AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 2, Issue 48

December 1, 2000


Departments


Inside AOPA


On Capitol Hill


Airport Support Network


ASF News


Quiz Me!


Coming up in
AOPA Pilot


ePilot Calendar


Weekend Weather




Premier jet hits more snags
Superior Air Parts to remain independent
Wings of Light thanks AOPA
Gorton defeated in Washington
Volume 2, Issue 48
December 1, 2000
GA News
NTSB RELEASES PAYNE STEWART REPORT
The NTSB confirmed Tuesday what most had believed in the year since the Learjet 35 carrying golfer Payne Stewart and five others mysteriously crashed. The crash was indeed a result of a cabin depressurization. What the NTSB is unsure of is why the crew was not able to get supplemental oxygen after the cabin depressurized. Following the 13-month investigation, the NTSB issued 11 safety recommendations to the FAA, mostly centering on crew training and ways to improve pressurization systems. In addition, NTSB Chairman Jim Hall said that with the rapid growth in fractional and charter operations, business jets should be treated the same as commercial airliners when it comes to safety. For more on the investigation, see the NTSB's Web site.

CRIPPLED SKYHAWK LANDS SAFELY AFTER MIDAIR
Photo of crippled Cessna 172A Cessna 172 safely landed at West Houston Airport, Texas, following a midair collision with a Cessna 150 on Sunday. One-third of the 172's right wing was left hanging down by the impact. The aircraft were flying at 2,000 feet in good visibility, NTSB officials told The Houston Chronicle. The pilot of the Cessna 150, 36-year-old Don Lee of Katy, Texas, died after a wing was severed from his aircraft by the impact. His airplane crashed along Interstate 10, just outside of Katy. The pilot of the Cessna 172, Diana Orendorff, spotted the Cessna 150 shortly before the impact and pulled her aircraft into a climbing right turn, she told investigators. Aircraft owner Ed Oppermann then took control and landed at West Houston on one wheel. The aircraft reportedly struck at a 90-degree angle.

PREMIER JET HITS MORE SNAGS
Raytheon Aircraft's Premier I business jet program has once again been delayed because of holdups in the certification process. In a November 15 Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Raytheon Company, the aircraft company's parent, disclosed that the jet would not receive FAA certification by the end of the year. It marks a setback of more than two years. The company, meanwhile, has recorded an increase in aircraft sales, to $2.4 billion in the first nine months of this year compared to $2.1 billion over the same period in 1999, according to the filing. Earlier this year it was revealed that Raytheon plans to sell its aircraft unit, but no one has stepped up to the plate yet to pay the reported $4 billion asking price. Company officials and several potential buyers have refused to comment to ePilot about the sale. To read more about Raytheon, search under key word "Raytheon" on the SEC's Web site.

SUPERIOR AIR PARTS TO REMAIN INDEPENDENT
Superior Air Parts Inc. plans to remain an independent company after a deal to sell it to Aviall Inc., a global parts distributor, fell through last week. Under the agreement, Aviall would have bought Superior for $43 million in cash. But since Aviall wasn't able to secure the necessary financing commitments within the specified time, the board of directors of Superior terminated the purchase agreement, said James P. Wilson, chairman of the board for Superior. The company plans to continue its growth rate with products such as the certified Millennium pre-owned engine, the XP-360 engine, and other programs. Superior Air Parts, headquartered in Dallas, manufactures and distributes FAA-approved parts for piston-powered general aviation aircraft.

BONANZA PILOT MAKES EMERGENCY HIGHWAY LANDING

Some evening rush hour commutes are more exciting than others. Bill Hart, 57, was heading to San Jose, California, for a business trip on Monday when his Beech Bonanza lost power on short final to San Jose International Airport at about 6 p.m. He had plenty of fuel and he tried switching tanks, but there was no effect, he said. Since he was so low to the ground, Hart notified the tower of the emergency and looked for the nearest suitable landing site which turned out to be an on ramp to Highway 87. Hart found out later he had dodged a high school, homes, and moving cars in the dark. The only damage was small dent in the leading edge of the left wing from hitting a mile marker. With assistance from the police, the airplane was restarted, taxied to the next off ramp, and towed to the airport by flight line personnel. Hart said he suspects that the engine was vapor-locked.

