June 20, 2008
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AOPA GETS ITS NAME ON COLLIER TROPHY Glenn Curtiss. Howard Hughes. Chuck Yeager. Neil Armstrong. The Boeing Company. NASA. These are distinguished names along the historic timeline of American aviation progress, engraved on aviation's most prestigious award. Now the next time you visit the National Air and Space Museum, you'll find AOPA's name on the 800-pound Collier Trophy, along with 25 other associations, corporations, universities, and government agencies that are part of the team that is developing and nurturing ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) technology. The award was presented on June 12 in Washington, D.C. by the National Aeronautic Association. The Robert J. Collier Trophy is presented "for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles." Read more on AOPA Online.
SLOT AUCTION PLAN WOULD SLASH GA ACCESS TO N.Y. AIRSPACE AOPA has asked the FAA to suspend plans to establish a slot auction system for access to La Guardia Airport, arguing that Congress has specifically prohibited the imposition of new fees for services. In June 16 comments on the FAA's supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking, AOPA points out that the proposed system would cut general aviation access in half and establish what is essentially a fee for access to the airport. But GA isn't the cause of delays in New York airspace. Even the airline's chief lobbyist, who in the past has sounded off about restricting general aviation flights around New York, didn't blame GA when he had to testify about the issue before the House aviation subcommittee on June 18. Read more on AOPA Online.
SWITCH TO ICAO FLIGHT PLAN WON'T IMPACT MAJORITY OF GA For months, rumors have abounded about a planned change from standard domestic flight plans to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) flight plans. But AOPA has worked hard to ensure that the switch will not have an effect on an estimated 90 percent of general aviation flights. Read more on AOPA Online.
IAOPA CHANGES ATTITUDES IN ATHENS General aviation, as we understand it in the United States, is practically nonexistent in Greece. That is precisely why the various AOPA groups of the world decided to hold their biennial World Assembly in Athens from June 9 through 14. "Yiouli Kalafati, president of AOPA Hellas (Greece) wanted to show Greek authorities what they could gain by promoting, rather than restricting, general aviation," said Phil Boyer, president of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA). "And the presence of general aviation representatives from 26 different nations around the world helped change attitudes in Athens." Read more on AOPA Online.
NOTAM SYSTEM TO SHUT DOWN FOR OVERNIGHT UPGRADE The U.S. notam database will be temporarily shut down for several hours June 23 while the system undergoes an upgrade. The shutdown, which will begin at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time and will end no later than 6 a.m., should have little or no effect on GA pilots. All notams that are in the system before the outage will remain and any new notams will be posted manually. The planned shutdown follows an unexpected outage that occurred in May and lasted for 20 hours. Pilots who experience a loss of service during other times are asked to e-mail or call the AOPA Pilot Information Center (800/USA-AOPA) to report the problem.
EMERGENCY LANDING LEADS TO ECLIPSE AD The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive for the Eclipse 500 jet after an emergency landing at Chicago's Midway Airport on June 5. The two pilots and two passengers on board were not injured in the incident, and the airplane was not damaged. According to the FAA, the pilot slammed the thrust levers of the twin jet to the maximum during a balked landing attempt in wind shear. Apparently the force of the movement exceeded the design limits of the thrust lever switches associated with the engine control system. Read more on AOPA Online.
AFTER THE ACCIDENT: JAILED PILOT SPEAKS Mark Strub fought against panic as his Stearman sank, inverted, into a broad, slow-moving river. He was trapped, descending into darkness, and running out of time. His passenger, only an arm's reach away, was in worse shape. In this exclusive AOPA Pilot feature, Strub talks about being the first U.S. pilot to serve jail time for an aircraft accident.
MOONEY LAYS OFF 80, LOOKS OVERSEAS TO BOOST SLOW MARKET Mooney Aircraft Company has given termination packages and career transition support to 80 employees as a result of a weak market that has seen piston-engine aircraft sales overall slow by 28 percent. The company is also slowing production from eight aircraft per month to five for the rest of this year, according to Mooney CEO Dennis Ferguson. "Our plans include positioning Mooney as a strong contender in the international market," Ferguson stated. "We are strengthening our business in Europe, South America, and Australia, where Mooney's high performance, efficiency and pricing are especially appealing. Our focus is to ensure the long-term viability of the company through prudent management and expansion of our market reach." Mooney recently received certification for the Acclaim in Brazil and Australia.
