Pilot Briefing

August 1, 1996

FAA's top brass leaving

The FAA's chief of regulation and certification, Tony Broderick, has retired in the aftermath of investigations into the crash of a ValuJet airliner in Florida. Contributing to his decision was a pending proposal to split the branch he now heads, creating separate regulation and certification offices.

He was praised by puzzled staff members in Congress shortly after his announcement. One aide said Broderick was a "bright spot among the bureaucrats." Another said he thought Broderick was sacrificed by the Clinton administration to restore the public's trust in the Department of Transportation. Public confidence was shaken when Secretary of Transportation Frederico Pena, while standing near the ValuJet wreckage in the Florida Everglades, first announced that he had flown on the airline and that it was safe. Shortly thereafter, the FAA grounded ValuJet, based on information from its Atlanta office.

FAA Administrator David R. Hinson (right) intends to make good on a promise made long ago to serve for only one presidential term. Hinson has announced that he will leave the Clinton administration by the end of the year.

Raytheon has delivered its 5,000th copy of the Beech King Air, a Model 350, to JELD-WEN company of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Although this latest iteration is indeed a King Air, it is almost unrecognizable when displayed next to the first King Air. An outgrowth of the Model 80 Queen Air, the first Model 90 flew on January 20, 1964. It promised a 220-knot cruise speed from its short-stacked 500- shaft-horsepower (shp) Pratt & Whitney PT-6s. Today's Model 350 has more than double the power (and size, it seems) of the original at 1,050 shp per side and has a claimed top speed of 315 knots.

Cessna prices 172, 182

AOPA Pilot has learned from option holders in advance of an official announcement that Cessna Aircraft has set the prices for its new 172R Skyhawk and 182S Skylane at $124,500 and $190,600, respectively.

A standard VFR 172R includes a single navcom, transponder, and an audio panel with a built-in four-place intercom. An optional $10,000 package adds standard IFR avionics and a KLN 89B VFR GPS. Or customers can opt for a $15,000 package that includes an IFR- approved KLN 89B and a single-axis autopilot.

Standard 182s, which will fly behind a Lycoming IO-540 instead of a Continental O-470, will have basic IFR avionics including a VFR GPS and single-axis autopilot. Options are an IFR GPS, ADF, and two-axis autopilot with electric trim for an additional $8,900.

Cessna plans to build approximately 1,000 piston singles in 1997 and as many as 2,000 per year after 1998.

Engen to head museum

Donald D. Engen, FAA administrator in the mid-1980s and president of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation from 1987 to 1992, has been named director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air & Space Museum.

He replaces Martin O. Harwit, who left the museum last year. The museum drew eight million visitors last year and is preparing plans for an extension facility near Washington Dulles International Airport. Engen has been the Ramsey Fellow at the museum since 1995, working in the area of naval aviation history.

New-age weather briefing shown in Atlanta

With the capabilities of ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) telephone lines, interactive computer preflight briefings have become a possibility. Pilots visiting airports in and around Atlanta during the Olympics have been selected as the guinea pigs for a test of the new technology.

ISDN allows information (voice, data, and graphics) to be sent through standard phone lines at 4.5 times the speed of current- technology computer modems. Prutzman and Associates of Frederick, Maryland, has set up interactive preflight weather work stations at various airports in and around the Atlanta area during the Olympics. At the work stations, users can see selected weather products concurrently with DUAT (Direct User Access Terminal) text weather. If necessary, users could consult a flight service briefer via telephone while viewing the weather products.

The proof-of-concept work stations in Atlanta are precursors of interactive briefing capabilities envisioned for the FAA's Oasis (Operational and Supportability Implementation System), which will replace antiquated hardware and software systems currently in use at automated flight service stations. For more information, call Prutzman and Associates at 301/663-1171.

Stoddard-Hamilton's kitbuilt GlaStar is now available with a 160-hp Lycoming O-320 veiled by a new, longer cowling. The installation is designed to swing either a fixed-pitch or constant-speed propeller, either of which is capable of pulling the airplane at nearly 140 knots at 75 percent power, the company claims. Climb rates of 1,500 to 2,000 feet per minute are also claimed for the constant-speed-prop- equipped airplane.

