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NBAA Calls on White House to End FAA Controller Furloughs

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, dhubbard@nbaa.org

Washington, DC, April 24, 2013 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has joined 11 aviation groups in petitioning the White House to provide the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with the funding flexibility it needs to avoid one-day-per-pay-period furloughs of air traffic control personnel.

The furloughs are the result of budget reductions forced upon the FAA following sequestration cuts that went into effect on March 1. To deal with the cuts, the FAA has announced traffic management initiatives, including spacing aircraft farther apart for takeoffs and landings, at airports and facilities around the country, which it has said may cause a wide range of flight delays.

In an April 19 letter to White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough, the aviation groups call the furloughs, "an unprecedented occurrence that is very concerning to those of us in the aviation community."

The letter points out that controllers in the past have been exempt from furloughs for an important reason: "These frontline safety professionals perform an essential service in facilitating commerce in our country by maintaining a safe and efficient National Airspace System (NAS)." The aviation groups add that controller staffing "should always be based on traffic flow demands, with the safety and efficiency of the system the foremost consideration."

Review the industry letter to the White House. (PDF)

The industry groups also noted that other federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection, "have taken steps to ensure they will not need to furlough employees in order to reach the required budget reductions," while adding that many legal experts believe the FAA already has the flexibility it needs to avoid furloughing controllers.

In closing, the aviation groups said: "Without action, it will be challenging for air traffic to continue to operate at its current rate of high efficiency," noting that they "have always been dedicated to enhancing the efficiency and capacity of the NAS."

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

Members of the media may receive NBAA Press Releases immediately via email. To subscribe to the NBAA Press Release email list, submit the online form.

NTSB Releases Agenda And Media Logistics For Boeing 787 Battery Investigative Hearing

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a two-day investigative hearing into the Jan. 7 Boeing 787 battery fire on April 23-24 in the NTSB’s Board Room and Conference Center at 429 L’Enfant Plaza SW in Washington. The hearing will start at 9 a.m. on both days.

Representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration, The Boeing Company, GS-Yuasa and Thales will testify and answer questions from NTSB Board members and technical staff about the design, testing, certification and operation of the lithium-ion battery on the Boeing 787 and the battery fire incident.

The full agenda, including a list of witnesses is available at http://go.usa.gov/TBye.

Investigative exhibits for the hearing will be placed in the electronic docket at the opening of the hearing and will be available at http://go.usa.gov/TW43 after the hearing begins. Witness presentations will be uploaded at lunch and at the conclusion of each day and will be available at http://go.usa.gov/TDAz.

NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman will be available to answer questions from the media at the conclusion of each day. Additional details about the availabilities will be announced next week.

Television coverage of the proceedings will be by network pool. Escorted cutaway shooting will be permitted for brief periods. Still photographers will be permitted in the seating area of the Board Room and by escort to areas in front of the witness panels.

Because of construction at and around L’Enfant Plaza, satellite and other media trucks will have to obtain credentials for parking and running cable through the construction zone. To expedite this process, media should RSVP to eric.weiss@ntsb.gov. A media room is also available with tables, chairs and an audio mult box with translations of the proceedings into English, French and Japanese. Audio headsets with translation service will be provided. Generally-accepted media credentials will be required for access to the media room. In addition, a fully equipped overflow room has been established and will serve as a storage area for video equipment during the hearing.

Seating for the general public in the Board Room is on a first-come, first-served basis. The hearing will also be webcast live on the Board's web page, www.ntsb.gov, without translation service.

Standard federal security procedures for the Board Room and Conference Center will be utilized. All persons entering the facility and their possessions will be subject to inspection and will need to show photo ID. Persons leaving the facility will have to pass through screening again to gain re-entry.

Contact Information
Office of Public Affairs
490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594

Eric Weiss
(202) 314-6100
eric.weiss@ntsb.gov

NTSB: Pilot Action, Icing Led To NJ Plane Crash

Article By: David Porter
FMI: bigstory.ap.org

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A pilot's inability or reluctance to fly quickly enough out of icing conditions led to a fiery plane crash on a New Jersey highway median that killed all five people aboard, a federal report published Thursday concluded.

