The Egyptian charter company whose 737-300 crashed into the Red
Sea Saturday had been banned from Switzerland because it was, in
the words of Swiss officials, "a danger to aviation security.""If a
company is forbidden (to use a country's airspace)... that means
the problems are serious," said Celestine Perissinotto, a
spokeswoman for the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation. She
said the ban was instituted after civil aviation officials found a
big difference between maintenance records and a physical
inspection of a Flash aircraft. It's not clear at this point if it
was the same 737 that went down off the Egyptian coast Saturday,
killing all 148 people on board.
It was a celebration reminiscent of the scene in Mission Control
when Apollo 11 landed. Controllers whooped and waved and hugged
each other like long-lost relatives. The Spirit has landed.
The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit is the first of two robotic
vehicles NASA sent to the Red Planet. The other, Opportunity, is
scheduled to land later this month.
Spirit's bouncy landing came after the European Space Agency lost
contact with its own lander, Beagle 2. In fact, Spirit's touchdown
in the Gusev Crater is the first successful Mars landing since
As scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena (CA) were
whooping it up on news that the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit had
successfully landed on the Red Planet, it was quite a different
scene half a world away. The European Space Agency's Beagle 2
rover, which was slated to land on Mars Christmas Day, has yet to
be heard from.
Sunday, British scientists say powerful radio telescopes trying to
pick up evidence of Beagle's survival have found nothing. They also
say the best way to contact Beagle -- its mothership, Mars Express
-- is in the wrong place and had to be moved. The Mars Express
orbiter was moved last week into a lower polar orbit. That was part
of the plan. But apparently, it's the wrong orbit -- or at least,
not the one ESA officials had hoped for.
"Smuggling a bomb on to a plane by this method is one of our
worst nightmares. If you do not have specific information about the
suspect, it would be impossible to carry out an intimate body
search of every female passenger."
That's the word from a senior official at Scotland Yard. The
British Daily Mirror quotes that official as saying the al Qaeda
wanted to put a female suicide bomber on British Airways Flight
The source told the Mirror that the woman planned to evade close
inspection by hiding eight to 12 ounces of plastic explosive in her
One US soldier is dead, another wounded, after the military says
their OH-58 Kiowa helicopter (file photo of type, below) was downed
by groundfire near the Iraqi town of Fallujah Friday.
It was the third time in as many months that an American military
helicopter had been shot down in that particular part of the
so-called "Sunni Triangle," where Saddam Hussein loyalists and
Iraqi resitance fighters seem concentrated. This time, US officials
aren't yet certain what type of weapon was used to bring down the
helicopter. But one witness, an Iraqi farmer, says he saw the Kiowa
hovering over a group of US soldiers sweeping an area for mines at
While 2003 wasn't the year everybody made money in aviation, it
was certainly the safest on record -- at least, as far as
commercial aviation is concerned. Twenty-five commercial aircraft
were involved in fatal accidents last year -- 26-percent lower than
the previous record, set in 2001.
"It's amazing," said Harro Ranter, president of the Dutch
organization Aviation Safety Network, in an interview with Knight
Ridder Newspapers. "It was most definitely the safest year for
airline passengers in the world."
Israel's latest UAV is on track for market entry soon. The new
helicopter, called the Steadicopter, offers new military and rescue
capabilities. However development of the Steadicopter was slowed
down due to the suspicious disappearance of the Steadicopter
prototype last month.
The Steadicopter, which weighs 30 pounds and is five feet long, had
just completed its final test flights according to CEO Tuvia Segal.
He said the helicopter was unique in that it was capable of
independent flying without remote control. "Many companies have
tried but none of their tests worked," he told Globes.
On January 8, 2003, about 0848 eastern standard time, Air
Midwest flight 5481, a Raytheon (Beechcraft) 1900D, N233YV, crashed
shortly after takeoff from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport,
Charlotte, North Carolina. The 2 flight crew members and 19
passengers on board were killed and 1 person on the ground
sustained minor injuries.
The impact and postcrash fire destroyed the airplane. At the
accident site, the first officer’s body was found still
restrained in his seat, but the captain’s body had been
ejected and was found 4 feet in front of the cockpit, and her
rotary seatbelt buckle was found unbuckled. During the
investigation of this accident, an Air Midwest Beech 1900 pilot
informed National Transportation Safety Board investigators that he
had previously exp
They called Fred Reese Mr. Aviation, a man who gave astronaut
Gordon Cooper his first airplane ride, a ferry pilot during World
War II and manager of the Shawnee Airport (OK).
