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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 2, Issue 32AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 2, Issue 32


Inside AOPA

On Capitol Hill

Airport Support Network

Quiz Me!

Coming up in
AOPA Pilot

Rod Machado's Tips

The Road to Expo

ePilot Calendar

Weekend Weather

Flight instructor talks nonpilot down
Judge to decide Stoddard-Hamilton fate
Aviat puts Monocoupe on back burner
AOPA blasts FAA over radio tower decision
Volume 2, Issue 32
August 11, 2000
GA News
Photo courtesy of The Lakeland Ledger
Instrument instructor and AOPA member Dan McCullough successfully talked a nonpilot into a safe landing at Winter Haven's Gilbert Airport, Florida, after the pilot became incapacitated Saturday. The pilot, Kristopher Pearce, 36, later died of causes that were not immediately known. McCullough and his student had just completed a series of approaches at Lakeland and had asked for a GPS approach back to Bartow Municipal Airport, where McCullough is a part-time instructor, when the emergency occurred. Tampa controllers who had been providing weather avoidance information to Pearce were contacted by passenger Henry Anhalt when Pearce lost consciousness. Controllers at first dispatched a Civil Air Patrol aircraft. McCullough, who was monitoring the emergency, offered his assistance and saw the turbocharged Piper Saratoga as it flew at 700 feet agl before the CAP airplane arrived. He then told Anhalt, who had been riding with his wife and children, how to climb to 1,000 feet and switch fuel tanks, since the right tank was nearly empty. Once the airplane was safely flying on the left tank, McCullough led the Saratoga to Winter Haven. "It was basically playing follow the leader, and getting him to shadow our movements in order to give him pitch and roll information," McCullough told ePilot. "I brought him around once and he was uncomfortable, so I brought him around again, and maneuvered behind and above him. From that position, I was able to talk him through power, flaps, and pitch attitude for an approach to Runway 22. Basically, the plan was to get him over the numbers, chop the power, have him pitch level, and pray real hard." Anhalt bounced three times before running off the runway, crossing a ditch, and coasting up a taxiway. There were no injuries and there was only minor damage to the airplane. McCullough said he used the incident to demonstrate to the mainstream news media afterward that general aviation is safe and has procedures in place, such as the CAP, to handle emergencies. Photo courtesy of The Lakeland (Florida) Ledger.


A hearing is scheduled today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Seattle to determine if a father-and-son team from Texas will take over the assets of what was a leading kitplane company. But there were fears that protests could delay the decision. Stoddard-Hamilton Aircraft Inc. previously filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. W.D. and Lonny Weitzel would buy the assets of the GlaStar and Glasair product lines for $750,000 if the judge approves the deal, according to court documents. A creditors' committee was formed to advise the court about the best interests of the creditors. The committee also has been looking into potential offers from other buyers besides the Weitzels. The Weitzels formed GlasPlanes Inc. to resume production of the popular composite aircraft.

BFGoodrich Avionics, which surprised the general aviation industry at Oshkosh late last month with its integrated SmartDeck avionics suite, has demonstrated its commitment to the product by buying Advanced Creations Inc. BFGoodrich previously announced that it would partner with ACI, which specialized in large flat-panel displays and other technologies critical to the SmartDeck suite. First displayed at EAA AirVenture last month, SmartDeck is a self-contained primary instrument system that also integrates BFGoodrich's demonstrated capabilities in lightning detection, collision avoidance, and terrain avoidance technologies. The purchase "reflects our company's commitment to expand our position in avionics, and [is] the next logical step given the success of our individual situational awareness avionics products," said Mike Piscatella, president of BFGoodrich Aerospace's Electronic Systems Group. The company plans to have SmartDeck certified and commercially available in 2002.

