Pilot Briefing

April 1, 2001

Anne Lindbergh leaves aviation, literary legacies

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the daughter of an ambassador. The shy woman, always sensitive to media attention, became an ambassador in her own right, championing aviation as a safe way to travel with her world-famous husband.

She died in her sleep on February 7 at the age of 94, leaving behind a legacy of adventure and discovery. Her life changed forever in 1929 when she married America's most eligible bachelor, Charles Lindbergh, after he crossed the Atlantic and paved the way for many more to follow.

Charles took Anne flying in a de Havilland Moth above Long Island, New York, on their first date. After spending a few brief moments together, they were engaged, ending worldwide speculation on who would become Mrs. Lindbergh. "I can't describe flying — it was too glorious," she wrote, according to A. Scott Berg in his 1998 biography, Lindbergh. Berg's book was based on private papers that Anne had made available to him.

In 1930, Anne became the first American woman to earn a glider pilot certificate. That same year the couple set a transcontinental speed record by flying from Los Angeles to New York in just under 15 hours.

Having studied literature at Smith College in Massachusetts, she would go on to write about flying in such works as North of the Orient, her first book, where she captured the couple's flights over uncharted routes in Canada, Alaska, Japan, and China in a single-engine airplane. Among her 11 major works, she also published Listen! The Wind about surveying air routes over the North and South Atlantic.

In the introduction to Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead, Anne Lindbergh wrote about what flying brought to her life: "Flying was a very tangible freedom. In those days, it was beauty, adventure, discovery — the epitome of breaking into new worlds."

She won several awards for writing and flying, and was the first woman to receive the National Geographic Society's Hubbard Gold Medal for her dedication to research and exploration. The couple had six children. Charles died in 1974 and was buried in Hawaii.


The annual meeting of the members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, May 5, 2001, at Wings Field, Ambler, Pennsylvania, for the purpose of receiving reports and transacting such other business as may properly come before the meeting, including the election of trustees. — John S. Yodice, secretary

All in a day's work: 35 airports

You have to hand it to Scott and Rick Rohlfing. They didn't circumnavigate the globe. They didn't cross the Atlantic. Heck, they didn't even leave California. But that's not to say that they didn't experience adventure.

On February 13 — not an unlucky day, as it turned out — the brothers left Reid-Hillview of Santa Clara County Airport in San Jose in a rented Piper Arrow and landed at 35 airports in Northern California. Flight time: six hours, 48 minutes. Distance: 538.6 nautical miles.

They began preparing for the trip with Rick, a former air traffic controller at Chicago Center, mounting his Garmin 295 GPS to the pilot's yoke and Scott attaching his Lowrance Airmap 100 to the copilot's yoke. Scott also brought along a compact disc player that he plugged into the intercom system. "We certainly weren't about to get lost, and we had tunes to get us where we were going!" Rick said.

They took off at 9:53 a.m. In order to accomplish the mission they had to land at airports only a few minutes apart. The closest were New Jerusalem Airport and Tracy Municipal, three minutes apart. The farthest apart were Mendota Airport in Mendota and Harris Ranch Airport in Coalinga, a 22-minute flight. After a lunch break in Visalia, and drawing a funky pattern on the sectional chart, they arrived back in San Jose at 5:30 p.m.

The brothers launched a Web site about their journey, complete with photos ( www.best.com/~rgr/35Airports/).

Boeing develops plan for satellite-based ATC

The Boeing Company has formed a small air traffic management unit and is developing a proposal for a GPS satellite-based air traffic control system that will be presented to the Bush administration in May.

Boeing Senior Vice President John Hayhurst told a Commercial Aviation Summit meeting organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in February that his ATC unit will grow to a few hundred people in a year. Although he did not mention financing, Boeing Chairman Philip M. Condit told The Washington Post on January 30 that Boeing is ready to advance the government billions of dollars to implement the new plan.