Learjet changes heads — again

Lachlan (Mac) Beatson was recently named president of Learjet Inc. following a brief presidential stint by Jim Robinson. Robinson has accepted a position as president of Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH in Germany.

The circumstances regarding Robinson's abrupt departure are similar to those experienced by former Learjet President Brian Barents, whom Robinson replaced just six months ago. Barents and officials of Learjet Inc.'s parent company, Bombardier, disagreed on the direction of the company (see "Pilot Briefing," March Pilot).

Beatson brings 30 years of aerospace experience to Learjet after serving as a senior engineer at McDonnell Douglas and later in senior management positions at AlliedSignal. He is an instrument- rated commercial pilot with more than 2,000 hours of flight time.

El Gavilan S.A. of Colombia recently completed the first flight of its Gavilan 358 prototype from the W.T. Piper Memorial Airport in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The Gavilan 358 is powered by a turbocharged 350-hp Lycoming TIO-540 and is designed to be a rugged workhorse with a cabin large enough to accommodate eight people or take four on stretchers with an attendant in an air-ambulance configuration. Price for a Gavilan 358 with basic avionics is $296,500. For more information, contact El Gavilan S.A. at Apartado Aereo 6781, Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia; telephone 57-1/676-1101.

Jeppesen has revamped its VFR+GPS chart services for Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. The move standardizes the charts, which in the past have varied dramatically in format. Under proposed new border crossing regulations, pilots in Europe will probably fly into other countries more often.

Bill Monroe quits as head of Socata

The abrupt departure on July 12 of Bill Monroe as president of Socata Aircraft will not affect the firm's plans to bring its twin- engine Tangara into production by the end of 1997, acting President Christian Aim said. A replacement for Monroe was to be named by the end of August.

The Tangara is based on the Grumman Cougar design of the 1970s, which used twin 160-hp Lycomings. (See "Return of the Night Fighter?" page 82.) Socata will equip the aircraft with 180-hp engines and a 28-volt electrical system. Socata claims that the re- engined Tangara will cruise at 165 knots at 75 percent power.

Aim also said that Socata will move its U. S. base from Grand Prairie, Texas, to south or central Florida this year.

Jeff Dunbar, former chief operating officer of Mooney Aircraft, has joined Raytheon Aircraft as business jet sales manager for Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. The position of COO at Mooney will not be filled.

New Turbo Pulsar introduced

Aero Designs Inc. of San Antonio, Texas, has developed the Turbo Pulsar kitplane to enhance cruise speed and high-altitude performance of the standard Pulsar XP kitbuilt. Powered by a turbocharged Rotax 914, the Turbo Pulsar is claimed to reach speeds of 160 knots at 17,500 feet. Time to climb from sea level to 10,000 feet is six minutes and maximum endurance is listed as five hours, according to the company. For more information, contact Aero Designs Inc. at 210/308-9332.

NTSB wants immediate action on Sukhois

Sukhoi Su-29 and Su-31 aircraft have come under fire from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) following two fatal crashes of the radial-engined aerobatic monoplanes.

NTSB recommends that the FAA issue an immediate airworthiness directive (AD) that requires inspection of flight control surface assembly and installation. In one of the accidents, the pilot lost elevator control after a clevis nut apparently backed itself off the bolt.

Cirrus Design Corporation has received more than 100 orders for the yet-to-be-certified SR20 (see "Waypoints: Testing the Cirrus SR20," October 1995 Pilot). Cirrus also has plans to break ground on a new subcomponent manufacturing facility at the Grand Forks International Airport this summer. Two prototype SR20s have exceeded 500 hours of flight time. The four-place, 160-knot, fixed- gear single is expected to be certified in mid-1997.

Two flight schools, one in Maryland and another in Massachusetts, are celebrating 50 years of continuous flight training activity this year. Eagle Air Flight School in Hagerstown, Maryland, was started by Dick Henson to train pilots for his flying service and began operations in 1946 with Piper J-3 Cubs. It was recently bought by Liza Bentz, who was the business manager for several years, and boasts a fleet of 11 aircraft, from Cessna 150s painted in Air Force markings to a Piper Arrow and Cessna 210. As a part owner at Marlboro Airport, Massachusetts, Don Lacouture helped to start Don's Flying Service and is now the owner. The school began with Aeronca Champs and now uses Cessna 150s and 172s. Don said that the school continues to specialize in primary flight training. Both the Maryland and Massachusetts schools plan celebrations this fall.