He was an accomplished balloon aviator and beloved by friends and
family alike. His kids called him Poppy because they heard some of
the younger pilots at Shawnee call him "Pappy."
Even after he reached his late 70s, Reese was known to climb out of
bed and gas up thirsty airplanes in the middle of the night. "One
of the things Poppy would always do, even up to 78 years old, was,
if someone called in the middle of the night wanting fuel, he'd
always go sell it to them," said his daughter, Nancy Reese Barrett.
"He was afraid if he didn't, they would try to go to Seminole or
Ada and not make it. That was
An Israeli couple and their daughter were killed Friday flying
from Tel Aviv to Paris when their GA aircraft went down in a wooded
area of France.
The aircraft, a Piper PA-31 (file photo of type, right), was
reportedly descending toward a small airport west of Paris. French
civil aviation officials reported the pilot radioed that he was
picking up ice on his wings before apparently losing control of the
Reality television takes to the sky ways Monday night with the
premier of the A&E Network's Airline. Network honchos think
that travelers will readily identify with a series about flying
commercial -- from the crew's point of view.
"When you go to cocktail parties, there is always somebody talking
about the long delay on their last flight. Everyone in the room
wants to share their travel stories — the love-hate
relationship we have with air travel," said Nancy Dubuc, vice
president of documentary programming at A&E. "It's that common
AOPA last week sent a strongly worded letter to the FAA,
opposing a moored balloon experiment near Lancaster (PA), and
blasting the agency for giving a mere 10 days' notice. Moreover,
the comment period on the proposal ends one day after the entire
experiment is scheduled to end.
"We would hope that in the future, common sense would prevail at
the FAA," said AOPA Senior Vice President of Government and
Technical Affairs Andy Cebula. "While there are no written
guidelines for public comment periods on weather studies, it only
makes sense to solicit ways to mitigate impact before a proposal is
implemented — not during or after the effective period."
The search for a Cessna 182 carrying four people widened over
the weekend, after it was reported missing Thursday night.
Volunteers were out at dawn Saturday, searching for debris and --
hopefully -- survivors.
Police in Glasgow (MT) identified the pilot as Bill Newman, a car
dealer in his 40s; sons Lance, 14, and Ray, 24; and Ray's fiancee
Jessica Gordy, 21. Newman's last transmission, at about 6:30 local
time Thursday evening, indicated they were running into rough
weather on a flight from Mobridge (SD) to Cut Bank (MT). Newman
identified his position as somewhere near the Fort Peck
"During an inspection we discovered that the airline was a
danger to aviation security."
Source: Celestine Perissinotto, a spokeswoman for
the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation, who says her country
banned Flash Airlines from landing or even flying in Swiss
airspace. One of the company's two 737-300s crashed in the Red Sea
shortly after taking off from Egypt, killing 148 people. Most of
the passengers were young vacationers from France.
How big is it? 346,774 square feet. That’s 346 times the
size of my apartment. This is a big place. They can put their
building from the mall inside here, no sweat. They will eventually
have more than 200 aircraft on display. Now, they have 82. I
continued my stroll last Friday through the facility. My feet were
getting tired, but it was worth every step.
I thought I had seen all the “historic” aircraft. Not
quite. Unlike most museums, with aircraft parked on the floor, the
planes here are flying on wires suspended at a dozen different
levels. There are walks across the center and the length of the
hangar that put you at nose or cockpit height, and you’re 30
or 40 feet off the floor. Leo Loudenslager's Laser 200, complete
with Bud Light logos, is nose
A flying physician from Wisconsin Rapids (WI) was the 100th
person to join the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame (WAHF) during
its 2003 "100 for 100" Membership Drive, which ended December 17,
the centennial anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first
Tim Wogahn, a family practice physician originally from Iowa, is an
instrument rated private pilot who has been flying since 1999. He's
a 1/3 owner of a 1960 Beech Debonair, along with fellow physician
Doug Galuk and aviation educator Dan Fara. Wogahn became part owner
of the Debonair in September 2003 and has already logged over 150
hours in it. Married to wife Linda and a father of three, the
270-hour pilot has made several trips throughout the Midwest,
including, before its closure, Meigs Field on Chicago's lakefront.