ADVISORY CIRCULAR FOCUSES ON MAINTAINING 'VINTAGE' AIRCRAFT Pilots who own or operate aircraft type certificated before 1980 will have new guidance to help them maintain their aircraft under a draft advisory circular (AC). The AC, titled "Parts and Materials Substitution for Vintage Airplanes," identifies suitable replacement parts for minor alternations that can be made through logbook entries. The AC is intended to help owners of older aircraft identify acceptable part substitutions for many common items such as alternator and generator belts and batteries, making it easier to maintain these airplanes as they age. The draft AC is available online and comments are due by August 13.
DIAMOND DESPERATE FOR ENGINE ALTERNATIVES Diamond Aircraft is seeking Canadian and FAA approval to put Lycoming IO-360 engines on the DA42 Twin Star in place of diesel engines. Thielert Aircraft Engines, the German company that built the original diesel engine, remains in bankruptcy. Given emerging new technical problems with the engine, Diamond officials said they are concerned Thielert will not survive. In the meantime, Diamond and Austro Engine are seeking approval to make parts and provide support for the Thielert engine. Read more on AOPA Online.
DAYJET SOLDIERS ON DESPITE SETBACKS DayJet founder and CEO Ed Iacobucci said the fledgling air taxi firm is on track to start breaking even in the first quarter of 2009. In a speech June 18 to the Washington Aero Club, Iacobucci said the Florida company's strategy of selling individual seats aboard its fleet of Eclipse 500 very light jets is gaining traction among business travelers. "The market is there," he said. "We postulated it. We marketed it. And now we're seeing it." Read more on AOPA Online.
AIRPLANES: A LINK TO OUR PAST "Long-lived as they are, airplanes connect us to our past," writes AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines in his latest "Reporting Points" blog entry. "One airplane connected to my past lives on. N757PU is a Cessna 182RG that belonged to my primary flight instructor, John Julian, and his wife Bernice." Read about the airplane from his past and share memories of that special aircraft in your life.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
BAD DECISIONS BELOW MINIMUMS On Aug. 14, 2006, a Piper PA-23-250 Aztec crashed during a circling approach at Chippewa County International Airport in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The pilot, a 1,000-hour multiengine instructor, was attempting a knife-edge turn back to the airport after flying downwind at 200 feet agl, 600 feet from the runway (laterally). Read more in this special report prepared by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
THE RIGHT SETUP HELPS FLYING CLUBS TAKE OFF You probably already know that being part of a flying club is a great way to share aircraft ownership and costs, but the success of any club depends in large part on the underlying structure. Whether you're joining an existing club or starting one of your own, you'll want to be sure it's well organized. "Start small and make sure that you have every eventuality planned for," recommends Joe Fox, a longtime flying club member and past secretary of his 42-member Inn Flying Club in suburban Maryland. Learn more about starting your own flying club and how to find the appropriate insurance.
FSS TIP OF THE WEEK: AIRCRAFT DESIGNATORS Aircraft have many names, and in different uses they can all be correct, but for filing FAA flight plans and other services, aircraft models only have one official abbreviation. This is its aircraft type designator, and it may be different than you think. For example, if you have a Cherokee 140, you should tell the briefer you have a P28A. Cherokee Six? The correct designation is PA32; but wait, a Lance 2 is a P32T. What about a Cardinal? C177 is the answer; and a Pressurized Centurion is P210. Find the aircraft type designator for your model. For more FSS tips, download AOPA's quick reference card and take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online minicourse, "A Pilot's Guide to Flight Service."
RECORD NUMBERS LEARN FROM AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION QUIZZES The number of pilots testing their knowledge with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online Safety Quizzes reached a record high in April. More than 37,500 quiz completions were logged that month, thanks to the foundation's e-mail outreach to more than 27,000 student pilots, encouraging them to check out the many quiz topics as well as the foundation's other online educational resources. Try a Safety Quiz today!
FUEL—A NECESSARY COMMODITY "Tired of hearing about fuel mismanagement accidents? So am I," writes AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg, in his latest "Safety eJournal" update. "We're losing, on average, several aircraft every week as pilots rediscover that adequate fuel and/or proper configuration of the fuel system is not optional." Read about Landsberg's own fuel mismanagement encounter, and share your own, online.
