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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 2, Issue 34AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 2, Issue 34


Inside AOPA

On Capitol Hill

Airport Support Network

ASF News

Quiz Me!

ePilot Calendar

Weekend Weather

Air Force reviews light aircraft for training
Judge approves Stoddard-Hamilton sale
GA serves aerospace in unusual way
AOPA opposes final type certification rule
Volume 2, Issue 34
August 25, 2000
GA News
After a successful 21-day stability test, the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is now available for aviation use, the FAA announced Thursday. The test demonstrated that the system can operate without interruption, providing a stable and reliable signal to augment GPS units. Raytheon will operate the system for the FAA on a continuous basis, but will interrupt it occasionally to upgrade or test the system. The current WAAS signal is available to pilots to increase situational awareness during VFR operations and on the airport surface. Until the system design is completed and initial operational capability is declared, WAAS is not approved for IFR. The WAAS broadcast schedule is available on the Web.

The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is continuing to evaluate several models of light aircraft to be used for initial flight training. Tested last weekend was the Eagle 150B that was built in Australia with mostly American parts, and certified in several countries, including the United States. Set to be flight-tested are aircraft from Cessna, Piper, Grob, and others. The goal is to develop a list of aircraft that are approved by the Air Force for use in a contractor-run flight training program. The program will operate 30 aircraft under an Air Force contract expected to start in a few months. With the grounding of the T–3 Firefly fleet of trainers at the academy and at Hondo, Texas, the Air Force changed its training philosophy. While initial training was once a washout program to determine which pilot candidates had the aptitude for not only aviation but for the Air Force brand of rapid training, it is now considered a program to give candidates the proper background and confidence for an Air Force pilot career. Academy students will receive the civilian pilot's certificate in a 50-hour course. The new approach can still weed out students who find flying isn't for them, while retaining students who have the skills and desire, but need more training time than those who learn at lightning speed.


U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas T. Glover approved last Friday an offer made by Strider Capital Management LLC for the sale of Stoddard-Hamilton Aircraft Inc.'s assets. The $850,000 deal includes all the assets for the GlaStar and Glasair lines and the Aurora/Millennia project, an airplane that was being developed in conjunction with NASA. A $500,000 offer made by John White and other investors for the assets, minus GlaStar, was rejected. A creditors' committee supported the Strider offer because a sale of all the assets was in the best interest of creditors, kit builders, and vendors, said Mark Bailey, the committee's attorney. The deal is subject to the resolution of some final details. The committee also rejected a previous offer of $750,000, made by W.D. and Lonny Weitzel for the Glasair and GlaStar assets only.

Team USA took home two bronze medals at the 2000 World Aerobatic Championships in Muret, France last week. Eric Vazeille and Catherine Manuoury, both of France, are the new world champions. It was Manuoury's second title. Next year's competition will take place in Burgos, Spain. For more information, see the Web site.

General aviation has served the aerospace community in a variety of ways, such as leading the charge towards GPS navigation for aircraft, but Guernsey Aviation at Augusta Municipal Airport, Kansas, is providing a unique service. The company, which assembles new Eagle 150B aircraft and rebuilds antique aircraft to aircraft show standards, is assisting in an effort to restore a German-made V–2 rocket. Guernsey was called in by the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas, and is helping at the direction of the center's curatorial staff under a one-year contract. They have their work cut out for them. When the rocket arrived from the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, it had nearly rusted away. The engine contains several interesting bullet holes from either vandalism or Allied Forces attempting to disable the rockets. The Cosmosphere has the second largest group of space artifacts in the nation, including the Western World's largest collection of Russian space artifacts.

Mooney Aircraft's recent unusual marketing campaign has seen nine of 14 factory demonstrator aircraft sold to retail customers, Sales Director Rick Pitner said. Among those sold are five Eagles, three Bravos, and one Ovation. The Web-based Sale of the Century program offers buyers a considerable discount on each 1999 aircraft. Purchasers also receive a cash rebate or special financing rates, upgraded Bendix/King avionics, a fuel credit, prepaid annual inspections, and the opportunity to be placed in a drawing to win a credit of $20,000 toward the purchase of factory air conditioning or a TKS anti-icing system approved for flight into known icing. Four Ovations and one Bravo remain available. Details can be found on the Web.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Inside AOPA
Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater called airline CEOs, union representatives, air traffic controllers, and airport and FAA officials to a summit meeting this past week to find ways to reduce airline delays. Two weeks ago, FAA officials came to AOPA headquarters to discuss their plans to deal with the seven so-called "choke points" in the air traffic control system. "What was most important about the summit meeting was the recognition that general aviation is not part of the problem," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Most general aviation aircraft don't use the major hub airports and 90 percent of the piston-engine aircraft flights are flown VFR outside of the air traffic control system." AOPA worked with the FAA to ensure that changes to the ATC system do not penalize GA. In fact, the FAA's changes to procedures for the New York area may help improve GA access to the outlying airports.

AOPA has petitioned the FAA to reverse its final rule on "type certification procedures for changed products." The new regulations could add up to $15,000 to the cost of something as simple as installing a new GPS receiver. The new rule (which changes Parts 21 and 25 of the FARs) requires that changes to an existing product undergo recertification to meet the most current airworthiness regulations. If a component is modified, all "associated systems" would have to be brought up to current standards. (AOPA opposed the changes when they were first proposed in 1997.) AOPA's petition is available on the Web site in Adobe Reader format.

