September 29, 2005
When a new GPS satellite was launched on Sunday, some AOPA members wondered what it means for general aviation. The answer: GPS navigation will be around for a long time to come.
The new satellite replaces an aging bird that's nearing the end of its useful life, ensuring that the GPS signal will continue to be available even as some older satellites are taken off line.
"The latest launch represents a firm commitment to satellite navigation and demonstrates that there will be plenty of assets in space to ensure that the GPS signal is always available," said Randy Kenagy, AOPA senior director of advanced technology. "That's especially important for general aviation as more GPS-based wide area augmentation system (WAAS) approaches are created." WAAS approaches allow for ILS-like minima without the expensive ground-based equipment.
There are already several "hot spare" satellites on orbit should a GPS signal fail, and GPS availability is not a concern at this time.
The Air Force expects to launch an average of three new GPS satellites each year to replace older equipment.
September 29, 2005
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has awarded its third annual Flight Training Excellence Awards to top flight schools and flight instructors ranked by more than 3,600 flight students who voluntarily reviewed their flight training experience through an AOPA online poll.
For decades, pilots have headed to Bay Bridge Airport in the Chesapeake Bay for scenic coastal flying and great seafood. Check it out after attending the AOPA Homecoming Fly-In on Oct. 4.
Maintenance experts have asked the FAA to clarify whether recurring inspections of Cessna 210-series aircraft can be mandated without following required rulemaking procedures.
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