AOPA Action

September 1, 1996

AOPA Presents its Case to GAO Against Closing Chicago's MEIGS

During a July 25 meeting with General Accounting Office investigators, AOPA presented evidence demonstrating the national need to keep Chicago's downtown Meigs Field airport operating.

Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), whose district includes Chicago, asked GAO to investigate Mayor Richard M. Daley's plan to replace the airport with a $27-million park.

AOPA Vice President for Regional Affairs Bill Dunn, along with AOPA General Counsel John S. Yodice, Senior Director of Airports Jeff Gilley, and AOPA Legislative Action Executive Director Thomas B. Chapman, met with investigators.

AOPA told GAO that closing the reliever airport would transfer more than 54,000 annual flight operations to other area airports. Delays at O'Hare and Midway airports already exceed 100,000 hours annually. Studies suggest that traffic diverted from Meigs could triple the average delay at Midway. GAO has indicated that it will ask the FAA to study that impact on the Chicago-area air traffic control system.

AOPA also emphasized Meigs' value to Chicago business and commerce. Some 88 percent of Meigs users arrive for business- or convention-related reasons. Some 96 percent of business travelers at Meigs choose it for fast access to the downtown business district.

The economic contribution of Meigs Field to Chicago is estimated at $57 million annually. Some 1,500 jobs are directly attributable to the operation of Meigs.

AOPA Applauds Illinois' Efforts to Stop Meigs Closure, Continues Own Campaign

AOPA is applauding the State of Illinois' request to the FAA that it stop Mayor Richard M. Daley from closing Chicago's Meigs Field. In a letter to FAA Administrator David Hinson, Illinois Transportation Secretary Kirk Brown asked the agency to "enforce the contractual commitments Chicago made to continue operating Meigs."

Because Meigs is key to the regional and national transportation system, AOPA is actively campaigning to preserve the airport and is working in concert with many groups, including the Illinois Pilots Association, Friends of Meigs Field, and the National Business Aircraft Association.

In April, AOPA President Phil Boyer and Vice President for Regional Affairs Bill Dunn met with Secretary Brown and Gene Reineke, chief of staff for Illinois Governor Jim Edgar, to discuss state efforts to keep open the vital lakeside reliever airport. The Illinois Department of Transportation subsequently offered to lease the airport and take over operation of Meigs Field. The city refused the offer.

Also in April, Boyer and Dunn met with Chicago-area pilots to encourage their efforts to save the airport.

AOPA has acted on the political front as well, meeting with members of the state legislature and Illinois congressional delegation and writing directly to Chicago's 50 elected aldermen. The association has repeatedly asked to meet with Mayor Daley, but he has not responded.

In Washington, D.C., AOPA has attempted to impress the top levels of the FAA, DOT, and GAO with the airport's importance (see preceding story).

Boyer sent letters to the chief executives of companies with corporate aircraft using Meigs, asking them to tell Mayor Daley that the airport means business for Chicago.

AOPA has even placed newspaper ads to alert Chicago citizens to the impact Meigs Field's closure would have on their neighborhoods. The ad provided coupons for residents to mail to key elected officials — including Mayor Daley — to express their concerns.

Pilots Now Notified of GPS 'Jamming' Tests

Pilots can now find out about U.S. Air Force GPS "jamming" tests following AOPA requests to the FAA. Electronic countermeasures (ECM) tests are conducted almost daily in the Southwest and can make GPS navigation signals unreliable for several hours within 300 miles of the test site.

"It was very difficult for a pilot to find out about these GPS signal disruptions because the FAA had classified GPS-ECM test warnings as local notams," said Marty Shuey, AOPA vice president for air traffic control.

Shuey said that a cross-country pilot probably would not have learned about GPS-ECM testing as part of a normal route briefing. Local notams normally apply to specific airports. They must be requested from the flight service station in the area, and they haven't been available on the Duats briefing service.

AOPA asked the FAA to reclassify GPS-ECM test warnings as distant notams, which the FAA has now done. Distant notams are sent automatically to all automated flight service stations and to Duats.

"But pilots will still have to ask specifically for GPS notams to find out about any GPS problems," said Shuey. Because GPS notams are provided "upon request," FSS specialists will not automatically include GPS notices in route briefings.

Duats users should enter "GPS" as a location identifier to view all GPS notams.

AOPA Flies Inner City Kids With 'Dream to Fly'

AOPA flew the first flights on July 14 to reward inner city Washington, D.C., kids who completed the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum/Aero Club of Washington "Dream to Fly" program.

