September 8, 2001
AOPA is challenging an FAA proposal to eliminate two contract weather observers in south-central Alaska. The FAA has published a notice of its intent to do away with human weather observers at Allen Army Airfield (Big Delta) and Gulkana airports by the end of September. The FAA says automated surface observation system (ASOS) facilities at the two locations will provide adequate weather reporting. But AOPA contends that human weather observers should still be used because of the sparse network of reporting stations and the numerous VFR routes through mountainous terrain. AOPA has told the FAA the Alaska flying conditions are unique and demand a different level of service than in the "Lower 48." AOPA is working with the Alaska Airmen's Association and the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation to coordinate pilot comments to the FAA. [See also the FAA's notice and a weather station map and caption.]
The management team running Chelton Flight Systems and S-Tec Corp. in Mineral Wells, Texas, for parent Cobham Avionics saw an opportunity and bought in.
AOPA met with key California legislative staffers to educate them on a proposed overflight of parks regulation.
Calculating weight and balance is an important task for pilots. AOPA members share their personal favorite weight-and-balance apps.
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