday as the new Chairman of the EAA Young Eagles Program, which has flown more than 1 million young people since 1992. During a welcoming program with EAA President Tom Poberezny, Ford accepted the chairmanship of the program, saying, "It's daunting to step into General Yeager's shoes, but aviation is about learning new skills and the satisfaction that comes with practicing them and doing better." 

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Arrest Warrant Issued For Cencal Owner

As if the aviation biz didn't have enough embarrassment to deal with... The owner of an aviation equipment supplier that has been waging something of a war with the IRS has become the subject of an arrest warrant. Cencal Aviation Products, of Shasta Lake, CA President Al Thompson failed to appear for a hearing in which he was allegedly supposed to explain why he has failed to pay $500,000 in back taxes from that business. When he failed to appear on Friday, Federal Judge Frank C. Damrell Jr. of the United States District Court issued the warrant for Thompson's arrest. 

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FAA Certified: XM WX Satellite Weather Service for Aircraft

Receiver Manufactured by Heads Up Technologies

XM Satellite Radio and Heads Up Technologies, a developer of digital systems for the aviation industry, announced Monday that the FAA has certified the XM Aviation Data Receiver. The device, which delivers XM WX Satellite Weather for aircraft, makes XM the only provider of FAA-approved solutions for both satellite radio and satellite weather for aircraft. The FAA granted its approval -- formally known as Supplemental Type Certificate and Parts Manufacturer Approval (STC-PMA) -- for the XMD075-01 aviation data receiver manufactured by Heads Up.

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Helping A Hero In Need

Crash Survivors Donate To Save Capt. Al Haynes's Daughter

Some of the survivors of United Airlines Flight 232 have found a way to repay a pilot who helped save their lives 15 years ago. They are pitching in for his daughter's bone-marrow transplant. Al Haynes' plea for his daughter, Laurie Arguello, helped her raise the $256,000 needed for the procedure. Haynes is known for a heroic crash landing in July 19, 1989, when the United Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10 he was piloting encountered sever system failures after an engine fan blade disintegrated. The crew used throttles on the two remaining engines to make an emergency landing in Sioux City. Of the 296 persons aboard, 184 survived.

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RAP Urges Congress to Reject Proposed FAA 139 Certification

Measure Will Cost Jobs, Flights in Rural Communities

Regional Aviation Partners (RAP) said that its members and supporters are overwhelmingly against implementation of the FAA's Part 139 Certification of Airports rule change, scheduled go into effect at the conclusion of a 120-day comment period that ends June 9, 2004. The rule change must be rejected because it focuses on a particular class of aircraft -- 10 to 30 seat turboprop aircraft -- which are used almost exclusively in small communities that will require airport certification, adding thousands of dollars in additional expense to consumers, air carriers and local governments. The non-profit RAP was founded in April 2001 to represent those who depend on small community air service for access to the global transportation

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New Jet Service Fuels Debate Over Airport Expansion

Jets Arrive 6 Years Early

Wide-body jet service has come to T.F. Green Airport, in Providence (RI), six years before planners expected. The debut of scheduled 767 service could fuel the growing debate over airport expansion. The Airport Corporation's board of directors is expected to vote this month or next on whether to ask the FAA for authority to extend the main runway. A longer runway could bring more wide-body jets and people to the airport. Business interests welcome both prospects, but opponents fear congestion and never-ending expansion. Delta used the wide-body plane for five days last month as a test and reported strong demand. The airline switched back to a 182-seat 757 last week, when demand dropped, but expects to bring in the bigger plane again. "The ne

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Something To Brighten Your Day

Grin And Bear It... ANN's top photo-geek, Tyson Rininger, was apparently having an interesting day and sent this along to us... for your amusement. The ad series Tyson parodied is a popular one that has seen a number of imitators in various subjects. For the aero-minded among us, this has to be one of our favorites. We thought you might enjoy it...

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Aero-Views: Thornburgh On The FAA's Ill-Advised 'Air-Tour' NPRM

ANN E-I-C Note: Jon Thornburgh is an aviation expert with a unqiue perspective on a number of facets of aviation. Missing too long from ANN, we're pleased to share with you some of his recent comments on the FAA's poorly-received 'Air-Tour' NPRM. "Today there are 200,000 less pilots in the United States than there were 30 years ago! The reasons are varied, including more expensive aircraft, more expensive insurance, fewer airports, a poor economy, terrorism restrictions, and more complicated airspace.  But the single most important factor discouraging people from becoming pilots is the FAA. The recently proposed "Air Tour" NPRM is a perfect example of the multitude of regulations piled on top of regulations which has discouraged all but the

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Air Canada's Main Shareholder Alters Proposed Pension Changes

Company Seeks Compromise with Unions

Air Canada's new controlling shareholder offered its non-union workers a compromise on planned changes to the insolvent airline's pension plan and called for talks with the carrier's unions, which have already rejected such proposals. Trinity Time Investments announced it has revised its pension reform proposal to offer Air Canada non-unionized employees the choice of choosing between a defined contribution or defined benefit pension program. Trinity Time, controlled by Hong Kong businessman Victor Li, has proposed changes to Air Canada's pension system to cut millions of dollars in future pension costs and make it easier for the airline to restructure under bankruptcy protection. However, Air Canada's unions have rejected the idea, saying

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Zimbabwe Seizes American Plane

Claims Mercenaries Onboard

Zimbabwe has seized a U.S. - registered cargo plane with 64 suspected mercenaries of various nationalities and a cargo of "military material," Home Affairs (Interior) Minister Kembo Mohadi said on Monday. "A United States of America-registered Boeing 727-100 cargo plane was detained last night at about 1930 hours (12:30 ET) at Harare International Airport after its owners had made a false declaration of its cargo and crew," Mohadi said in a statement. "The plane was actually carrying 64 suspected mercenaries of various nationalities," he said, adding that an investigation had also revealed "military material" in the cargo. Mohadi said fuller investigations were under way to establish the identity of the men and the nature of their mission.