The flights were to be the last element of a year-long program to expose disadvantaged students to the world of aviation and space. AOPA stepped in to fly the young people as its own project when, following the crash of seven-year- old Jessica Dubroff, lawyers at the Smithsonian Institution ordered museum-sanctioned flights canceled.

"Based on the enthusiastic response from these bright young people, we hope we can do additional flights later for some of those who could not participate July 14," said AOPA President Phil Boyer, who flew Ronald Miles, Jr. of Washington in Boyer's own 1977 Cessna Skyhawk.

Also receiving their first flight were Asya Mays and Larry Garrett, also of Washington. Mays wants to be an engineer, while Garrett has a strong early interest in maintenance of hydraulic and electrical systems.

New ASF Seminar Offes Hands-On Training for GPS in IFR Operations

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is now offering "GPS in IFR Operations," a new seminar to introduce pilots to GPS for instrument approaches. The multimedia course includes hands-on experience with the latest GPS receivers approved for nonprecision instrument approaches.

Each seminar is based on a specific IFR approachapproved GPS receiver. Courses are currently being offered for the Trimble 2000 Approach, Garmin 155/165, II Morrow Apollo 2001, and Bendix/King KLN 89B receivers. Course size is limited to ensure that each attendee will get hands-on experience with the receiver.

Although each "GPS in IFR Operations" seminar uses one specific receiver model, much of the information applies to all receivers, making the course useful for anyone who owns — or is thinking about buying — any IFR-approved GPS receiver. The course is particularly valuable for flight instructors who will encounter a variety of receivers in different aircraft.

Avionics manufacturers Trimble, Garmin, II Morrow, and Bendix/King have provided equipment and grants to ASF to help sponsor the program.

"GPS in IFR Operations" courses will be scheduled on Friday evenings before many of the ASF weekend Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics. The four-hour "GPS in IFR Operations" course, including all materials, costs $99. Call 800/638- 3101 for schedule and registration information.

ASF Weather Study Breaks New Ground in Examining GA Accidents

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has just released its groundbreaking 368-page study, General Aviation Weather Accidents: An Analysis and Preventive Strategies, the first comprehensive review of general aviation weather accidents. The study was funded by a major grant from the Flying Physicians Association.

GA Weather Accidents also offers a comprehensive list of recommendations, including an educational supplement with training guidelines and an adverse weather checklist.

ASF researchers spent more than a year examining 11 years of accident records. They isolated 5,894 weather-related accidents from among the more than 22,000 general aviation accidents that occurred between 1982 and 1993.

Using its unique aviation safety database, ASF separated weather accidents into four major categories: wind-related, low visibility, airframe and induction icing, and thunderstorms.

Further categorization included pilot experience level and class of aircraft flown. This extensive "data mining" sets GA Weather Accidents apart from preceding studies.

General Aviation Weather Accidents: An Analysis and Preventive Strategies (item M904) is available for $24.95 through Sporty's Pilot Shop. Call 800/543-8633 to order.

ASF's Online Silent Auction Raises $10,000; There's Still Time to Bid

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's innovative Online Silent Auction has, in its first four months, raised more than $10,000 for ASF programs to improve aviation safety. The auction will continue through September 30.

The ASF Silent Auction was previously available only to attendees at the annual AOPA Expo. This year, ASF's Silent Auction Online is permitting AOPA members around the world to bid on valuable items at any time of day or night through AOPA Online, by fax, or by mail.

New items are added weekly to the bid list. ASF's Silent Auction Online will continue until just before AOPA Expo '96 in San Jose, California.

To access the Air Safety Foundation Silent Auction Online, CompuServe users should type Go AOPA; click on the ASF icon, then the Members-only Forum Icon; and go to the "ASF Silent Auction" message section.

AOPA Seeks Changes to TWA Crash TFRs, Warns Pilots of Unexpected Restrictions

AOPA has asked the FBI to reduce the size of temporary restricted airspace resulting from the crash of TWA Flight 800. The main temporary flight restriction (TFR) area places off limits an area within a 20-mile radius of the offshore crash site. The TFR (area A) abuts the southern boundary of the Islip-Long Island Class C airspace and affects the heavily used offshore VFR flyway along Long Island's south shore.

"AOPA recognizes the need to keep uninvolved aircraft away from the recovery site," said Melissa Bailey, AOPA director of airspace and system standards, "but the restricted area is so extensive that it affects legitimate and distant flight operations. This is particularly a problem where the TFR and the Islip Class C area essentially overlap."

