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    FAA Announces Move Of Headquarters To Dubai
    Sun, 01 Apr '07

    ANN 04.01.07 SPECIAL EDITION REALTIME REPORTING: Hot on the heels of global oil marketer Halliburton's move of its headquarters from Houston, TX to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the Federal Aviation Administration announced this week it will also relocate its*operations to the small oil-rich principality,*from Washington, DC.
    "Let's face it -- we're not exactly welcome here anymore, what with all the disgruntled general aviation pilots*grousing about 'airline-supported user fees' and what not," said agency spokesperson Peter Smith. "While the FAA will continue to reign its influence over all matters related to aviation and aerospace in the United States, it will now do so from a safe and comfortable distance."
    Few details of the move are known at this time, other than full relocation is expected to be completed by*the end of summer*-- just as the FAA's proposed reauthorization bill will come to a vote.
    "We REALLY hope that funding comes through," Smith added. "You do NOT want to tick the guys off down at Ryder Truck Rental of Dubai." The spokesman*refused to comment on reports Adminstrator Marion Blakey was in line to become the new CEO of Emirates.
    ANN will continue to follow this developing story.
    FMI: www.f-a-a-u-a-e-m-o-u-s-e.gov

    Boeing Finally Announces 'The Big One'
    Sun, 01 Apr '07
    Double Trouble For The A380 Program?

    ANN 04.01.07 SPECIAL EDITION: "Sick and tired of all the hype... that's what we are," says an anonymous Boeing spokesmen just prior to the surprise roll-out of the doubly fascinating new Boeing 747-38.
    Boeing sources agree that the inspiration for the new design were rooted in a few documents left over from past Boeing Boss Phil Condit -- who became enamored of a concept he read about seven years ago... on ANN!

    "Phil never quite got over the idea of a new Boeing that basically used the same parts we've been building all along... the adaptation of two fuselages to a 747 derivative airframe gave him the inspiration for what he gleefully called 'Boeing's P-38.' And after all the hype over the A380 got under everyone's skin, we just couldn't pass up the chance to one-up the Airbusters once and for all... I mean, they'll never do a twin fuse A380... the wiring would keep them stumped for decades."
    The inaugural B747-38 is expected to start flight testing as soon as Seattle finishes reinforcing the taxiway and runway for the test flights which should feature initial takeoff weights of 1.3 million pounds. The first bird is also a 'combi' configuration in which one side is configured to carry passengers and the other strictly for freight and those passengers too cheap to pay the extra $25 to check a bag. The airframe features dual, fully functional cockpits, and allows crew duty restrictions to be side-stepped by simply switching flying chores from one cockpit to the other when a crew's rest time comes due.
    FMI: www.boeing-B747-38.com

    New Rules Announced For Passenger/Crew Who Die In Flight
    Sun, 01 Apr '07
    "I Don't See Dead People" Regulation Aimed At Easing Onboard Concerns

    ANN 04.01.07 SPECIAL EDITION: The proliferation of recent stories of people who have passed away during commercial airline flights -- and have then been moved to unexpected places onboard -- brings the most popular line from the 1999 movie "The Sixth Sense" -- "I see dead people" -- to a whole new level.
    In response to these recent publicized occurrences, a new rule for US airlines will be implemented July 1, 2007 relegating the deceased to an airplane's cargo bay, in the same area where pets are housed. Each aircraft will have, as SOP, a simple casket available for the unexpected, according to the Airline Transport Association (ATA).
    Views, naturally, are mixed on this announcement.
    "I am glad that this is being done," said one recent first-class passenger, who awoke from a nap onboard a British Airways flight to see*the previously-vacant seat next to her being occupied by a dead passenger from coach class.
    A view from the other side (no, not THAT 'other side') comes from a grieving second cousin twice removed --*whose second cousin twice removed, if he had passed away after this new rule, would be among the canine cargo.
    "It's an insult to the family that a person in that condition (dead) would be taken from the cabin. Having that person remain onboard would give fellow travelers a chance to grieve, if you turn off the multi-media at each seat. Um, I do like the idea of a casket, just in case."
    Both the ATA and Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) have backed this new rule.
    "We want to ensure that our passengers have the best onboard experience possible. Having people recently deceased onboard does not enhance that experience," said one ALPA member.
    FMI: www.airlines.org/canwestillchargedeadpassengersfortheflight