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ANN's Political Polling...Sort Of

Which Presidential Candidate Is Good For GA?

As the field of presidential hopefuls gets smaller, the frenzy and political buzz really starts to kick in. So, we thought this would a good time to pose our new survey question on the ANN homepage. The new question asks: "Which Presidential Candidate Stands To Help Aviation The Most?" George Bush John Kerry Ralph Nader None of them really has any bearing on aviation's fortunes So far, Kerry has clinched support from two major aviation groups: PATCO and NATCA.

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Teledyne Awarded F/A-22 Contracts

BAE Systems Seeks Relays, Switches For Raptor

Teledyne Technologies Incorporated announced that it has been awarded two contracts totaling $2.5 million by BAE Systems to supply solid state relays and solid state input and output switches for the Vehicle Management System and the Stores Management System used on the U.S. Air Force F/A-22 Raptor. The F/A-22 is touted an air dominance fighter and the world's first truly stealth, multi-mission combat aircraft. The relays and switches function as the interface between the F/A- 22's central computer and the vehicle's control surface actuators in the Vehicle Management System and the control of weapons release mechanisms in the Stores Management System. The F/A-22 program is sponsored by the Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patter

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GE Awards Goodrich Nacelle Systems Contract For New C-X

Japanese Military Cargo Aircraft To Fly July '07

General Electric Aircraft Engines (GEAE) has selected Goodrich Corporation to supply nacelle systems to support development of a new Japanese military cargo aircraft, the C-X. The contract is expected to generate in excess of $100 million over the life of the program, including sales of spare components. The Japan Defense Agency (JDA), the primary contractor for the C-X aircraft, has selected the GEAE CF6-80C2 engine to power the twin-engine aircraft. First flight of the C-X is scheduled for July 2007, with entry into service planned in 2011.

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IN TFR: 03/11

Another Round Of Demoltion

NOTAM:  4/1856  Issued:  03/08/2004 19:31  Effective:  03/11/2004 12:00 - 03/11/2004 22:00  State:  IN  Facility:  ZID - INDIANAPOLIS (ARTCC),IN.  Type:  HAZARDS  Description:  CHARLESTON, IN

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FL TFR: Effective Immediately

Firefighting Operations

NOTAM:  4/1832  Issued:  03/08/2004 17:20  Effective:  Immediately - Until Further Notice  State:  FL  Facility:  ZJX - JACKSONVILLE (ARTCC),FL.  Type:  HAZARDS  Description:  LAKE CITY, FL. 

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IN TFR: 03/10

Demolition Activity

NOTAM:  4/1859  Issued:  03/08/2004 19:32  Effective:  03/10/2004 12:00 - 03/10/2004 22:00  State:  IN  Facility:  ZID - INDIANAPOLIS (ARTCC),IN.  Type:  HAZARDS  Description:  CHARLESTON, IN. 

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UAV Fly The Unfriendly Skies

Predators Move To Balad

The unit came packed and ready to position themselves autonomously, so they could pursue their prey quietly, unseen for hours. Arriving ready to set up one of the most impressive unmanned aerial aircraft in the U.S. inventory, the Nevada unit was ready for business within days of their arrival in Iraq. The Predator is a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle system, containing four air vehicles, a ground-control station and a primary satellite link communication suite. The sleek 27-foot-long UAV is comparable in wingspan to an F-16 Fighting Falcon at 48 feet. Its electrical optical infrared cameras are the heart of a multi-targeting system. The cameras allow the aircraft to capture images even through clouds. These abilities give the Pr

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Comanche Cancellation Continues To Hurt Suppliers

Cut Crimps DynaBil's Plans

Aerospace manufacturer DynaBil Industries Inc. stands to see a hard-won piece of business evaporate with the U.S. Army's cancellation of the Comanche helicopter program. The Army requested Feb. 23 that plans to develop and produce the sleek, fast, stealth helicopters be canceled. While certainly not the only company to be affected by the loss of business, this small supplier will feel the crunch much harder than larger entities, such as Boeing or Sikorsky. "We'll get paid for what we've done," said Hugh Quigley, president of the company. "I'm more upset because of the long-range business we're going to lose because of this."

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (03.09.04)

Aero-News: Quote of the Day

"If a final and permanent solution is not achievable, more than 30 Class III airports may be forced to shut down scheduled commercial operations." Source: Regional Aviation Partners (RAP) Executive Director Maurice Parker commenting on FAA's Part 139 Certification of Airports rule change, which scheduled go into effect at the conclusion of a 120-day comment period that ends June 9, 2004. RAP says the rule change must be rejected because it focuses on a particular class of aircraft -- 10 to 30 seat turboprop aircraft -- which are used almost exclusively in small communities that will require airport certification, adding thousands of dollars in additional expense to consumers, air ca

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