AOPA has contacted the FAA, which agrees that restricted areas are larger than necessary. The FAA is willing to modify the TFRs with FBI approval. AOPA has written George Andrew, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's New York bureau, requesting changes in this and other TWA 800 restricted areas.

Smaller 4-nm-diameter TFRs are in effect over East Moriches (area B) and Shinnecock (area C), where rescue forces are staged. A fourth TFR extends 3 nm around the Calverton VOR (area D), above the Calverton (Peconic) Airport where wreckage is being assembled for study. All TFRs extend from the surface to 6,000 feet msl and are effective until further notice.

Many pilots, both local and transient, are not aware of the Calverton TFR or the extent of the restriction affecting the South Shore flyway. AOPA has suggested an immediate posting of graphic notices at FBOs and airports in the region. Pilots should contact flight service for further information before flying in the area.

1996 Water Flying Annual Now Available

The Seaplane Pilots Association has issued its 1996 Water Flying Annual offering a comprehensive look at the world of seaplane flying.

The annual emphasizes training and safety, with discussions on the value of experience, tips from longtime float pilots, and two discussions on seaplane accidents. It lists 67 flight schools where seaplane training is offered in 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Included are addresses and telephone numbers, aircraft offered, and hourly rates for instruction. In addition, the annual's seaplane flight instructor directory lists 50 seaplane CFIs, their ratings, experience levels, and specialties. Also listed are eight designated seaplane examiners.

Of interest to landplane as well as seaplane pilots is an article by Coast Guard pilot Scott Schleiffer on getting out of light aircraft if submerged inverted after a water landing.

For those interested in the theory behind float selection and displacement characteristics, SPA President J.J. Frey runs down the list of current offerings and their displacement numbers.

For a copy of the 1996 Water Flying Annual, send $12 ($14 for overseas addresses) to Seaplane Pilots Association, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701.

Public TV Producers, Vero Beach Reporter to Receive 1996 AOPA Journalism Awards at Expo '96

Journalists from Idaho Public Television and the Vero Beach, Florida, Press-Journal have won AOPA's 1996 Max Karant Journalism Awards.

"Outdoor Idaho: Back Country Pilots," the winning entry in the TV category, told the story of wilderness airstrips and the pilots who use them. But in telling that story, Idaho Public Television producers/writers Bruce Reichert and Victoria Osborn and videographer Pat Metzler also documented the value of general aviation.

Chris Kauffmann's three-part series in the Vero Beach Press-Journal took an in-depth look at Piper Aircraft Corporation and its struggles to emerge from bankruptcy. The articles explored "new issues no one had previously thought about," according to a competition judge.

The winners in each category receive $1,000 and will be honored before the membership at the AOPA Expo '96 Awards Banquet in San Jose, California, on October 19.

AOPA's annual awards recognize the best in fair, accurate, and insightful reporting on general aviation in the general nontrade media.

AOPA's Max Karant competition was judged by a distinguished independent panel of journalists from print, television, and radio. The judges did not award a prize in the radio category this year.

The competition is named after early AOPA member Max Karant (AOPA 000018), an 11,000- hour pilot, a former Chicago newspaperman, senior AOPA officer, and the first editor of AOPA Pilot magazine.

Kit Darby, president of the aviation career firm Air Inc., will be the guest for AOPA Online's conference on Tuesday evening, September 17. His subject will be "Can You Really Have An Aviation Career? Yes!"

The conference is in Room 1 ("The Fly-In") of the AOPA Forum on CompuServe and will run from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific).

Cockpit crew hiring by major airlines is up sharply this year, and the trend is expected to accelerate as the airlines continue their economic recovery. According to Darby, former military pilots no longer will be "shoo-in" candidates for the airlines, and as much as 70 percent of hiring will come from the general aviation side.

AOPA 'Blueprint 182' Moves to the Midwest; California Tour Planned

Although it can't be everywhere, the AOPA "Blueprint 182" has been busy almost every weekend reminding members about AOPA Sweeps '96 and AOPA's yet-to-be-built 1996 Grand Prize, the First New 182 off the Cessna Independence, Kansas, production line.

The "stand-in" 182, dubbed "The Spirit of Revitalization," has appeared at some 30 selected airshows and grass roots aviation events, to date mostly in the Northeast and Midwest (see map). Larger events included Sun 'n Fun, Sentimental Journey to Cub Heaven (Lock Haven, Pennsylvania), the ILPA/IBDA Liaison Pilots/Bird Dog (L-19) convention (Keokuk, Iowa), and Oshkosh. One-day appearances at major airshows included Bridgeport (Connecticut), Cleveland (Lorain County, Ohio), Dayton, Goshen (Indiana), Muskegon (Michigan), Kansas City, and Springfield (Illinois).