AIRPORT USES NEW KIND OF RUNWAY SURFACE
Photo of new runway surface
The Savannah-Hardin County Airport (SNH) in Tennessee is the first general aviation airport in the nation to receive a new type of runway surface called ultra-thin whitetopping. The 4-inch concrete overlay was installed on the 38-year-old, 5,000-foot asphalt runway earlier this year, giving it a whitish appearance. It's an especially welcome sight for IFR pilots when they break out of clouds and see a big white landing surface amid green fields. Airport officials found that it was more expensive than an asphalt overlay but less expensive than a total reconstruction, according to a report by the American Concrete Pavement Association. However, when looking at maintenance costs, it was determined that the asphalt would crack and the runway would require a new asphalt overlay in 10 years. Airport officials expect the robust concrete surface to last 25 years, the ACPA report continued. The runway has already won awards and is being studied by the government and other airports. Photo courtesy of ACPA.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.


Inside AOPA
AOPA TO AIR GA COMMERCIALS
AOPA will underwrite national cable TV messages promoting the value of community airports this holiday season. The 30-second commercials will air from December 22 through January 3 on the Weather Channel, just as congestion and passenger disgruntlement at major airline hub airports reach a peak. "Once again, AOPA is action, not talk," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Because defense of airports is our members' number one priority, we're making this investment for the entire general aviation community." For more, see AOPA Online.

AOPA RECOGNIZES CLARK COUNTY AVIATION ASSOCIATION

AOPA President Phil Boyer gave special recognition to members of the Clark County (Nevada) Aviation Association (CCAA) Tuesday during a Pilot Town Meeting in Las Vegas. Boyer told the crowd of pilots that CCAA was "working tirelessly to make things better for general aviation in Las Vegas." CCAA and the North Las Vegas Airport (VGT) are hosting a Community Aviation Day this Saturday (December 2) from 9 a.m. to 2. p.m. For more, see AOPA Online.

WINGS OF LIGHT THANKS AOPA

Wings of Light, a nonprofit organization that helps people affected by aviation accidents, honored AOPA this past week at a Pilot Town Meeting in Phoenix. Andrea Waas, founder of the Phoenix-based organization, presented a plaque to AOPA President Phil Boyer, recognizing AOPA as an affiliate sponsor. "The support of AOPA and other sponsors allows Wings of Light to provide our services at no cost, and to increase awareness among the public and decision- makers of the issues involved with aircraft accidents and the needs of those affected," she said.

On Capitol Hill
GORTON DEFEATED IN WASHINGTON
Former Democratic Rep. Maria Cantwell rallied to defeat Senate aviation subcommittee Chairman Slade Gorton late last week and win the last remaining Senate seat still in question at the close of the 2000 election cycle. After all of the votes were tallied, Cantwell held a 0.08 percent margin–just 1,953 votes more than Gorton out of more than 2.5 million ballots cast in Washington State. As in the presidential election in Florida, the margin of victory fell below one-half of 1 percent, forcing an automatic recount that is expected to be completed this week. However, the outcome will likely remain unchanged. Cantwell took the lead late last week after a slew of late-counted ballots, that were thought to be for Gorton, turned the race in her favor. Gorton has not conceded the race yet, but has indicated that he will make an announcement following the recount.

Airport Support Network
VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK–CHERYL POPP
AOPA recently received member inquiries concerning possible closure of Cincinnati-Blue Ash Airport (ISZ) in Ohio; however, Airport Support Network volunteer Cheryl Popp reported that there is no impending threat of closure. Popp, in conjunction with the Blue Ash Airport Advisory Committee and the city fathers of Blue Ash, has been working on possible acquisition of the airport from Cincinnati for several years. Popp said that negotiations between the cities have finally begun.