AOPA members in the news

Daniel L. Thomas, AOPA 839523, has been promoted to senior pilot on the Goodyear airship Stars and Stripes based in Pompano Beach, Florida. Goodyear operates three blimps in the United States, and Thomas is one of 15 senior pilots for Goodyear Airship Operations. He started on the ground crew.

Charles E. Harris, AOPA 981214, of Herndon, Virginia, flew the 200,000th Young Eagle as part of the Experimental Aircraft Association's program, which exposes young people to aviation. Harris flew 13-year-old Jennifer Sudduth of Warrenton, Virginia, in his Grumman Tiger. So far, Harris has flown 292 Young Eagles flights and tries to fly at least 100 per year.

Bill Waldron, AOPA 454113, his son Adam, and Greg Benson, AOPA 255586, won the 1996 Great Southern Air Race in a Piper Comanche 400.

Viktor Maister, AOPA 830285, a dentist from Peoria, Illinois, has obtained his instrument helicopter and instrument flight instructor helicopter ratings. With these ratings, Maister holds all of the possible pilot category and class ratings and all available flight instructor ratings. Only 50 instructors have attained this goal.

Mike Wankum, AOPA 879962, received an Emmy Award from the New England chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Wankum is the chief meteorologist at WLVI-TV in Boston.

Gene Nora Jessen, AOPA 183662, received the 1996 President's Award for Outstanding Service at The Ninety-Nines international convention in Oklahoma City. Her contributions include writings on the history of The Ninety-Nines and an historical novel, tentatively titled Powderpuff Derby and due to be published soon. It is based on the 1929 Women's Air Derby.

Dr. Thomas J. Connolly, AOPA 314117, has received the 1995 Frank G. Brewer Trophy from the National Aeronautic Association for his leadership and accomplishments in aviation education. Connolly is dean of aviation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His name will be added to the trophy, which is on permanent display at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Arthur Mott, AOPA 709306, of Woodbury, New York, won the second annual U.S. Air Race in his Beech Baron 58. The 31-aircraft race left Durango, Colorado, on June 8, made five en route stops, and ended in New Orleans on June 13. Mott's speed averaged 237 mph over the 1,879-nm course. He was awarded $5,000 in prize money but spent a good chunk of it replacing a cylinder during one stop. Next year's race is scheduled to leave Albuquerque on June 7.

Wayne E. Handley, AOPA 1128885, of Greenfield, California, has won one of the airshow entertainment industry's highest awards, the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship. It will be presented on August 5 during the EAA Fly-In Convention at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Handley's act includes a loop around a ribbon suspended in the air between two poles. He flies a one-of-a-kind Raven prototype developed from a modified Murphy Rebel 2300 kitplane.

Raleigh Drennon, AOPA 504598, will receive the 1996 John P. Doswell Award from the National Business Aircraft Association for his contributions to business aviation.

Ludwig (Lou) Wipotnik, AOPA 182439, (above) of Mount Prospect, Illinois, has been named General Aviation Flight Instructor of the Year, while Ralph L. Michalka, AOPA 888650, (below) of Kalamazoo, Michigan, has been named Maintenance Technician of the Year. The awards are sponsored by the FAA and a number of associations, including the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Wipotnik has all seven flight instructor ratings, and nearly 25 pilot certifications. The only two he lacks are ATP seaplane and ATP helicopter, but he is working on both of them. He instructs for the Windy City Flyers, a flying club at Palwaukee Municipal Airport in Wheeling, Illinois. Michalka has been an aircraft mechanic for 40 years, 35 of which were spent in the Upjohn corporate flight department.

Jose Muinos, AOPA 954511, has opened The Flightline Shop in Spokane, Washington, which sells aviation-related supplies and apparel.

Col. John Scott Hoff, AOPA 778226, a Chicago attorney, was awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal by the U.S. Air Force for his involvement with charitable organizations during the past four years.

Dirk Vander Zee, AOPA 717154, has been promoted to vice president of sales and marketing for Mooney Aircraft Corporation. He has been Mooney's factory sales manager for the southeastern region based in La Grange, Georgia, for the past eight years. Vander Zee will be responsible for all Mooney aircraft sales, marketing, and advertising. In a separate action, Charles Somerville, Michael Milner, and Ronald Wright were named Mooney vice presidents.