BOOK YOUR SUMMER TRAVEL THROUGH AOPA AND SUPPORT GA Plan your summer vacation through AOPA Online Travel and a portion of the revenue generated will be returned directly to AOPA. That revenue will then be reinvested to fund AOPA's daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation. In addition to benefiting GA, AOPA Online Travel will save you money with great rates on airfare, hotels, and cruises. You can even save on your car rental from Alamo, Avis, or Hertz through special AOPA member discounts and coupons for free rental days, dollars off, and free upgrades. Start planning your vacation today.
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JOIN THE AIRPORT SUPPORT NETWORK TODAY Ensuring the health and vitality of your airport is up to you—residential development and economic and political pressures can restrict your flying. Every day more than 1,900 Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers are working with AOPA headquarters to help save their airports, but we need more. Below is a link to a list of the airports where an ASN volunteer could make a difference.
To nominate yourself or an associate to be a volunteer, visit http://www.aopa.org/asn/asn-form.html.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit http://www.aopa.org/asn/.
Here's a question asked by an AOPA member who contacted our aviation services staff through the AOPA Pilot Information Center. Test your knowledge.
Question: I recently read an FDC notam for the localizer approach to Runway 14 at my home airport, KOLU. It stated, "LOC RWY 14, AMDT 7... S-14 MINIMUMS NA." What does "S-14 minimums NA" mean?
Answer: This notam states that the published straight-in minimums for the instrument approach are not authorized. Because circling minimums are provided for this approach, you would use those minimums instead. To learn more, take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online minicourse, I FR Chart Challenge: ILS Approach.
Got a question for our aviation services staff? The AOPA Pilot Information Center is a service available to all members as part of the annual dues. Call 800/872-2672, or e-mail to email@example.com. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the type of work that's been done to AOPA's Get Your Glass Sweepstakes airplane, we needed the help of a designated engineering or airworthiness representative. DERs and DARs are a critical piece of the aircraft certification puzzle, and any creative modification is made easier with their approval. Learn how it's done in this week's sweepstakes update.
See the new Cirrus Perspective panel, hone your instrument arrival skills, learn about a new gadget that manages experimental airplanes' electrical systems, and more in the July edition of AOPA Pilot. It'll be in your mailbox shortly. For a sneak peak at the magazine, go online.
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an Aviation Technical Specialist, Promotions Specialist, Social Networking Specialist, Web Traffic/Content Specialist, and Director of Development. To learn more about these and other career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
The AOPA Online Gallery allows you to download your favorite aviation images to use for wallpaper or send a personalized e-card. Search the hundreds of fabulous images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online.
UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS: Lock Haven, Pa. A Sentimental Journey Fly-In takes place June 17 through 21 at William T. Piper Memorial (LHV). For more information, contact Carmen, 570/893-420, or visit the Web site.
Naples, Maine. The Annual New England Seaplane Safety Expo takes place June 21 at Brandy Pond Seaplane Base (5ME). For more information, contact Mary Build, 207/838-3548, or visit the Web site.
Palm Springs, Calif. A Wright Brothers educational series event takes place June 20 at Palm Springs Air Museum. For more information, contact Sheilah Reed, 760/778-6262 ext. 235, or visit the Web site.
Klamath Falls, Ore. Flying displays featuring Thunderbirds take place June 21 at Kingsley Field (LMT). For more information, contact David Junker, 541/331-7290, or visit the Web site.
Sanford, Maine. An airport open house and car show takes place June 28 at Sanford Regional (SFM). For more information, contact Evan R. McDougal, 207/432-0596.
Gardner, Kan. A vintage fly-in takes place June 28 at Gardner Municipal (K34). For more information, contact Jeff Sullens, 816/729-3151.
South Lake Tahoe, Calif. An airshow takes place June 28 at Lake Tahoe Airport (TVL). For more information, contact Rick Jenkins, 530/542-6182, or visit the Web site.
Concrete, Wash. An open cockpit day takes place June 28 at Concrete Municipal (3W5). For more information, contact Jim Jenkins, 360/770-4848 or visit the Web site.
To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Columbus, Ohio, June 21 and 22, and in San Jose, Calif., June 28 and 29. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION SAFETY SEMINARS AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Wichita, Kan., Ypsilanti, Mich., and Germantown, Tenn., on September 8. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
MVP Aero is developing a $189,000 light sport amphibious seaplane that doubles as a camper and is expected to fly in 18 months, with deliveries in 2017.
The FAA will miss a deadline to reform aircraft certification by two years, the agency told the House Aviation Subcommittee during a July 23 hearing.
AOPA is testing whether aircraft ownership can be more affordable than many people believe with the development of “Reimagined Aircraft.”
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