Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Volume 1, Issue 4AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Volume 1, Issue 4


GA News

Inside AOPA

On Capitol Hill

Quiz Me!

ePILOT Calendar

Coming in Pilot

Picture of the day

Weekend Weather

Bendix/King thieves may be a nationwide ring
Navy agrees to airspace trials
AOPA fighting pressure for 406 mHz ELTs
Senate apparently did not want trust fund deal
AOPA Pilot flies Diamond DA40
Volume 1, Issue 4
November 19, 1999

GA News
Last week ePILOT told you about thefts of avionics at San Jose, California’s Reid-Hillview Airport. That brought replies from readers on the East Coast, who said Bendix/King thieves were at work in October at several airports in New Jersey. At Lakewood Airport, New Jersey, where half a dozen single-engine airplanes were hit, the crooks broke vent windows to pull down sunscreens. Once they saw that an aircraft was not equipped with Bendix/King avionics, they left it alone. Additionally, law enforcement officers have contacted ePILOT to warn that several hundred thousand dollars worth of Bendix/King radios have been stolen from southern California airports over the past three years.

No sooner had ePILOT warned pilots that they might one day share airspace with unmanned aerial vehicles, than an e-mail arrived announcing that this is already happening. The U.S. Air Force flew a Northrop/Grumman Global Hawk UAV from Edwards Air Force Base, California, to Alaska and back in late October. It flew well above GA and airline traffic, reaching 66,000 feet at one point, merrily snapping reconnaissance photos all the way. In the photo, the Global Hawk banks to land at Edwards following a 24-hour mission that occurred on October 19 and 20.


Diamond Aircraft, which dropped the DA20 Katana’s original 80-horsepower Rotax engine for a 125-hp Continental on its current DA20-C1, plans to offer the new 100-hp Rotax 912S as an option on the C1 Katana.


Don't expect to be flying a Piper jet anytime soon. The New Piper Aircraft Company will defer development of a light jet until after the Meridian single-engine turboprop is fully certified and in production, and the company has gone public. Certification of the Meridian is scheduled for mid-2000. The company has 137 orders for the $1.375 million turboprop; 82 of them are already sold to retail customers. Piper is exploring plans to make an initial public offering. However, no specific timetable for the project has been established.


The Jasper County/Bell Field Airport (JAS) at Jasper, Texas, has reopened following a $3.1 million project to lengthen Runway 18/36 from 4,000 to 5,500 feet.

Although Kansas City, Missouri, officials have issued notice that the airport will close officially at midnight on December 31, the FAA has not yet approved a new Memorandum of Agreement between the federal government and Kansas City to allow conversion of the airport to an intermodal freight transfer facility. The latest proposal from the city includes the construction of a new runway on the airport property.

When Robert Mueller Municipal Airport in Austin, Texas, closed, based aircraft were forced to go elsewhere and many went to Georgetown Municipal, 20 miles up the road. Now, Georgetown residents are shocked to learn that airports attract airplanes, and have mounted local opposition to Georgetown Municipal operations. AOPA is actively working with Georgetown supporters to mitigate neighborhood concerns.

Inside AOPA
At AOPA’s suggestion, the U.S. Navy has agreed to conduct a test on Saturdays in the Palatka 1 and 2 Military Operations Areas and restricted areas to provide GA users, especially Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University flight students, with better information on the airspace status. Additionally, the Navy supports conducting such tests in additional airspace near Savannah, Georgia, and Fort Worth, Texas. A test plan for these areas is in development. AOPA’s suggestion was approved by the RTCA Working Group for Special Use Airspace.

Last week ePILOT told you that the FAA had proposed the Phelps MOA in the Dare County area of North Carolina last July without providing an opportunity for public comment. The same day you read that, AOPA staff met with the FAA and reached an agreement to recirculate the Phelps MOA proposal for additional public comment. It might be a week or two before it is published. Users of the airspace should provide specific examples of how the MOA will affect their operations, and send their comments to the address in the proposal when it is available. The FAA is asserting that the MOA lies above a restricted area that many pilots circumnavigate anyway, so FAA officials need to be told of specific operational impacts. The Department of Defense has agreed to make this MOA "joint use," with IFR traffic being given priority.

Satellite monitoring of 121.5 MHz distress signals will be terminated in the United States in 2009. Pilots wanting the benefits of satellite surveillance of search and rescue (SAR) frequencies will be required to "upgrade" to more expensive 406 MHz ELT equipment. A recent Coast Guard press release has stirred AOPA concerns about this dilemma. AOPA has voiced serious opposition to mandatory usage of 406 MHz ELTs for many years. In a recent letter to FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, AOPA pointed out that, "FAA support of mandatory 406 MHz ELT carriage requirements and the termination of 121.5 mHz satellite surveillance is a direct contradiction of the viewpoint of the majority of aviation system users in the United States." The FAA failed to respond or address AOPA’s concerns, and in October recommended 406 MHz ELTs to ICAO despite unanimous industry opposition. At press time, AOPA has yet to receive a response from the FAA.