Among airshow stops planned for late August were Sussex (New Jersey), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Pennsylvania), Meriden (Connecticut), Cape Cod (Massachusetts), and Gastonia (Charlotte, North Carolina).

The "Blueprint 182" travels to California for part of September and October before display at AOPA Expo '96 in San Jose. California appearances may include Fresno, Torrance, Temecula (French Valley), the Oxnard area, and others. Also planned is a late-October sweep through the Southwest and South and November appearances in Florida.

Those who join AOPA or renew their membership during 1996 are automatically entered in AOPA Sweeps '96 to win the real First New 182. The winner will be picked at random in January; delivery of the First New 182 is expected in March 1997.

New Edition of AOPA'S Aviation USA on CD-ROM Has Improved User Interface

AOPA's second edition of Aviation USA on CD-ROM for personal computers is now available exclusively through Sporty's Pilot Shop.

New features include a user "tool bar," new print options, and check boxes to allow the pilot to search for specific on-airport features such as restaurants or self fueling.

With more than 7,400 listings, the latest edition is the most comprehensive electronic directory for all public-use airports, seaplane bases, and heliports in the United States. Also included are more than 2,000 private-use landing facilities, information not found in any other directory. The CD also has an extensive database of more than 4,300 FBOs with details on services provided.

Indexed fields permit the user to set precise search criteria. If a pilot prefers a particular rental car or fuel company, he or she can tell the program to select only airports offering those companies.

The powerful new Full Text Search feature permits access to the complete wealth of information on the CD-ROM. For example, a pilot can find all the airports near a ski resort or golf course, or all the maintenance facilities in a state specializing in Lycoming engines. A new Query feature permits saving and recalling search selections for future use, rather than reselecting fields and reentering criteria.

New print options include a kneeboard format, with all airport data presented in a logical order and sized to fit on a pilot's kneeboard.

Aviation USA on CD-ROM requires an IBM- compatible PC running Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 with a minimum of 4MB RAM, 2MB hard disk space, and an ISO 9660-compliant CD-ROM drive.

AOPA members can buy Aviation USA on CD- ROM for a special price of $27.50. The non-member price is $39.95. Call Sporty's Pilot Shop at 800/543-8633 to order.

Top-Rated Investment Program Now Available to Members

AOPA is sponsoring an investment program for AOPA members — the GoldPortfolio Deposit Accounts offered by MBNA America Bank. GoldPortfolio is an AOPA Certified program, so for each deposit made with MBNA, the bank makes a contribution to help keep AOPA dues low and GA strong.

GoldPortfolio consists of two FDIC-insured deposit products: the GoldSavers Money Market Account and the GoldCertificate CD. AOPA members receive special interest rates that are even higher than MBNA's already aggressively priced deposit accounts offered to the general public. The AOPA- sponsored 12-month GoldCertificate CD matched the top yield in the country as listed by the nationally recognized financial publication, 100 Highest Yields, during the week of June 17, 1996.

For more information about this AOPA member benefit, call MBNA's Investor Services Department at 800/900-6653, ext. 6257, and identify yourself as an AOPA member. Investor service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern time).

New Services Now Available From Avis

Avis, a long-time AOPA Certified car rental partner, is now offering AOPA members new weather guide and concierge services.

WeatherFax, Avis' new weather guide service, is now available at Avis counters and on Avis airport shuttle buses. This helpful weather guide will provide you with the current day's weather, as well as the projected forecast for the next four days for the city in which you are traveling. The information, updated daily by fax and including regional and national weather, also advises of possible flight delays. The service is offered through Avis by The Weather Source.

Avis Cares Concierge Service is the only 800- number concierge service in the car rental industry. By calling 800/941-2847, AOPA members can arrange for restaurant recommendations, dinner reservations, tickets to a show, sightseeing tours, and more. Avis can even help you to modify your travel arrangements. And as an Avis renter, you are never charged for Avis concierge service. You pay only for the arrangements purchased.

Each time you use an AOPA Certified product or service, such as Avis, you help to keep AOPA membership dues low and general aviation strong — at no additional cost to you. To find out more about WeatherFax or to make a reservation with Avis, call 800/331-1800 and mention the AOPA/Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number: A451300.