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April 03, 2004

Biggest 'Buzz' At AEA '04? Chelton's New Autopilot!

Not all of this year's "surprises," at the highly successful 2004 rendition of the Aircraft Electronics Association's Tradeshow/Convention were expected to be quite this cool... even by the nosy folks at ANN. Chelton introduced a somewhat novel new autopilot system that leaves little to want for, once the initial install is over. Jam-packed with features and capabilities, the Chelton AP-3C diverges from the norm in that pitch attitude control is derived from pitch trim motivation. Unlike many light GA autopilots, the AP-3C does NOT use a pitch servo to drive the elevator.

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PASS: 'FAA Mismanagement To Blame For Air Traffic Delays At JAX'

The Professional Airways Systems Specialists tells ANN that they have called on FAA management to end the staffing shortages that contributed to an equipment outage at Jacksonville International Airport on Thursday. The outage lasted approximately 45 minutes and caused more than 200 delays during the busy morning rush. According to PASS President Tom Brantley, the FAA has been trying for over a year to fill multiple systems specialist positions at Jacksonville's Hilliard Air Traffic Control Center. The FAA's delay in filling the positions finally resulted in a disruption to air traffic Thursday, when a systems specialist called in sick that morning. Unfortunately, FAA management did not call in another systems specialist to fill the shift, exacerbating an already dangerous underst

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We Thought So, Too: HAI '04 Rocked!

HELI-EXPO 2004 Surpassed Expectations

It was pretty obvious, to those of us at ANN, by the afternoon of the first day of Heli-Expo 2004, that something very good was happening, where the civil helicopter industry gathered in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 15 through 17. By the second day, we suspected record attendnace and activity. Now we find that our suspicions have been confirmed. The 2004 HELI-EXPO convention and exposition was a success, surpassing expectations. The exhibit hall was filled with attendees exploring the vast array of helicopters, avionics, engines, aviation products, and services.

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Sonex Floats!

Floating A New Idea!

Sonex has unveiled its new retractable gear system and since we're a few days past our April Fool's issue, I can assure you (this time, anyway...) that we're not fooling! Sonex has been spending their "Spare Time" fitting a set of Czeck Aero Works Amphibious floats to the original Prototype Sonex (N12SX) with the 3300 Jabiru. Flight testing is set to commence later this Spring, sometime after they return from Lakeland. They're expecting "exceptional performance" from this combination. For those "fishing" for more news, this option will add approximately $10,000 to the overall cost of a Sonex.

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ANN's Annual April 1st Edition Also Set Records... Ya Gotta Problem With That?

Wow... when we published over 30 stories on April 1st, we figured it was something of a record for us... until you folks started responding... and several thousand emails later, it was obvious that you had a lot of fun and set yet another record for response to a single day's stories... though, in a few cases, only after you fell for some of the gags, hook line and sinker. It was a record response to a record day... and it sure looked like a good time was had by all.

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Signature Flight Support Breaks Ground on Toulon Facility

Signature Flight Support officially broke ground on its new Toulon, France, facility during a March 25 on site ceremony. The Orlando, Florida-based company took over flight support operations at the Toulon-Hyeres Airport (TLN/LFTH) in January and is currently operating from space in the main terminal with exclusive use of the airport's VIP lounge. Construction on the new purpose-built 2,410-square-foot facility is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2004.

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ANN Free Classifieds Featured Ad: PA28-161 Warrior

For Sale: Piper PA-28-161 Warrior Series

1975 PA28-151 Warrior. IFR, 4050TT, 1920 SMOH, 970 sTOP with Fact.NEW Cycl. S-TEC AP, 4PL InterC. paint & interior 8 - great low-cost IFR trainer,excellent maint & records. Photos avail. upon request $48K - Roby Denman 561-654-6000 Used, will sell for $48,000.00 (or best offer)

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EPA'S SPCC Enforcement Plan Concerns NATA

At a March 31st meeting with over 250 stakeholders, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outlined the terms of the settlements with the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) and detailed the agency's plan for implementing Spill Protection, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rules by the August 17, 2004 compliance date. API and PMAA had sued the EPA to block implementation of new SPCC regulations.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (04.03.04)

"The staffing level PASS agreed to with the FAA is the absolute minimum number necessary to maintain a safe and efficient air traffic control system... The agency has no immediate plans to hire the additional systems specialists needed, which we find completely irresponsible." Source: PASS President Tom Brantley, discussing the unfilled systems specialist positions at Jacksonville's Hilliard Air Traffic Control Center. The FAA's delay in filling the positions finally resulted in a disruption to air traffic Thursday, when a systems specialist called in sick that morning. 

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