John Odegard, AOPA 276400, dean of the University of North Dakota's aerospace department, has received the FAA's Distinguished Service Award for achievements in aerospace education.

Robert Minkus, AOPA 718570, president of Minkus and Associates in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, has designed a new logo for the United States Aerobatic Team for use on merchandise. The logo may become the official logo used by the team, which competes this month in Oklahoma City.

Greg Poe, AOPA 1268021, airshow performer and Pitts test pilot for Aviat Aircraft in Afton, Wyoming, has joined Don Johnson's Toyota Airsports pilot performer team. Poe's first show is August 3 at Selfridge Air National Guard Base near Detroit.

Diamond Aircraft plans to introduce a new model of the Katana trainer. The as-yet-unnamed model will be powered by a 125- horsepower Continental IO-240B engine driving a fixed-pitch propeller. Diamond's current offering, the DA 20, flies behind a Rotax 912 engine of 80 hp and a constant speed prop. The Continental weighs a few pounds more than the Rotax. Diamond officials expect that the new model outfitted with a climb prop will ascend significantly better than the DA 20, particularly in hot and high- density altitude situations. However, cruise speed with the Continental is expected to be only slightly faster than the DA 20's 117 knots. The new model, to be available next February, is expected to sell for about $111,000, some five percent more than the DA 20. — Thomas B. Haines

Squawk Sheet

Cessna oil filter adapters installed on approximately 70,000 airplanes equipped with Continental engines have been targeted in a recent airworthiness directive (AD 93-CE-54) that will require initial and repetitive inspections of the oil filter adapter assembly for oil leakage and correct installation of the adapter's retaining nut.

The FAA has issued an amendment to an earlier AD that requires replacement of sintered-iron oil pump impellers of Lycoming engines. The new AD will also require replacement of aluminum oil pump impellers. According to the FAA, 4,000 engines are affected by this AD, which will require replacement of the impellers within five years or at the next overhaul.

Some 5,500 pistons for Continental O-470s shipped by Superior Air Parts between December 1976 and June 1981 are required to be removed from service as per AD 94-ANE-30.

A new AD may be adopted regarding Luscombe Model 8 airplanes. If the proposed rule becomes an AD, it will require the installation of new inspection holes and a modification of the wingtip fairings in order to inspect for intergranular corrosion of the wing spars of Luscombes equipped with metal-covered wings. Those with fabric- covered wings are not exempt from the spar inspection, although they have adequate access panels.

Aviat Pitts S-1S, -1T, S-2, -2A, -2S, and -2B aerobatic biplanes equipped with certain aft lower fuselage wing attach fittings (P/Ns 76090, 2-2107-1, or 1-210-102) have been targeted by a new airworthiness directive (AD) that requires repetitive inspections of the fittings for cracks.

An AD has been adopted requiring owners of Twin Commander 500, 680, and 690 series airplanes to check the nose landing gear drag link bolt for the proper part number that indicates the bolt's hardness. The failure of an improperly heat-treated bolt led to the collapse of the nosegear of a 690B.

NTSB clears Robinson R22, R44

The National Transportation Safety Board recently ended an extensive investigation of the two-seat Robinson R22 and four-seat R44 helicopters, saying that it found no defect in the Robinson designs. The FAA had previously found that the design was not faulty.

Going back 15 years, NTSB reviewed accidents in which the helicopter's main rotor blade may have contacted the airframe. The board found no design defects and said that the likely causes of the accidents were a combination of relatively low flight time among the pilots involved (52.5 hours median) and large, abrupt pilot inputs to the controls. NTSB recommended that flight instructors guard against abrupt flight control inputs by students. — Stephen Pope

Pilatus Aircraft of Stans, Switzerland, has opened Pilatus Business Aircraft at Jeffco Airport in Broomfield, Colorado, as its U.S. base. The firm will market the PC-12 from Broomfield. Pilatus previously established service centers in Denver; Boise, Idaho; Des Moines, Iowa; and Baltimore.

Trimble Navigation has completed its $2.7 million acquisition of Terra Corporation announced in March (see " Pilot Briefing," May Pilot). Terra aviation products will be marketed under the name Terra by Trimble.