The December 2011 crash claimed the lives of pilot Jeffrey Buckalew, an investment banker; his wife and two children, and Rakesh Chawla, a colleague at New York's Greenhill & Co. Buckalew was the registered owner of the single-engine Socata TBM 700 and had more than 1,400 hours of flight time, according to the report.

The plane had just departed Teterboro Airport en route to Georgia when it began spiraling out of control at about 17,000 feet and crashed on a wooded median on Interstate 287 near Morristown. No one on the ground was injured. Wreckage was scattered over a half-mile area, forcing the closure of the busy roadway for several hours.

The National Transportation Safety Board report concluded that while Buckalew had asked air traffic controllers to fly higher and out of the icing conditions, he may have been reluctant to exercise his own authority to do so, or may have been unaware of the severity of the conditions.

The NTSB attributed the cause of the accident to "the airplane's encounter with unforecasted severe icing conditions that were characterized by high ice accretion rates and the pilot's failure to use his command authority to depart the icing conditions in an expeditious manner, which resulted in a loss of airplane control."

According to the report, an air traffic controller advised Buckalew of moderate icing from 15,000 to 17,000 feet, at which point Buckalew responded, "we'll let you know what happens when we get in there and if we could go straight through, it's no problem for us." The controller then directed him to climb to 17,000 feet.

When the plane reached 16,800 feet Buckalew reported light icing and said "a higher altitude would be great." Seventeen seconds later, he said the plane was experiencing "a little rattle" and asked to be cleared to go to a higher altitude "as soon as possible please."

The controller coordinated with a controller in an adjacent sector and, 25 seconds later, directed Buckalew to climb higher. Within about a minute the plane had reached 17,800 feet and then began an uncontrolled descent.

Ice can form on airplanes when temperatures are near freezing and there is visible moisture, such as clouds or rain. The ice adds weight to an aircraft, and rough accumulations known as rime interrupt the flow of air over wings.

Numerous pilots had reported icing conditions in the area around the time of the accident, including at least three flight crews that characterized the icing as severe, according to the report. One pilot told NTSB investigators his wing anti-icing system "couldn't keep up" with ice accumulation of as much as 4 inches that had developed over a span of five minutes.

Pilots are required to fly under the direction of air traffic controllers but federal regulations allow for some deviation in emergency situations. The NTSB report quotes a part of the Federal Aviation Regulations that reads, "in an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency."

The EAA AirVenture Cup Race Continues Into Its 16th Year

Contacts: Kandi Spangler, President
Vertical Markets, LLC
+1 312.246.2508
kspangler@verticalmarketsllc.com
www.verticalmarketsllc.com

Dick Knapinski
EAA Communications
dknapinski@eaa.org
+1 920.426.6523
www.eaa.org

Milwaukee, WI - April 12, 2013 - The EAA AirVenture Cup Race (www.airventurecuprace.com) proudly announces that it will continue racing in 2013 with the full support and involvement of EAA.

Race volunteers and EAA Chairman Jack Pelton met earlier this year to coordinate details of the race and establish guidelines for the EAA event. Race officials are still determining the course for this year's event, but plan to hold the race on Sunday, July 28, in advance of EAA AirVenture as they have done for the past 16 years.

"Since the late 1990s, this event has been a showcase of homebuilt aircraft and airmanship," Pelton said. "A dedicated group of EAA-member volunteers and pilots have created a unique event and one that is eagerly anticipated by those who participate and those of us who welcome them to Oshkosh."

"We are very excited to continue the EAA AirVenture Cup Race," stated Eric Whyte, a volunteer for EAA and the race's Chairman. "We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from Jack Pelton and EAA headquarters for this year's race," continued Whyte. "Cross country air racing is an important part of our rich aviation history, and we all want to preserve that experience for participants and spectators for years to come."