Units of Boeing have manufactured many of the GPS satellites built to date. The U.S. Air Force launched a new one in the early morning hours of January 31. Boeing will build and launch a new generation of 33 GPS satellites starting this month. Hayhurst promised that all groups and "different interests" will be accommodated — perhaps a reference that could include general aviation. Boeing officials stressed to AOPA that the proposal is a system design model, not a management or revenue model (i.e., user fees). Boeing officials said that fresh operational concepts are needed to break away from the FAA's current 1950s-era system. He also said that the FAA would continue to lead the evolution to a new system, even if the government accepts all or portions of the Boeing plan. He added that Boeing is aware of NASA research into air traffic control and wants to take advantage of such initiatives. Hayhurst also promised to collaborate with other companies. He offered no details of the new system. — Alton K. Marsh


Recent news from AOPA's weekly e-mail newsletter

SMA to produce diesel engine

The French company received design organization approval in Europe for its 230-hp diesel engine that runs on jet fuel. European and American certification was expected to follow.

FAA certifies turbo Skylane

Cessna completed certification of its T182T Skylane. It offers better performance than its predecessor, which was produced until 1983.

Cirrus axes workers

Cirrus Design Corporation decided to improve efficiency by slashing 20 percent of its work force, but delivered its first SR22.

Northern Lights moves to jets

The Northern Lights aerobatic demonstration team will conduct its first performances in Aero Vodochody L–39C Albatross jets in June.

Micco moves forward

Micco Aircraft Company received its FAA production certificate for the SP20/26 line.

Proteus shatters records

Three U.S altitude records have been confirmed for the Proteus research aircraft.

Raytheon sales up

Raytheon Aircraft delivered more new airplanes last year than any other year in nearly two decades.

To sign up for the free AOPA ePilot or to view the archive, see AOPA Online ( www.aopa.org/members/files/pilot/epilot/).

GA airplane makers set record

General aviation manufacturers set a record last year for billings following a six-year upward trend. Billings for 2000 reached $8.6 billion, a 9.1-percent increase, and 2,816 GA aircraft were shipped, up 12.5 percent from the previous year.

The biggest increase percentage-wise was in the turboprop segment, but there were positive numbers for lightplanes as well. The New Piper Aircraft Company sold 377 total piston aircraft; Cessna Aircraft Company sold 912 piston airplanes; American Champion Aircraft Corporation moved 96 units of the Citabria Adventure, Aurora, Scout, and Super Decathalon lines; Aviat Aircraft Inc. sold 91 Husky and Pitts Special aircraft; and Maule Aircraft Inc. delivered 57 total aircraft.

Cirrus Design sold 95 SR20s, while Raytheon Aircraft Company delivered 85 Beech Bonanza A36s, 18 B36TCs, and 50 Baron 58s; Mooney delivered 100 units; The Lancair Company sold five Columbia 300s; Commander Aircraft Company shipped 20 aircraft; and Micco Aircraft Company noted six sales.

The numbers were presented at a General Aviation Manufacturers Association meeting in February in Washington, D.C. GAMA Chairman Mike Smith predicted that 2001 will be another good year for the piston and turbine markets.

Rotorcraft industry plots future

Among the many themes that emerged from the Helicopter Association International's HeliExpo 2001, two revolved around the interest in building quieter helicopters and the future of tilt-rotors.

This was backed up by Rolls-Royce's annual forecast of worldwide helicopter demand. Released at the trade show in Anaheim, California, in February, the report predicted that law enforcement and regulatory pressure would push the need for quieter helicopters. One example is Eurocopter's new EC 130 B4. Bigger by 23 percent compared to previous versions, company officials said it's the only helicopter in the world that can comply with new Grand Canyon noise rules.

Despite the most recent crash of the military V–22 Osprey, the report concluded that the tilt-rotor segment is poised for liftoff, a dramatic merging of the rotorcraft and airplane worlds. On display at the show was a full-size mock-up of Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company's BA 609 Tiltrotor. The airplane, designed to carry six to nine passengers at 250 knots, is not the same aircraft as the Osprey. It weighs one-third as much and has an active noise suppression system to quiet the cabin.

While business has never been so good for Robinson Helicopter Company, Rolls-Royce predicted that concern over avgas contamination and availability will place increasing focus on turbines. The report projected that there will be 5,175 civil turbine deliveries by 2010 with an annual growth rate of 1.1 percent, led by singles that will hold 55 percent of the market share. That's good news for helicopters such as the new Schweizer Model 333 single-engine turbine. It's the first helicopter to be certified by the FAA with the option of three sets of flight controls, enabling flight schools to instruct two students simultaneously. So far, 12 Model 333 helicopters have been delivered.