Aviat Aircraft, located in Afton, Wyoming, has put the Monocoupe 110 project, known as the Aviat 110 Special, on the back burner and turned off the heat. The former pylon racer, a powerful tailwheel two-seater that won the World Aerobatic Championships in the late 1940s, ran afoul of Aviat's dealers who wanted changes made. Apparently the changes weren't enough to attract orders. Aviat got lots of attention and interest from nostalgic pilots, but no sales. The Monocoupe was featured in the April edition of AOPA Pilot. Aviat will now turn its attention to the Millennium Swift, a redo of the original Globe Swift with all the latest modifications. Aviat also manufactures the popular Husky tailwheel tandem two-seat aircraft and the Pitts aerobatic aircraft.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Inside AOPA
AOPA's Communications Division scrambled to work with various media outlets after news broke about Wednesday's midair crash that killed 11 people over New Jersey. The crash occurred about 7:54 a.m., involving a Piper Navaho and a Piper Seminole over Burlington County. AOPA briefed the media on general aviation's much-improved safety record, including the relatively low number of midair crashes, of which only about half are fatal. Over the last 17 years, there have been about 17 midair crashes a year. GA is under intense political pressure in New Jersey because of the state's extensive urbanization, airport noise and safety fears, and heavy media coverage of crashes in 1999. New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) were reportedly at the crash scene hours after it occurred.

In direct response to AOPA requests, the FAA clarified that dual brakes are not required in aircraft utilized for instruction or checkrides. In April, AOPA, through a series of negotiations with FAA officials, garnered a commitment from the agency to correct the discrepancy and realign the dual brake policy with the long-standing aviation practice. The FAA made good on this promise recently by issuing an amendment to the "Flight Standards Handbook Bulletin for General Aviation." For more information and a copy of the latest FAA interpretation, visit AOPA Online.

AOPA blasted FAA headquarters for reversing an Alaskan Region hazard-to-navigation determination regarding a proposed radio tower near Anchorage International Airport. "The FAA has an absolute responsibility to consider the real-world environment, not just the 'letter of the law,' when making a decision that will affect safety," said Melissa K. Bailey, AOPA director of air traffic services. "This time, even safety concerns voiced by FAA staff were ignored in favor of strict adherence to an inflexible bureaucratic process." The issue began in 1999 with a proposal to build a 360-foot (497 feet msl) radio broadcasting tower near Point MacKenzie, less than 10 miles off the end of Runway 14 at Anchorage International. The location is beneath a 1,400-foot "shelf" of the Anchorage Class C airspace and close to an existing VFR checkpoint. VFR aircraft often hold near that checkpoint while awaiting Special VFR clearances into the Anchorage Class C airspace. Local pilots and AOPA pointed out that the tower would threaten a contained area of airspace where a large number of VFR aircraft operate at low altitudes, frequently in marginal weather. For more information on this story, see the Web site.

A final rule mandating sweeping changes to the regulations governing the certification of modifications to aircraft drew pointed opposition from AOPA. The new rule mandates that all aircraft receiving modifications (such as a supplemental type certificate) undergo significant alterations to align the modified systems or components with the most current certification standards. Consequently, aircraft certified under the older CAR 3 standards that receive modifications, like avionics upgrades or stronger seat rails, will be required to upgrade all related components to the latest FAR Part 23 standards, regardless of that aircraft's original certification basis. AOPA opposed this rule because the associated increased costs of compliance would prevent most owners of general aviation aircraft from installing safety-enhancing products or systems. AOPA also noted that the new rule contradicts other FAA safety programs such as the Safer Skies Initiative because it raises the cost of developing and installing new safety-enhancing equipment to a prohibitive level. AOPA asked the FAA to rescind the rule or limit its applicability solely to Transport category aircraft (as originally intended).

The FAA has agreed to expand a process to reduce the delay in obtaining or renewing special-issuance medical certificates. Acting on a longstanding AOPA suggestion, Federal Air Surgeon Jon Jordan has agreed that, under some circumstances, aviation medical examiners (AMEs) may issue time-limited certificates at the time of examination. Currently, pilots are forced to wait up to four months for the certificates while the FAA reviews the applications. "This is a monumental step forward," said Lance Nuckolls, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. "It demonstrates that Jordan and his top managers really want to fix the medical casework backlog." For more information, see the Web site.

On Capitol Hill
While Texas Gov. George W. Bush, the Republican presidential nominee, vowed at the Republican National Convention to "use these great times for great goals," AOPA Legislative Affairs staffers were working hard to counter the formidable presence of the major airlines, which hosted numerous convention-related events. AOPA staff met with key congressional members, staff, and campaign officials including Bud Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate transportation appropriations subcommittee; AOPA members such as Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.); and staffers for House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.). AOPA also met with officials from the Republican congressional and senatorial campaign committees. Following the announcement of Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman as Vice President Al Gore's choice for his running mate this week, the Democrats will kick off their convention in Los Angeles next week. AOPA Legislative Affairs staffers will be there to meet with key Democrat lawmakers and their staffs to discuss issues that are vital to GA.

