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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Volume 1, Issue 7AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Volume 1, Issue 7


GA News

Inside AOPA

On Capitol Hill

Quiz Me!

Picture of the day

ePILOT Calendar

Weekend Weather

Medical applications backed up
Fear not Y2K
AOPA participates in datalink test
AOPA battles Van Nuys noise ordinance
Volume 1, Issue 7
December 10, 1999

GA News
The AlliedSignal Bendix/King avionics in your panel just got a new name. European Commission approval has cleared the way for the merger of AlliedSignal and Honeywell, creating a $24 billion company in the process. Integration of the two firms, to be called Honeywell, will be largely completed by this summer. For more information, see (

Software problems at the FAA Aeromedical Certification Division have created a months-long backlog of medical applications. Here’s how to avoid the problem. If you report something new to the FAA on your next medical application—be it medication usage, a change in your medical history, or visits to health professionals—have with you at the time of examination a report from the treating physician summarizing the new medical history. Make copies of everything you provide the FAA. If you have questions about what to do or how to do it, call the AOPA Pilot Information Center at 800/872-2672, and speak with a medical certification specialist. A five-minute phone conversation may save you from months of unnecessary grounding. Detailed certification procedures are also available in the members-only section of AOPA Online ( .


AOPA, based on its work with FAA task forces, believes that the U.S. air traffic control system and the major airports will not encounter any significant Y2K problems. If you want to be sure smaller airports, and your airplane’s avionics, are ready for the big calendar change, here are a few steps to take: Get all NOTAMs. Ask the briefer for local notams on the airports you plan to use. Check in advance with the airport manager. Phone numbers are listed in the AOPA’s Airport Directory and Airport Directory Online ( Check to ensure that your avionics are Y2K compliant by visiting this site ( While smaller airports have not been officially certified as Y2K compliant, no significant problems are expected. There is a remote chance that automatic or pilot-controlled lighting systems might not work properly. If you find a problem, report it to a flight service station and e-mail a copy of the report to [email protected]. Any major problems will be reported on AOPA’s home page at (


A Piper Seminole from Phoenix East Aviation and a Piper Cadet from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University were involved in a mid-air collision over DeLand, Florida, that killed four, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports—see ( Both schools are based at Daytona Beach International Airport.

For daily news updates, see (
Inside AOPA
As part of FAA's Safe Flight 21 program, AOPA this summer will help test a datalink station at its headquarters on the Frederick Municipal Airport, Maryland. The system, known as the Universal Access Transceiver (UAT), is capable of providing graphical weather information and air traffic information derived from radar and aircraft-to-aircraft transmissions. The FAA will provide avionics for two aircraft and install a ground station. Compared to Mode S, this system has greater effective bandwidth, is less complex, and benefits from a "clean sheet" engineering design. AOPA has long advocated the need for technology designs that provide multiple services to make greater use of expensive avionics equipment.


AOPA has opposed the FAA’s proposed changes to certification regulations for aviation repair stations (FAR Part 145). FAA’s "one size fits all" proposal would unnecessarily impose significantly higher standards on smaller, general aviation-oriented repair stations. That could increase repair costs to aircraft owners by some 30 percent, and it might force some shops to give up their repair station certificates. AOPA’s comments on the Part 145 NPRM are available at (

AOPA has officially objected to proposed additional restrictions on Van Nuys (California) Airport, one of the 10 busiest general aviation fields in the nation. The proposed noise regulations would discriminate between aircraft of the same class, category and noise level, and discriminate between based and transient aircraft. In a letter to the Los Angeles City Council, AOPA said that the proposed ordinance violated federal law and could jeopardize future federal funding for the city’s airports.
On Capitol Hill
Here’s how, in Washington at least, a 0.38 percent budget cut can actually become a 2.5 percent cut. The across-the-board funding reduction agreed to by the White House and Congress during budget negotiations hits aviation the hardest of all departments in the Department of Transportation. DOT spokesmen promised that the 0.38-percent cut in the FAA’s discretionary spending will not come from safety programs. Instead, there will be a $53 million cut in the Airport Improvement Program, or approximately 2.5 percent of that program’s $2 billion-plus appropriation.
Quiz me!
Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.
Question: Can I log cross-country flight time (VFR or simulated instrument) during the time I am in control of the aircraft even through I may not be PIC when taking off or landing?

