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| GA News |
| CARTERCOPTERS AIMS TO SHATTER BARRIER |
A backyard garage operation in Wichita Falls, Texas, has been honored by a major magazine for showing the potential to break a barrier in the world of rotorcraft. CarterCopters LLC received an award Thursday by Popular Mechanics magazine for creating the "first significant new aircraft design of the twenty-first century." The company's heliplane transport (CCH-T) concept could reshape the face of aviation if it is able to shatter the Mu-1 barrier where the rotor tip speed remains slower than the forward speed of the aircraft. If stability is maintained, CarterCopters says its aircraft have the potential of being as efficient as fixed-wing aircraft in addition to not needing a runway. A prototype of the CCH-T has been flying since September 1998. It uses a rotor for vertical takeoff and landing and a small wing for high-speed cruise. For more, see the Web site.
GARMIN RAISES $147 MILLION
Garmin International Inc. raised $147 million from its public stock offering last Friday on the NASDEQ exchange. The GPS maker had expected shares to go for $15 to $17, but they rose to $20 by the end of the first day of trading. Garmin intends to use the proceeds from the sale for "working capital and other general corporate purposes, including possible acquisitions or strategic partnerships," according to paperwork filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For more about the company, visit the Web site.
HOW MANY OF US ARE THERE?
AOPA's 2000 Aviation Fact Card says that there are 635,472 U.S. pilots. These include 258,749 private pilots, 124,261 commercial pilots, and 137,642 airline transport pilots. Student pilots number 97,359, while there are 79,694 flight instructors. Interestingly, there are only 343 recreational pilots. Other aviation statistics are available on AOPA Online.
ROBINSON DONATES $1 MILLION TO MUSEUM
Robinson Helicopter Company recently donated $1 million for the Smithsonian Institution's expansion of the Air and Space Museum. The funding is to ensure that the new $238 million facility at Washington Dulles International Airport will include a section devoted to rotary wing aircraft. Two Robinson helicopters will be on display there for at least 20 years. The new museum is to open in December 2003, in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight. For more on Robinson, see the Web site.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA ASKS NJ PILOTS TO DEFEAT ANTI-AIRPORT BILLS |
AOPA has called on New Jersey AOPA members to help defeat two bills in the state legislature that would seriously affect the state's ability to retain an adequate airport system. "New Jersey once had one of the best airport systems in the nation," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "This latest legislative attempt to constrain what's left of that system is just another example of the state's failure to protect its airport assets." The bills would prohibit the expansion or extension of a runway if more than 15,000 people live within two miles of the airport, if a school is located within 3,000 feet of the proposed runway extension, or a house is within 1,000 feet of the runway. For more, see AOPA Online.
| On Capitol Hill |
| THINK TANK PROPOSES 'COMMERCIALIZED' ATC |
In the wake of the Clinton administration's call for aviation user fees last week, AOPA Legislative Affairs has obtained a detailed proposal from the Reason Foundation, a private think tank, for yet another user fee-funded air traffic control system. AOPA has consistently argued that there is no financial crisis demanding user fees. The historic provisions of the AIR-21 legislation have provided sufficient funds to modernize ATC, including increasing the FAA's budget by $3 billion this year alone. The "commercialization" proposal, written by the foundation's Robert Poole, received funding from several major airlines. Commercializing ATC is not new ground for Poole. He's the author of previous proposals to charge user fees for basic ATC safety services. In the past, he has even advocated charging general aviation pilots some $10 for each weather briefing and $18.50 to file a VFR flight plan. Poole never talked to AOPA about this current proposal, even though general aviation would be the largest "stakeholder" in the proposed ATC corporation. AOPA will oppose any attempts to make this proposal a reality. For more, see AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK–GLENN TORGERSON |
According to Glenn Torgerson, ASN volunteer at Harvey Field in Snohomish, Washington, S-R Broadcasting Company (KRKO) is requesting permission to build eight radio towers two miles south of Runway 32, ranging in height from 446 to 487 feet. Local pilots think it would be a serious encroachment on the airport as well as a potential safety hazard. The proposed location of these towers would infringe on the planned GPS approach to Runway 32. Torgerson has been closely working with the airport owner and has obtained all the necessary documentation for AOPA headquarters to weigh in on the issue. In addition, he has done an outstanding job of educating local pilots and soliciting comments to be sent to the FAA and the Washington Department of Transportation.
Click here to learn more about the Airport Support Network.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| AVIATION STUDENTS WIN SCHOLARSHIPS |
Four university students have each won $2,000 scholarships sponsored by ExxonMobil and administered by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The two winners of the A&P scholarship were Melanie Thom of West Lafayette, Indiana, majoring in aviation technology at Purdue University, and Roger Suter of Friendly, West Virginia, who is working toward his A&P certificate at Fairmont State College. Aviation scholarships were awarded to Chad Kintz of Grand Forks, North Dakota, majoring in commercial aviation at the University of North Dakota, and Raffi Hairabedian of Prescott, Arizona, an aeronautical sciences major at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. For more on the scholarships, see AOPA Online.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: Does the authorized instructor "Fundamentals of Instruction" (FOI) written test hold a 24-month (calendar) expiration date?
Answer: Yes, according to FAA Order 8080.6B "Conduct of Airman Knowledge Tests." Section 6-16 "Validity period for tests," states that "all FAA airman knowledge tests have an expiration date of 24 calendar months." The two exceptions are the airline transport pilot test and the flight engineer test under certain conditions.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? Call 800/872-2672 or e-mail to email@example.com. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|A medical online status request form, which allows you to provide AOPA with the necessary information to check the status of your medical certification application, is now available on AOPA Online. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
In response to member requests, some destinations will be posted one week in advance.
Salisbury, North Carolina. Fly in to Rowan County Airport (RUQ) for a New Year's Eve pancake breakfast December 31. Call 704/636-1864 for event information.
San Diego, California. Brown Field Municipal Airport (SDM) hosts a Christmas breakfast December 23 at the field hangars. Call 619/424-0456 for event information.
Portland, Oregon. The Christmas Ship Parade takes place through December 23. This is the forty-sixth annual parade of decorated boats on the Columbia and Willamette rivers. Portland-Troutdale Airport (TTD), 503/547-8411, serves the area. Call 503/288-1301 for event information.
For more airport details, see AOPA’s Airport Directory Online . For more events, see the Aviation Calendar of Events.
ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina; Seattle; Long Beach, California, and Detroit, January 6 and 7. For complete details, visit the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in St. Louis, January 8; Springfield, Missouri, January 9; Kansas City, Missouri, January 10; and Wichita, January 11. For more information see Web site.
ASF PINCH HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
(Pinch Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitterï¿½ Ground School will take place January 7 in Long Beach, California. For details and a complete schedule, see the Pinch Hitter Ground School Schedule.
AOPA PILOT TOWN MEETINGS
Featuring AOPA President Phil Boyer
(7:30 p.m.; admission is free)
The next Pilot Town Meetings are in Tallahassee, Florida, January 30; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, January 31; and Tampa, February 1. Click for more information on Pilot Town Meetings.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie Walker at email@example.com.
Got news tips? Contact ePilot editor Nathan A. Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to email@example.com.
To SUBSCRIBE: visit http://www.aopa.org/members/epilot.html.
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