Race officials say they have their work cut out for them, given the need for sponsorships and the short amount of time they have until race day. "As the saying goes, 'it takes money for airplanes to fly'; everything else is secondary," said AVC volunteer, Kandi Spangler, who is in charge of finding sponsors for the race. "The EAA AirVenture Race is a great way for companies to gain exposure, especially within the experimental aircraft community," stated Spangler.

2013 marks the race's 16th year, with past flying courses that ranged anywhere from 400 miles to 750 miles cross country towards Oshkosh, WI in advance of EAA AirVenture. Whyte helped launch the race in 1997 when he was an EAA employee, as then-EAA president Tom Poberezny saw the potential in a cross country race exclusively for Experimental category aircraft and homebuilders. The first race in 1998 started in Kitty Hawk, NC, with 10aircraft. Several of them have participated in the EAA AirVenture Cup Race ever since. In 2012, the race started in Mitchell, SD, with more than 50 aircraft participating. On the day before last year's race, AVC volunteers and race participants partnered with the Mitchell airport to host an airport open house, during which over 250 Young Eagle rides were given.

To learn more about the race and available sponsorship opportunities, contact Kandi Spangler at kspangler@jetbrokers.com or visit the EAA AirVenture Cup Race website at www.airventurecuprace.com.

About the EAA AirVenture Cup Race
The EAA AirVenture Cup Race was founded in 1997 in the spirit of recreating the old Bendix Trophy Race and is dedicated to aviation advocacy and preserving the rich heritage of cross-country air racing. The race is held annually in advance of EAA AirVenture. For more information, visit www.airventurecuprace.com.

About EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration" and EAA's yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at www.airventure.org. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. Immediate news is available at www.twitter.com/EAAupdate.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013 Welcomes Return Of Gary Sinise And Lt. Dan Band On August 2

Evening concert presented by Disabled American Veterans and EAA Warbirds of America

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (April 11, 2013) — Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will return to EAA AirVenture in 2013 as the grand finale of a daylong salute to veterans at Oshkosh, Wis., on Friday, August 2. Performing for the fourth time at EAA AirVenture since 2008, the popular band will be hosted at by the Disabled American Veterans and the EAA Warbirds of America at the Philips 66 Plaza stage.

Sinise, best known for his role as Vietnam veterans Lt. Dan Taylor in the classic film “Forrest Gump,” and as star of hit TV series CSI: New York, plays bass in The Lt. Dan Band and is a well-known supporter of veterans as well as active-duty military. The concert will be the highlight of AirVenture’s veteran-focused day on August 2.

“Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band have been hugely popular at Oshkosh every year they’ve been here, so it’s great that they’ll be back in 2013,” said Jim DiMatteo, EAA’s vice president of AirVenture features and attractions. “The music and show by Gary and the band are always outstanding, but we all know that we’re doing this to honor all the veterans and active duty personnel who are here at AirVenture.”

The Lt. Dan Band covers everything from Bruce Springsteen to Beyonce, Zac Brown Band to Jimi Hendrix. Following the band’s first concert in front of thousands at EAA’s Theater in the Woods in 2008, EAA Warbirds of America and Disabled American Veterans teamed to also sponsor the band’s return in 2010 and 2011.

“The DAV is thrilled to bring our message of volunteerism and support to our nation’s sick and disabled veterans to EAA AirVenture. We believe the men, women and children who will visit this event are the patriotic, military-friendly citizens that have helped make this nation so great,” said DAV National Commander Larry Polzin. “The DAV is proud to be among this crowd, and meet those who want to know more about our service to veterans. Gary Sinise is a longtime advocate for Disabled American Veterans and continues to shine the light on our mission to fulfill our promises to the men and women who served- as a patriotic and family friendly venue, EAA AirVenture is an ideal setting to feature the Lt. Dan Band.”

About DAV
The 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation’s disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served.

About EAA Warbirds of America
EAA Warbirds of America is a non-profit organization within EAA that is dedicated to the preservation of former military aircraft known as “warbirds.” Since 1964, EAA Warbirds of America has worked to “Keep ‘em Flying.”

About EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” and EAA’s yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at www.airventure.org. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. Immediate news is available at www.twitter.com/EAAupdate.