Airport Support Network
At Morey Airport (C29) in Middleton, Wisconsin, Airport Support Network volunteer Diane Ballweg helped to establish a space and aviation class at the local high school. It provides another example of how ASN volunteers promote aviation in their communities. Since start-up funding of about $6,000 was needed, three donors stepped forward as a result of a request in the local pilots' association newsletter. Two other area high schools are planning to start similar classes in fall 2001.

Click here to learn more about the Airport Support Network.

Quiz me!
Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.

Question: I thought I was familiar with most V-speeds, but I recently encountered two in a pilot's operating handbook that I had never seen. What are V WW and V LL?
Answer: There are some V-speed abbreviations that are not as common as most. V WW means maximum windshield wiper operating speed. V LL means maximum landing light extension speed. For most V-speeds, consult FAR Part 1.2 "Abbreviations and Symbols," available on AOPA's Web site.

Got a technical question? Call our technical specialists at 800/872-2672 or e-mail to [email protected]. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to [email protected].

What's New At AOPA Online
Questions about ePilot? Check out our list of frequently asked questions on the Web site.

Coming up in AOPA Pilot
Pick up some Idaho backcountry tips, learn how the Robinson R44 Raven performs on a long cross-country, and experience training in Navy T-45s at Pensacola in the September issue of AOPA Pilot. It will be mailed August 19.

Rod Machado's Tips
Aviation humorist Rod Machado takes on the procedure turn in his latest online tip. See AOPA Online.

The Road to Expo
Take a close-up look at new products and services, get answers to your questions, and receive more detailed information to make better-informed buying decisions at AOPA Expo 2000 in Long Beach, California. There will be 30-minute product demonstrations going on all day, every day, at the event, which takes place from October 20 through 22. And don't forget that there are only a few more weeks until September 15, your last chance to register in advance and save with package plans. For a listing of product demonstrations or to register online, visit the Web site or call 888-GO2-EXPO to register by phone.

ePilot Calendar
Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. The Beaver County Air Show takes place August 12 and 13, featuring performances and static displays. Beaver County Airport (BVI), 724/847-4662, is the host airport. Call 207/871-1026 for event information.

Muncie, Indiana. The Summer Heat Balloon Festival takes place through August 13. Delaware County-Johnson Field (MIE), 765/747-5690, and Reese Airport (7I2), 765/284-9611, serve the area. Call 800/369-2740 for event information.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Southwestern Bell Balloon Festival takes place August 11 and 12. Wiley Post Airport (PWA), 405/789-4061, is the host airport. Call 405/948-4000 for event information.

Salmon, Idaho. The Great Salmon Valley Balloonfest takes place August 10 through 12. Lemhi County Airport (SMN), 208/756-2901, is the host airport. Call 208/756-2100 for event information.

For more airport details, see AOPA’s Airport Directory Online. For more events, see the Aviation Calendar of Events.

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Allentown, Pennsylvania; Atlanta, Georgia; and Norfolk, Virginia, August 12 and 13. Clinics are scheduled in Champaign, Illinois; Long Beach, California; Newark, New Jersey; and Vero Beach, Florida, August 19 and 20. For complete details, visit the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule.

The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in Memphis, Tennessee, August 14; Nashville, August 15; Chattanooga, Tennessee, August 16; and in Knoxville, Tennessee, August 17. The seminar topic is "GPS for VFR Operations." Familiarity with GPS is essential because it is the navigation system of the future. You will learn rules for survival in an electronic environment as well as advantages and disadvantages of using GPS; GPS capabilities; how to navigate using GPS; and traps and tricks of GPS navigation. Pilots of all skill levels and experience will benefit from this thorough review of GPS in VFR conditions. For more information about ASF Safety Seminars, visit the Web site.

(Pinch Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground School will take place place August 12 and 13 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. For details and a complete schedule, see the Pinch Hitter Ground School Schedule.

Featuring AOPA President Phil Boyer
(7:30 p.m.; admission is free)
The next Pilot Town Meetings are in Omaha, Nebraska, August 28; Des Moines, Iowa, August 29; and Lansing, Michigan, September 11. Click for more information on Pilot Town Meetings.

Contacting ePilot
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