    Airbus Unveils Triple-Decked A380D Uber-WhaleJet
    Sun, 01 Apr '07
    Evacuation Plan Qualifies For Disney Ride Certification

    ANN 04.01.07 SPECIAL EDITION: Watch out Walt... a new Disney ride is flying its way to an airport near you.
    While most of the the spotlight on Airbus recently has been focused on the plight of the planemaker's German and French operations and employees, work behind the scenes has focused on the development of a new triple-deck A380 option that would seat 1,023 people in an all-economy class configuration.
    Airbus has already received EASA and FAA certification for its 1,023-seat A380D, which is very novel, aviation wise, for its third deck evacuation plan.
    The*latest A380 variant features 24 emergency door exits, 10 on the main deck, six on the second deck, and eight on the third deck, with three separate and independent evacuations.

    Wanna have some fun? Be sure to have a third-deck seat when the plane makes an emergency evacuation. As you make your way to one of the eight emergency doors, you will jump onto what is being certified by Disney as one of the quickest, highest, most thrilling rides available today down the evacuation slide.

    You'll twist and turn (to avoid the other deck evacuation slides) and scream with delight during the 5.3 seconds from "jump off" to hitting the padded ground.
    "It was an awesome experience, man," said 20-year old Matt Riss, a college student lucky enough to have the opportunity to test Airbus' A380 third-deck evacuation slide out. "When you jump onto the slide, you can't even see where you're going, man. I don't think there's a a thrill like it any where in the world. Like, I'd pay money to do this!"
    Said Rolf Lundgren, Airbus manufacturing director responsible for the Disney ride -- oops, third deck evacuation slide, "Using the latest technology and accumulated industry experience has allowed us to be the first in providing this safe new evacuation method. Everyone who has worked on it is very proud -- and we test it out every opportunity we can."
    Airbus SAS is the aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS N.V., a pan-European aerospace concern, based at Toulouse, France with significant operations in other European states.
    FMI: www.airbus.com/A380D, www.disney.go.wheeee!.com

    Predator UAV Shoots Down... Another Predator UAV
    Sun, 01 Apr '07
    NOTAM Issued For Investigation Of Army/Navy Rematch
    ANN 04.01.07 SPECIAL EDITION: In an incident believed to be the first of its kind, on Tuesday a Predator unmanned aerial vehicle operated by US Army airmen successfully intercepted another Predator UAV, this one flown by US Navy crews, in the skies over Arizona.
    Throughout the thrilling aerial dogfight that ensued, both unmanned aircraft engaged in complicated maneuvers and several harrowing escapes. Although AGM-114 Hellfire missiles were fired from both aircraft, it was the Army's missiles that found their target.
    "Go Army! Beat Navy!" exclaimed Sergeant Richard "Maverick" Andrews as his targeting screen showed a "lock" onto the Navy aircraft.
    It is believed the downed Navy Predator impacted terrain in the vicinity of the US/Mexico border. A NOTAM has been issued advising pilots of manned aircraft to steer clear of the area, and officials with both armed forces branches said proper disciplinary actions would be taken.
    Dr. Butch Cassidy, who was flying his Beechcraft Bonanza near the area at the time of the aerial confrontation, wished he would have brought his camera.
    "They looked like angry mosquitos," Cassidy said. "Until the missile flew past my left wingtip. Then I just wanted to get the hell out of there."
    Reports that further UAV confrontations would become a regular event -- similar to the annual Army/Navy football game, which the latter has won for the past five years -- could not be comfirmed.
    FMI: www.predatorversuspredator.mil