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| GA News |
| FIRST LANCAIR COLUMBIA DELIVERY SET FOR NEXT WEEK |
Lancair is ready to hand over the keys to the first Columbia customer on February 24. The aircraft was purchased by Collins Hemingway, co-author with Bill Gates of the new book Business @ The Speed of Thought. Lancair delayed delivery until the new Avidyne/Avrotec 10.4-inch FlightMonitor flat-panel display was certified in the Columbia. The certification was completed last week. Hemingway ordered his Columbia with the premium IFR package, consisting of a fully integrated UPS Aviation Technologies nav/comm, GPS, transponder, and audio panel, along with Bendix-King HSI and flight director system, plus the S-TEC 55 coupled autopilot.
RACE DRIVER TONY BETTENHAUSEN, WIFE DIE IN CRASH
After surviving 11 Indianapolis 500 Mile races, famed race driver Tony Bettenhausen, 48, has died with his wife, Shirley, and two associates in the crash of a 1975 Beech Model 58 Baron. The aircraft crashed in central Kentucky about five miles north of Georgetown, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. The aircraft had taken off from Tri-Cities Regional Airport near Blountville, Tennessee. A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman said the aircraft was on an IFR flight plan to Eagle Creek Airpark near Indianapolis. Bettenhausen’s father, also a well-known Indy race driver, died in an accident at the Indianapolis 500 Mile racetrack. The younger Bettenhausen had left driving to become a team owner, according to ESPN news reports.
AOPA AIDS MEDIA AFTER LA, CHICAGO-AREA MIDAIRS
AOPA Communications worked with the news media in Los Angeles, Chicago, and nationally last week after back-to-back general aviation midair collisions. AOPA helped the LA Times and local newsradio stations to get accurate coverage of the February 7 midair in Newhall Pass north of Van Nuys Airport and the San Fernando Valley. Wreckage of a Questair Venture experimental aircraft and a Bellanca Scout pipeline-patrol aircraft fell near Interstate-5--one aircraft hit the ground near players on a golf course. On February 8 in Zion, Illinois, Chicago's legendary WGN radio personality Bob Collins and his passenger in a Zlin 242L were killed on approach to Waukegan Regional Airport after a midair collision. The Zlin collided with a Cessna-172 flown on a supervised solo by a 31-year-old student pilot--a United Airlines flight attendant preparing for an airline flying career. Collins was an aviation booster in the Chicago area; AOPA President Phil Boyer had been a guest on his popular morning radio show on several occasions. AOPA Senior Vice President Drew Steketee appeared on several WGN news programs to explain safety and technical issues, and to express the condolences of the pilot community. General aviation is involved in 10 to 30 midairs a year, only half of which involve fatalities, on average. There have been 169 midair collisions with fatalities since 1983, or about 10 per year.
CONTROLLER-PILOT DATALINK SET FOR 2003
The FAA says it will test datalink communications between controllers and pilots starting in June 2003 at the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center. National deployment at 19 centers nationwide is scheduled to follow six months later. Initial testing will be done with airlines operating in the Miami area. Datalink is designed to supplement voice communications with non-time-critical information. Computer Sciences Corporation of Rockville, Maryland, will develop the software for the project.
DIAMOND AIRCRAFT TO FLY DA40 IN NORTH AMERICA
Diamond Aircraft Industries is scheduled to begin flights next week in London, Ontario, of the four-seat Diamond Star DA40. Already test-flown in Europe, this will mark the first flight of the aircraft in North America. It is scheduled to be at Sun 'n Fun in April. For more on the airplane, see Diamond Star: Katana Plus Two .
For daily news updates, see AOPA's Pilot Briefing.
| Inside AOPA |
| NEW GRAND CANYON FLIGHT RULES DELAYED |
The FAA has again postponed implementation of a new, expanded Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) over Grand Canyon National Park. The expanded SFRA was to have become effective this year, but implementation has been delayed until January 2001 to give the FAA more time to examine the issues and make possible modifications. Pilots now have until March 6 to comment. AOPA has opposed the SFRA expansion. It would raise the top of the "no fly" area to 14,500 feet msl over most of the park. More than one-third of general aviation aircraft cannot reach that altitude.