Wind tunnel shows Wrights got it right

Taking a step deeper into the minds of the Wright brothers, a group has continued to unveil secrets that gave birth to the modern aviation industry.

Staff of The Wright Experience have been studying photos and other materials from around the world in an attempt to "reverse engineer" what led not only to a flyable and controllable airplane, but also the fundamental theory upon which flight is based. The group's mission is to create working reproductions of all the Wrights' developmental aircraft for the 100th anniversary in 2003.

The group has produced eight-foot propellers from 1903, 1904, and 1911 designs. Full-scale wind-tunnel tests at the NASA Langley Research Center in late December showed that the group was able to achieve static thrust measurements similar to those of the Wright brothers. Aiding the effort was Larry Parks of BAE Systems' Space Electronics and Communications Division. Parks is an expert on circa 1900 woodworking tools and techniques and was able to determine the actual strokes that were used to make the propellers. Since the Wrights were worried about competition, their original test equipment, drawings, and other information were destroyed. The group has had to rely instead on grainy black-and-white photos.

When the 1903 reproduction propeller was tested in the wind tunnel, it produced 64.2 pounds of static thrust at 350 rpm, similar to the Wrights' measurement of 67.1 pounds. And when the 1904 reproduction was turning at 377 rpm, it produced 82.66 pounds of thrust compared to the Wright brothers' pair of propellers that generated 160 pounds of thrust combined.

"We were very pleased, but not surprised, that both thrust coefficient plots showed very good to excellent agreement between the Wright brothers' measurements and the measurements taken during the current test series," said Ken Hyde of The Wright Experience.

The group is supported by a number of universities, government agencies, corporations, and organizations. For more information, see the Web site ( www.wrightexperience.com).

How much do you really know about the Wright brothers? Take the First Flight Centennial Foundation's monthly Wright Brothers Trivia Challenge, and you may win a T-shirt. See the Web site ( www.firstflightcentennial.org).

Raven aims to break record

Flying has always been a game of proportions. And when it comes to human-powered aircraft, every ounce counts.

That's why chief engineer Paul Illian and his team have figured out what it's going to take to get them off the ground. Called the Raven Project, their goal is to fly 100 miles from Boundary Bay, British Columbia, to Seattle and break the existing Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) records for human-powered flight.

The composite airplane has a wingspan of 115 feet and weighs 90 pounds. Based on the math, a 140-pound pilot will need to generate 0.4 horsepower for one minute to get airborne and then maintain 0.25 hp to fly at 20 mph.

The project was started five years ago by Illian through Seattle's Museum of Flight. While Illian was working as an employee trainer at Boeing, he saw the need to introduce industry processes to college students. The project now involves 12 local schools and mentors from major industries within the Puget Sound area.

As the Raven was readied for its maiden flight at press time, the team has started looking for a major financial sponsor. So far, the airplane has cost more than $300,000 for the materials and labor. For more, see the Web site ( www.ihpva.org/Raven/).

Squawk Sheet

A special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) for Bell 47 helicopters issued in mid-February indicated that the FAA was considering limited relief from an onerous airworthiness directive regarding rotor blade grips. Thanks to AOPA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, Bell Helicopter, and Bell 47 users, the agency is considering revising the AD, possibly allowing longer periods between inspections of the blade grips. The FAA told AOPA that a revised AD may be issued by the end of April. For more, see AOPA Online ( www.aopa.org/whatsnew/newsitems/2001/01-1-048x.html).

Special report: Safire meets the press

In an effort to update readers on the competition to build a jet for the common pilot, the editors of AOPA Pilot engaged Safire Aircraft Company founder Michael Margaritoff (at right) in a question-and-answer interview. This follows a previous interview with Safire's rival, Eclipse Aviation. From its conical nose to its cruciform tail, Safire wants to get people to their destination in style. See for yourself on AOPA Online how the company plans to offer jet performance for about the price of a new piston twin ( www.aopa.org/members/files/pilot/2001/safire_qna.html).

