An infrared de-icing system is scheduled to be operational late this winter at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport. The system consists of a large tent-like structure under which an aircraft is taxied or towed and de-iced in minutes using the energy generated by hundreds of computer-controlled infrared heating elements. Systems are now in use at Newark International Airport, N.J., Buffalo Niagara International Airport, N.Y.
The pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were killed when their Mitsubishi MU-2B crashed while trying to return to Centennial Airport in Denver. According to the NTSB, within a few minutes of taking off on an IFR flight to Salt Lake City, the pilot of the twin turboprop told ATC he had a problem and needed to shut down an engine. The airplane, N538EA, was owned and operated by Flight Line, of Watkins, Colo.
Responding to an FAA investigation into whether or not funds intended for O’Hare and Midway airports in Chicago were used illegally to destroy Meigs Field in March 2003, the city claims it was justified in using $2.8 million in Airport Improvement Program funding. The FAA must decide whether use of the funds was appropriate or levy fines of up to $8.4 million.
The NTSB is recommending that pilots of Cessna 208 Caravans approved for flight into known icing conditions be required to undergo annual training for ground de-icing and flight in icing conditions. The Safety Board also wants Cessna to develop appropriate guidance materials to minimize the chance of Caravan icing accidents. The recommendations stem from the NTSB’s study of 26 icing-related Cessna 208 accidents in the U.S.
• Before Congress took a couple of weeks off beginning on March 20, there were 687 bills introduced in the Senate and 1,454 in the House of Representatives. The pace may prove to be record-setting. During the recess, however, legislators took time to concern themselves with the use of steroids by baseball players and the Theresa Schiavo case in Florida.
Unless you enjoy a long, hot wait to ride the ferry, an airplane is the best way to get to Martha’s Vineyard in the summer. The resort island 22 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., has long been known as a summertime haven for the rich, famous and powerful, with more than its share of visitors arriving in business jets.
As a percentage of a $200 airline ticket, taxes and fees more than tripled between 1972 and 2004 thanks to inflation, a decline in the real cost of airline travel and, more recently, increased security charges, as the government struggles to keep pace with the cost of providing the infrastructure necessary to support airline flights.
NTSB recommendations issued last month call on the FAA to step up its oversight of Part 135 operators to ensure that improper record-keeping practices are identified and corrected “before accidents occur.” Additionally, the FAA should establish “specific criteria” regarding the number of accidents or incidents that would trigger increased FAA oversight of a particular operator.
• In view of the enormous funds allocated for hurricane relief ($62 billion to date with more to come) and a mounting budget deficit, President Bush and legislators in both houses of Congress have been pushing programs that would reduce federal spending.
A disgruntled pilot reports that he ad visited a well known FBO at a busy, major-market airport recently and found binder openly displayed on the counter with tail numbers, itineraries and other information of incoming flights, including his. He said the customer service representative explained that the notebook was there for the convenience of limo drivers so they could monitor the ETAs of their incoming customers.