SOLBERG UNDERGOES CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS
Readington Township has escalated its efforts to prevent improvement or further development at Solberg Airport (N51) in New Jersey. Airport Support Network volunteer Sim Hitzel has attended local meetings and has been reporting regularly to AOPA on these latest efforts by the township to strangle the airport and stifle growth. The battles between the airport and the township have been ongoing. In its largest salvo of the attack, the township is attempting to wrestle control (and ownership) of the airport through a state condemnation process. Hitzel has also worked diligently with the airport's owners as well as local pilots to counter the attack. New Jersey pilots stay tuned! What happens at Solberg could migrate to other privately owned airports in the state under sanction of state legislation.

Click here to learn more about the Airport Support Network.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
DEADLINE NEARS FOR DONATION DEDUCTIONS
There is only a month left to receive tax deductions for charitable contributions for this year. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has programs and gifts for every level of contribution. ASF can help you put your hard-earned money to work for aviation safety. Call 800/955-9115 and ask for Art Keefe or Bob Milanchus or visit AOPA Online.

Quiz Me!
Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.

Question: The question was recently put to me: "Why does a red morning sky denote bad weather during the day?" I have not been able to find the answer and wondered if you could.
Answer: We all probably know the weather saying, "Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning." A red sky at sunset or early evening indicates clouds to the east, with clearing on the western horizon allowing the setting sun to be seen. Unsettled weather or storminess may have passed. A red sky in the morning indicates clouds to the west as the sun is rising, which may advance eastward and bring bad weather. For more weather lore, visit this Web site.

Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? Call 800/872-2672 or e-mail to inforequest@aopa.org. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to epilot@aopa.org.

Coming Up In AOPA Pilot
Fly the U-2 in thin air, take the funky Helio Courier around the golf course, and shove the throttles forward in the Cessna CJ2 in the January issue of AOPA Pilot. It will be mailed December 16.

ePilot Calendar
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
In response to member requests, some destinations will be posted one week in advance.

Carmel, California. The forty-first annual Santa and Mrs. Claus Fly-In takes place December 9. Carmel Valley Airport (O62), 831/659-0860, is the host airport. Call the airport for event information.

Dallas, Texas. The Frontiers of Flight Museum hosts North Texas Aviation's "Contributions to Winning WWII" December 15. Dallas Love Field (DAL), 214/670-6073, is the host airport. Call 214/350-3600 for event information.

College Park, Maryland. The College Park Aviation Museum hosts Santa's Fly-In December 9. Activities for children. Call 301/864-6029 for event information.

Colby, Kansas. The small town of Colby is a winter wonderland from November 24 through December 24. Shaltz Field (CBK), 785/462-4438, is the local airport. Call 785/462-7643 for event information.

West Chester, Pennsylvania. The American Helicopter Museum of Education hosts Lunch With Santa December 9 at Brandywine Airport (N99), 610/692-6100. Call 610/436-8180 for event information, or visit the Web site.

For more airport details, see AOPA’s Airport Directory Online. For more events, see the Aviation Calendar of Events.

ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in in Chicago and Denver, December 9 and 10. Clinics are scheduled in Reston, Virginia, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Orlando, Florida, December 16 and 17. For complete details, visit the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule.

ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in in St. Louis, January 8; Springfield, Missouri, January 9; Kansas City, Missouri, January 10; and Wichita, January 11. For more information see Web site.

ASF PINCH HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
(Pinch Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground School will take place December 17 in Orlando, Florida. For details and a complete schedule, see the Pinch Hitter Ground School Schedule.

AOPA PILOT TOWN MEETINGS
Featuring AOPA President Phil Boyer
(7:30 p.m.; admission is free)
The next Pilot Town Meetings are in Tallahassee, Florida, January 30; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, January 31; and Tampa, Florida, February 1. Click for more information on Pilot Town Meetings.

For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie Walker at julie.walker@aopa.org.

Contacting ePilot
Got news tips? Contact ePilot editor Nathan A. Ferguson at nate.ferguson@aopa.org.
Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to epilot@aopa.org.

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