Members of the General Aviation Coalition, led by AOPA President Phil Boyer, met last week to begin final preparations for an upcoming meeting with FAA Administrator Jane Garvey and her senior managers. Scheduled for September 6, the coalition will outline its work on the "Year 2000 Top Initiatives" agreed to earlier in the year by the FAA. Specifically, the discussion will center on the FAA and the GA industry's efforts to preserve the nation's general aviation airports and streamlining the FAA's certification process for pilots, aircraft, avionics, and air traffic control procedures. Boyer told members of the coalition's two working groups to concentrate on solutions the FAA and industry can actually implement–preferably sooner rather than later–and not worry about "solving world hunger." Too much time is spent on developing the process for the "perfect solution," he said, and too little time on actually producing a product that makes a difference for owners and operators of general aviation aircraft.

AOPA is currently surveying pilots about their experiences with Automated Flight Service Stations (AFSS). "The FAA is in the process of modernizing the AFSS information delivery system," said Dennis Roberts, AOPA vice president and executive director of Government and Technical Affairs. "AOPA wants to ensure that the FAA understands how pilots use the system and how they might improve services for general aviation pilots." AOPA is querying pilots about what AFSS services they use, the quality of service they receive, and what problems they have encountered. AOPA will be contacting many pilots by telephone. Pilots can also participate in the survey online.

After numerous member inquiries, AOPA has contacted The History Channel in New York City regarding the date for rebroadcast of Private Planes in the cable TV network's Modern Marvels series. Rebroadcast is scheduled for 10 p.m. Eastern, 9 p.m. Central, and 8 p.m. Mountain time on August 31. The Pacific time zone broadcast is 10 p.m. AOPA worked with the producers for a more balanced presentation of general aviation, but in an online poll, some 300 AOPA members thought business jets still received too much attention.

On Capitol Hill
Calling himself "his own man," Vice President Al Gore brought the Democratic National Convention to a close last Thursday. Drawing on the traditional Democratic themes of education and social security, Gore sought to energize the Democratic base by outlining a long list of policy proposals he hopes will draw a distinction between himself and Texas Gov. George W. Bush. In contrast, the Republicans, who have already solidified their base, used their convention in Philadelphia to reach out to independent voters who have yet to make up their minds. AOPA Legislative Affairs staffers were on hand at the DNC to once again attempt to battle the strong presence of the major airlines as they did at the Republican convention. As the only general aviation presence in Los Angeles, AOPA Legislative Affairs staffers spent the week avoiding protesters to attend fundraisers and briefings with key Democratic legislators and their staffs. For more on the story, see the Web site.

Airport Support Network
ASN Volunteer Daniel C. Sigl took local county commissioners on a tour of the Clintonville Municipal Airport (CLI) in Wisconsin. For many, this was their first visit to the airport and most did not know that there were 30 people employed there. Thanks to Sigl's education efforts, the county officials are now beginning to see the airport's economic viability and are considering an increase in next year's funding for several improvement projects.

Click here to learn more about the Airport Support Network.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
Despite otherwise lower-than-normal attendance at EAA AirVenture 2000, safety seminars presented by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation drew record crowds. ASF programs on GPS for VFR Operations and Single Pilot IFR drew more than 1,000 pilots. In addition, the award-winning ASF video Weather Decision Making sold out early in the show. "I'm gratified that pilots cared enough about aviation safety to continue standing after seats ran out," said John Steuernagle, ASF vice president of operations. "Comments afterwards indicated they found the sessions more than worthwhile." ASF is celebrating its fiftieth year of providing safety education and research to the general aviation community.

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

Question: I've noticed that there are a lot of definitions for the nautical mile. What is the length of a nautical mile used on a sectional chart?
Answer: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the standard length they use is 1,852 meters (6,076 feet). The NOAA is the government office that prints aviation and marine navigational charts.

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

ePilot Calendar
Chesapeake, Virginia. The annual Gathering of Eagles Air Show salutes Korean War veterans, August 25 through 27. Chesapeake Municipal Airport (CPK), 757/421-9000, is the host airport. Call 757/382-6411 for event information.

Halls, Tenessee. Air Show 2000 takes place August 26 and 27. Celebrating The Year of the Bombers, the airshow will feature two B–17s and a B–25. Arnold Field (M31), 901/836-9653, is the host airport. Call 901/836-7448 for event information.

Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati Municipal Airport at Lunken Field (LUK), 513/321-4132, hosts the Lunken Airfest August 26 and 27. E-mail [email protected] for event information.

Rochester, New York. The Tops International Air Show takes place August 26 and 27. Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC), 716/464-6001, is the host airport. Call 716/262-2117 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 Boulder, Colorado; Reno, Nevada; and Reston, Virginia, August 26 and 27. For complete details, visit the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule.

The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in Pittsburgh (West Mifflin), Pennsylvania, September 11; Harrisburg (New Cumberland), Pennsylvania, September 12; and Middletown, New Jersey, September 14. 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(R) Ground School will take place September 24 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 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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