Jeppesen Sanderson has been sued by the family of an executive killed in the April crash of an Air Force T-43 also carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. The suit alleges that Jeppesen charts were inadequate, but Jeppesen says it merely published information provided by the Croatian government.

Zenair has received 10 orders for its CH 2000 trainer from the Indian government. The IFR-equipped aircraft will be used as primary trainers for future airline pilots. This marks Zenair's largest order to date from any single customer for the CH 2000. Zenair is based in Midland, Ontario, but the company recently announced that it will market and distribute the CH 2000 through Zenith Aircraft Sales in Mexico, Missouri. Telephone 573/581-9000 for more information.

Jose Basulto, the leader of the Hermanos al Rescate (Brothers to the Rescue), is expected to regain his pilot certificate in October after it was revoked by the FAA (see " Pilot Briefing," July Pilot) in the wake of the February shootdown of two Cessna 337s by Cuban MiG fighters. Brothers to the Rescue aids Cuban refugees escaping across the Florida Straits. A judge denied the FAA's attempt to suspend Basulto's certificate indefinitely, in favor of imposing a 150-day suspension.

AOPA general aviation trend information shows student starts down 36 percent for the first five months of 1996, compared to the same period last year. Slightly more than 4,000 student pilot certificates were issued in May, compared to 5,766 last year. Private pilot certificates issued are down 20 percent for the same period, while instrument ratings are down 14 percent. AOPA and other industry leaders are preparing to launch GA Team 2000, a new program to attract more student pilots.

Airport operations in the San Diego area will be strictly controlled during the Republican National Convention from August 10 to 18. A number of notams will be issued on the restrictions. Slot reservations must be obtained three days in advance by calling 800/875-9755. For information, call 703/904-4452. (There will also be IFR slot reservations available during the Miramar Air Show August 15 to 17.)

Mooney Aircraft Corporation has renamed the company's flagship the TLS Bravo. The Bravo incorporates a 270-hp Lycoming TIO-540-AF1B engine with oil-cooled exhaust valve guides to better control cylinder-head temperatures.

The World Helicopter Championships will take place from August 14 to 18 in Salem, Oregon. Seventy pilot teams from 13 countries will compete in precision flying events. For information, call 703/255- 3272.

Nine aircraft were stolen and 47 burglaries were reported between January and June, according to the Aviation Crime Prevention Institute. The value of the aircraft was estimated at more than $4.3 million. A total of 176 items (mostly avionics) valued at $440,000 were stolen in the burglaries.

A moving-map program that displays terrain surrounding the aircraft for up to 13 miles was introduced by Free Flight at the West Coast Pilots Expo in Pomona, California. It uses GPS data for location, direction, and altitude, and allows pilots to view out-of- sight terrain, such as that over a hill or behind a mountain. The program runs on 486/50 MHz or better computers with 16 megabytes of RAM, a 500-megabyte hard drive, 256 colors, and Windows 3.1. A CD-ROM drive is required to load chart data. The cost is $279.95. For information, call 818/791-0400.

Write an essay, win a twin

If you're a creative writer with $100 to spare, you may be able to write your way to a twin Cessna. Two individuals are conducting "skill contests" with Cessna twins as the prize; $100 entry fees and essays are all that are required to enter.

Henry Banks, director of development at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, plans to give his 1966 Cessna 310K, valued at $90,000, to the author of the best essay on "Why I Want Your Airplane." He will donate part of the proceeds to the college. Rules may be obtained by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Banks at 1101 University Avenue, Apt. 9, Marshall, Texas 75670 or by calling him at 903/938-8161. Entries must be received by September 27.

Glen Johnston of Calais, Maine, intends to give a 1976 Cessna 402B — current for FAR Part 135 operations and valued at $198,797- -to the author of the best essay that begins "I would like to own a Cessna 402B because...." Request rules from Cessna 402B Essay Contest, 107 Main Street, Calais, Maine 04619; fax 207/454-0375. Entries must be postmarked by September 1. — Michael P. Collins

Mike Potts, AOPA 1028399, of DeWitt, Michigan, landed his YMF-5 Super Waco on Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, as part of a promotional campaign for a restaurant located along the road. According to Potts, the last person to land an airplane on Las Vegas Boulevard was Howard Hughes in 1942.