If you are the sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft for which you are rated and you hold a recreational, private, or commercial certificate you can certainly log that flight time as PIC--see 14 CFR 61.51(e)(1). The general definition of cross-country time is a flight that is conducted by a person who holds a pilot certificate, in an aircraft, and with a landing at a point other than the destination and which uses some form of navigation to get there, 14 CFR 61.1(b)(3)(i). However, there are many different situations. If you are doing instrument rating training, for example, and fly to an airport, make an approach, and fly a missed approach, you cannot count it as cross-country time because you did not make a landing. You would need to make a landing at a destination that is a straight-line distance of more than 50 nm from the original departure point. If you are the safety pilot in this particular case, stay in the pattern of the destination airport, make a landing or touch-and-go, and it will count as cross-country time if the other requirements are met.

Got a technical question? Call 800/872-2672 or e-mail [email protected].
Picture of the day
Jump to the AOPA Online Gallery to see the featured airplane of the day. Click on the link for details on how to capture wallpaper for your work area. Visit (
ePILOT Calendar
Petaluma, California.
A flotilla of decorated boats glide into the downtown harbor December 11.The lighted boats are docked at the harbor for tours or viewing from any one of several riverfront restaurants. The area is served by Petaluma Municipal Airport(O69), 707/778-4404. For event information, call 707/765-6750.

Luray, Virginia. Costumed candlelit tours of the Luray Caverns in the Shenandoah National Forest take place through December 31 during Luray's Christmas Festival of the Stars. Concerts, caroling, and tours are also offered. Luray Caverns Airport (W45) is two miles west of the city, 540/743-6070. For festival information, call 540/743-3915.

Kingsville, Texas. La Procesion de la Posada y Pastorella, a south-Texas-flavored festival featuring parades, cowboy breakfasts, and a Christmas Tree Forest, takes place through December 31. Kleberg County Airport (T80) serves the area, 512/595-8540. For festival information, call 800/333-5032.

Breckenridge, Colorado. Of interest to pilots is the Continental Divide Hot Air Balloon Challenge December 8 through 13. There is a hot air balloon race over the Continental Divide and nighttime balloon luminaries. Call 970/453-6018 for festival information. (Closest airports are in the Denver area; consult the AOPA’s Airport Directory).

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. The ninety-sixth anniversary celebration of man's first powered flight takes place at the Wright Brothers National Memorial on Friday, December 17. Commemorative events begin at 9:30 a.m. and an anniversary ball is held that evening. First Flight Airport (FFA, 252/473-2111) does not offer fuel or rental cars, but Dare County Regional does. For festival information, call 252/441-2424.

For airport details, see AOPA’s Airport Directory Online at: (

December 11
Cocoa, FL. Merritt Island Airport (COI). Pancake Breakfast, sponsored by Brevard Aviation Association and Merritt Island Air Service. Call Bobbi Lasher, 407/267-8780.
11Lawrence, KANSAS. Lawrence Municipal Airport (LWC). Ribbon-cutting and birthday celebration for the 70-year-old city airport. The Lawrence airport is one of the oldest, continuously operating airports in the country. Call Rick Bryant, 785/842-0000.
12Pembroke Pines, FL. North Perry Airport (HWO). Christmas Toy Drop, benefits the Broward County Foster Families Assoc. Call Matt Davis, 954/359-6103.
12Santa Monica, CA. Museum of Flying. Santa Fly-In. Call 310/392-8822.
13Miami, FL. Miami Air Traffic Control Tower, Miami International Airport (MIA). Operation Sunshine. Use of the ATC system, flight plans, IFR operations, VFR operations, tours of the tower and radar room, and simulation lab experience. Call Rust Potter, 305/869-5415.

For more events, see (

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
December 11-12Lincoln, NE. Holiday Inn-Lincoln Downtown, 141 North 9th Street.
11-12—Fresno, CA. Four Points Sheraton, 3737 N. Blackstone Ave.
11-12—Allentown, PA. Ramada Inn at the Malls, 1500 MacArthur Road, Whitehall, PA.
18-19—Austin, TX. Omni Austin Hotel Southpark, 4140 Governor's Row.
18-19—Chicago, IL. Ramada Plaza Hotel-O'Hare, 6600 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont, IL.
18-19—Reston, VA. Sheraton Reston Hotel, 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive.

For more ASF Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics, visit (

December 19—Reston, VA. Sheraton Reston Hotel, 11810 Sunrise Valley Drive. 9:30 a.m.

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