On Capitol Hill
In the wake of the collapse of House/Senate negotiations over the FAA reauthorization bill, questions have arisen over whether Senate conferees were ever interested in a deal to begin with. As the House conferees thought they were nearing agreement, it became clear that there was a lack of agreement on the definitions of even the most basic terms. Rep. Bud Shuster (R-Pa.) expressed disappointment at the lack of Senate conferees’ support as he fought to preserve the annual contribution from the Treasury’s general fund that supports the FAA and the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). The general fund contribution and a provision to protect contributions to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund were the cornerstones of AIR-21, the landmark House bill that would have "unlocked" the trust fund.

Following failure of the negotiations, the Senate has approved a six-month extension of the AIP. The $1.237 billion funding mechanism was approved without controversy by voice vote. However, the House has not yet addressed the issue. Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee, said that he would adamantly oppose further short-term extensions. Nevertheless, House leaders can move an AIP extension without Shuster's concurrence.
Quiz me!
Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.
Question: What is the retesting procedure for the ATP knowledge test? I know I don’t need an instructor endorsement to take the original test, but what if I score below 70 percent?
Answer: The answer is found in FAA Order 8080.6. If you receive a grade lower than 70 percent and wish to retest, you must present the following to the testing center personnel: the failed Airman Test Report; and a written endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying that additional instruction has been given and that the instructor finds you competent to pass the test.

If you decide to retake the test in anticipation of a better score (perhaps to better impress an airline interviewer), you may retake the test 30 days after the date that your last test was taken. The FAA will not allow you to retake a passed test before the 30-day period has lapsed. Prior to retesting, you must give your current Airman Test Report to the test proctor. Be aware that your official score will be the last test taken.

Got a technical question? Call 800/872-2672 or e-mail [email protected].
ePILOT Calendar
Houston, Texas.
The 1940 Air Terminal Project to restore the original art deco Houston Municipal Airport Terminal will be a featured project at HobbyFest99 on Saturday. William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) is the site of the aviation event. Call 713/640-3000 for airport information; 281/367-7732 for festival information or visit the Air Terminal Project Web site Also occurring at Hobby on the same day is the Challenge Air Event. Call Lonna Harris, 214/351-3353.

North Little Rock, Arkansas. Autumn Orchid Harvest November 20 and 21. Displays of hundreds of exotic orchids. North Little Rock Municipal Airport (1M1) is four miles north of city. Call 501/835-5654 for airport information; 501/889-2381 for festival information.

Newcastle, California. The Mountain Mandarin Festival, on November 21, celebrates the Sierra Nevada range harvest that has been one of the area's major crops since the late 1880s. Auburn Municipal Airport (AUN) serves the area; taxi service is available. Call 530/823-0744 for airport information; or 916/663-1918 for festival information.

Camden, South Carolina. Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup Steeplechase Races and terrier trials November 21. Woodward Field (CDN) serves the area and is located three miles northeast of the city. Call 803/432-3095 for airport information; 803/432-6513 for race information.

November 19-26, 1999
19—Buffalo, NY
. Samuel's Grand Manor. Aero Club of Buffalo Meeting, featuring AOPA President Phil Boyer. Call Darla Richter, 716/652-0715.
20—Huntsville, AL. Moontown Airport (3M5). Fly-In Breakfast, sponsored by EAA Chapter 190. Call Guy Osborne, 256/922-9095.
November 26-December 25—Sterling, PA. Spring Hill Airport (70N). Fly-in to tag your holiday tree. More than 25,000 to choose from. Call Wayne Saar, 570/689-9310.
For more events, see

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
November 20-21—Atlanta, GA. Westin-Atlanta North, Seven Concourse Parkway, Atlanta, GA
November 20-21—Baltimore, MD. Homewood Suites Hotel, 1181 Winterson Road, Linthicum, MD
November 20-21—Cincinnati, OH. Holiday Inn Eastgate, 4501 Eastgate Blvd, Cincinnati, OH.
November 20-21—Dallas, TX. Sheraton Park-Central, 7750 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, TX
For more ASF Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics, visit
Coming up in AOPA Pilot
"Pilot" Technical Editor Pete Bedell flew Diamond’s new DA40 last week at the company’s production facility in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, for an article that will be published early next year. The DA40 Diamond Star is an all-composite four-place airplane powered by a 180-hp Lycoming IO-360. The DA40 will be IFR certified and will include Bendix/King avionics and an available horizontal situation indicator. During an evaluation flight, Bedell recorded speeds of 140 knots at 75-percent power and climb rates of 1,000 feet per minute, with three people and half-full fuel tanks. Certification of the $180,000 airplane is expected by April with IFR certification to follow six months later.
Picture of the day
If you can’t fly today, at least look at a nice airplane picture. Liven up your computer desktop with some new aviation photography. Here’s a link the AOPA Online Gallery. Right click on the photo to capture wallpaper for your work area. Visit

Contacting ePILOT
Got news? Send it to [email protected]
If you have difficulty using this service, please e-mail to [email protected].

To SUBSCRIBE to this service, visit

AOPA, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, MD 21701
E-mail: [email protected]
On the Web:
Telephone: 800/USA-AOPA or 301/695-2000
Copyright � 1999. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.


Click here for more information.

Click here for more information.

Click here for more information.

Click here for more information.


Related Articles