Looking for an opportunity to experience the effects of hypoxia in a safe environment without leaving the ground? Try the L.B. Barometric Training Center in Melbourne, Florida. While hypoxia training is not mandated by the FAA for pilot certification, learning to recognize the signs in the 32-by-9.5-foot tank can save your life. One- and two-day aviation physiology classes are available for individual pilots and corporate flight crews. The nation's biggest flight schools are offering training through the private facility. For more, see the Web site ( www.lbhyperbarics.com) or call 321/676-3200.

Members in the news

Hal Shevers, AOPA 183872, has been elected 2001 chairman of GA Team 2000 and the national Be A Pilot program. He succeeds Cessna Aircraft Company Chairman Russ Meyer. Shevers is the founder of Sporty's Pilot Shop and chairman of its parent, Sportsman's Market Inc. Shevers has been an AOPA member since 1959.

W. Robb Parish, AOPA 730632, was recently named manager of the Pullman/Moscow Regional Airport. The airport, located in Pullman, Washington, is unique in that it is supported financially by the City of Moscow, Idaho; the City of Pullman, Washington; Latah County, Idaho; the Port of Whitman County, Washington; Washington State University; and the University of Idaho. Parish is also an AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer.

Michael McConnell, AOPA 1264121, and Joseph Voss, AOPA 711117, were hired as executives in the marketing and strategic planning divisions at Mooney Aircraft Corporation.

Jim Upton, AOPA 126199, has published Lockheed L-188 Electra, a thorough look at the turboprop aircraft. Upton covers all the various modifications to the 41-year-old Electra from firebombing to storm chasing. About a third of the aircraft are still flying today. The book is available in bookstores or by contacting Specialty Press, 11605 Kost Dam Road, North Branch, Minnesota 55056; or by calling 800/895-4585. It sells for $16.95 plus $4.50 for shipping and handling.

Richard H. Pearce, AOPA 362454, published Taylored Around the USA about flying a Taylorcraft with no electrical system or radios around the perimeter of the country. The book is available by sending a $14 check or money order to: Richard H. Pearce, 4214 West Lakeshore Drive, Moses Lake, Washington 98837. For credit card purchases, call 800/917-2665. The credit card cost is $14.99 plus $3.95 for shipping and handling.

Joseph Singerman, AOPA 1415194, has been appointed director, external communications at Bombardier Aerospace. Singerman is the primary media spokesman for Bombardier, the world's third largest manufacturer of civil aircraft. He will coordinate international media relations with business and trade publications.

Daniel Ford, AOPA 1417957, is the author of Remains, a novel about the Flying Tigers of World War II, published as a $15.95 paperback by iUniverse. Ford, who soloed in a Piper Cub at 67, has written two military aviation histories and three earlier novels. Remains can be ordered from bookstores.

Mike Meadows, AOPA 1392535, of Houston has written and published GPS for VFR — A Practical GPS Guide for VFR Pilots. The book provides guidance for VFR pilots on how to get the most out of their GPS receivers. The accompanying Web site contains useful and free information, as well as downloadable GPS simulators and manuals. The book costs $19.95 plus $3.99 shipping and is available from his Web site ( www.gpsforvfr.com) or by mail at 5623 Charlestown Colony Drive, Houston, Texas 77084.

Mark Collantes, AOPA 772902, has published his first novel, The Academy. It is a fictionalized version of his last summer at Culver Military Academy. For more information on the book, published by Creative Arts Books, see the Web site ( http://hometown.aol.com/newauthor/myhomepage/).

Michael Johnson, AOPA 1217612, has self-published the Helicopter Lesson Plan Handbook and the Helicopter CD-ROM. Johnson is an active helicopter instructor. The book and ground school software are available on the Web site ( www.johnsonaviation.com).

Guy R. Maher, AOPA 495098, has produced a new safety video for the FAA titled, Pressure Points, Aeromedical Helicopter Decision Making. Four scenarios are shown in the video, depicting the multitude of pressures placed on pilots during medical flights. Maher and the FAA presented the video and accompanying training materials at the HeliExpo 2001 convention in February. Maher is a 12,000-hour airplane and helicopter pilot and founder of Lanier Media, a video production company in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Gregory Drezdzon, AOPA 1254323, has been named Safety Counselor of the Year for the FAA Great Lakes Region. Drezdzon, who is the AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer for Medina (Ohio) Municipal Airport, has been flying for 13 years and instructing for nine.