UNLIT OBSTACLES ONCE AGAIN TURNED IN TO FCC
At the request of AOPA, the FAA is once again turning in operators of unlit antennas and towers that are not repaired in 15 days. The FAA had stopped reporting to the Federal Communications Commission on the towers until AOPA intervened.
| On Capitol Hill |
| BOYER MEETS WITH SENATE LEADERS ON AIR-21 |
AOPA President Phil Boyer met last week with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Pete Domenici and aviation subcommittee chairman Sen. Slade Gorton to discuss the passage of AIR-21. Unfortunately, Domenici was unwilling to offer any compromise of substance. Domenici reiterated an offer that would guarantee that annual appropriations from the aviation trust fund would be no less than what comes into the trust fund every year plus interest--as proposed in President Clinton’s fiscal year 2001 budget. After analysis, AOPA has determined that the Budget Committee proposal really does not increase spending over the historic growth rate in FAA funding. Domenici also said that, if needed, an annual appropriation could be made from the U.S. Treasury’s general fund to help fund the FAA. However, Boyer was quick to point out that no such appropriation was made last year, and without a legislative guarantee, it's unlikely one would be made in the future. Boyer said that such budget gimmickry simply justifies the need to pass AIR-21, so that real changes can finally be made. All AOPA members are encouraged to write their senators and urge them to pass AIR-21. Two years ago, many of these senators voted to pass a bill that would treat highways and transit systems exactly the same way. Click here for a list of these senators, and details on how AOPA members can go about contacting them. AOPA sent a Pilot Alert on this subject two weeks ago and responses have been received from many of you.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK - HOWARD KAVE |
Howard Alan Kave, the AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer at Orange County Airport in Montgomery, New York, had a discussion with other ASN volunteers about unicom congestion at his home field. Three airports in his local area share the same frequency. That led to some good advice from ASN volunteers at other airports. In particular, ASN volunteer Fred Stadler at Arlington Municipal Airport, Texas, provided details on how his airport changed its unicom frequency. Kave says his airport is now considering a change to a less congested unicom frequency. It pays to network.
Click here to learn more about the Airport Support Network.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| ASF BOARD MEMBER, COACH TOM LANDRY DIES |
Tom Landry, AOPA 876447, died February 12. He was best known for coaching the Dallas Cowboys, but was also a coach at the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, serving as a member of ASF's board of visitors since 1998. The board lends expertise and guidance to ASF. "The Air Safety Foundation was privileged to have Tom join our Board of Visitors. His calm demeanor, experience as a pilot, and his polished coaching skills helped us in aviation safety and we’ll miss him," said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the foundation. Landry began flying in World War II as a B-17 pilot. After the war, he continued flying in the Air Force Reserve. He was an instrument-rated commercial pilot and owned and flew a Cessna 210.
| Quiz me! |
|Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: I need to replace my avionics. I am instrument-rated and I'd like to get a GPS. Can I still do DME and NDB approaches using the GPS?
Answer: AOPA, working with the FAA Flight Standards Division, has reached agreement on FAA policy changes that permit IFR-certified GPS receivers to be used in lieu of DME and ADF for most IFR operations. This policy fundamentally permits DME and ADF avionics to be removed with little compromise in operational capability. AOPA will continue to work with the FAA to implement GPS approaches at airports served only by an NDB approach. Additional information on GPS usage and limitations, and how these may apply to your operations, is available at AOPA Online.
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 the AOPA Online Gallery. |
| ePILOT Calendar |
| FLY AWAY PICKS FOR THIS WEEKEND |
Yuma, Arizona. The Yuma Air Show hosts some of the world’s best military and civilian pilots at the Marine Corps Air Station’s annual air show February 19. Highlights include demonstrations by a Marine air/ground task force, Navy and Air Force fighter jets, and the Army Golden Knights parachute team. Yuma International Airport (YUM) serves the area, 520/726-5882. Call 520/341-3245 for event information.
Saratoga Springs, New York. Three days of music and dance festivities take place in historic Saratoga Springs during the town’s "Dance Flurry" from February 18 through 20. Saratoga County Airport (5B2) serves the area, 518/885-5354. Call 518/292-0133 for event information.
Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. February 18 marks the first flight in an airplane by a dairy cow. "Elm Farm Ollie" took off from the St. Louis International Air Exposition in 1930. Wisconsin celebrates the brave bovine with cheese and ice cream. Middleton’s Morey Airport (C29) is the closest airport, 608/836-1711. Call 608/437-3986 for event information.
Davis, California. California Duck Days Wetlands Festival takes place in the Heart of the Pacific Flyway February 18 through 20. Demonstrations and workshops about wetlands and wildlife. Davis’ University Airport (0O5) serves the area, 530/752-0100. Call 800/425-5001 for event information.
Newport, Oregon. Since 1976, the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival has attracted visitors from around the world to the central Oregon coast. From February 25 through 27 the Northwest celebrates with food, fun, and wine. Newport Municipal Airport (ONP) serves the area, 541/265-4291. Call 800/262-7844 for event information.
For details on individual airports, see AOPA’s Airport Directory Online. For more calendar events, see the AOPA Pilot magazine Aviation Calendar of Events.
A SF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are in Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, and Sacramento, California, on February 19 and 20. Clinics are scheduled in Nashua, New Hampshire; Kent, Ohio; and Reston, Virginia, February 26 and 27. For complete details, visit the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule.
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 February 19 and 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 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 Salt Lake City February 29; San Jose, California, March 1; and Concord, California, March 2 . Click for more information on Pilot Town Meetings.
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