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| GA News |
| MICCO SP-20 EARNS FIRST Y2K CERTIFICATE |
AOPA President Phil Boyer got an advance look last week at the Micco SP-20, the first new aircraft certified in 2000. The two-place sportplane received its FAA type certificate on January 5. Delivery of the first plane is scheduled for tomorrow. The SP-20 is the first airplane ever certificated by a company owned by native Americans–the Seminole Tribe of Florida. DeWitt Beckett, president of Micco, showed Boyer through the company’s state-of-the-art facility. Located on St. Lucie County International Airport in Fort Pierce, Florida, the factory will produce both the certified SP-20 and the upcoming SP-26, a 260-hp aerobatic version. Both models are based on earlier Meyers Aircraft designs. An additional aircraft will be delivered in February, followed by three in March and one a week starting in April.
STATE YOUR INTENTIONS
Sometimes things that sound good really aren’t. Louise Maillett, who recently served as the FAA’s acting associate administrator of airports, has been asked by FAA Administrator Jane Garvey to head an agency effort to improve air traffic services. As a pilot, that sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Well, it probably isn’t, if the initiative is intended to help lay the groundwork for another Clinton-administration push for a performance-based FAA built around a fee-for-service concept. AOPA expects such an attempt early in the next session of Congress. Maillett’s suggestions—and work she will do to document recent ATC service improvements—may be intended to counter previous congressional objections to the administration’s plan. Don’t worry; we’ll let you know who to write when the time comes.
RICHARDS-GEBAUR AIRPORT CLOSES
Richards-Gebaur Memorial Airport, located on the south side of Kansas City, Missouri, was closed January 9. The Friends of Richards-Gebaur organization has filed a lawsuit to reverse the closure. The tower and instrument landing system have been taken out of service. The airport is to become a train/truck shipping hub. AOPA will continue to monitor and support the fight for the airport.
For daily news updates, see AOPA's Pilot Briefing.
| Inside AOPA |
| BOYER ASSUMES CHAIRMANSHIP OF GA COALITION |
AOPA President Phil Boyer began his term as chairman of the General Aviation Coalition on January 5 at a meeting of the coalition’s Coordinating Committee with FAA Administrator Jane Garvey and five of her associate administrators. Boyer told Garvey of the group's desire to work with the agency on a general-aviation-specific agenda that is very focused and result-oriented. Following a spirited discussion, both the FAA and the GA industry representatives agreed on projects that will improve the FAA’s certification processes (for aircraft, avionics and airmen) and preservation of general aviation airports.
AOPA LEADS USER INPUT ON INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS FOR GPS
AOPA Senior Vice President for Government and Technical Affairs Dennis Roberts led a delegation of aviation users and manufacturers invited to advise senior executives of the departments of Commerce, Defense, and State on the United States’ position to be presented to members of the European Union at upcoming negotiations. Roberts stressed the need for interoperability with the U.S. GPS WAAS/LAAS systems, no mandatory equipage requirements for worldwide airport/airspace access, no user fees for access to the satellite signals, and the need for continued protection of the GPS spectrum, particularly against nonaviation-related uses.
AOPA APPOINTS DIRECTOR OF REGULATORY AND CERTIFICATION POLICY
AOPA recently appointed Lance Nuckolls as director of its Regulatory and Certification Policy Department. Nuckolls, formerly responsible for Avemco’s commercial insurance accounts dealing with FBOs, flight schools, and air taxi operators, will be primarily responsible for the association's policy development on aircraft/airman certification, alternative fuels, and airmen medical issues. Nuckolls is a 3,800-hour commercial pilot and CFI with glider and seaplane ratings.
| On Capitol Hill |
| CHAIRMAN SHUSTER RENEWING AIR-21 FIGHT |
House Transportation Chairman Bud Shuster (R-Pa.) is preparing to renew the battle over the Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21) following the breakdown in negotiations between House and Senate conferees last December. Shuster stated publicly last week that the increased funding for upgrading air traffic control systems included in the bill would have prevented the delay of hundreds of East Coast flights that occurred last week. Chairman Shuster said that the incident is "just a taste of what is going to happen in the future if we don't invest in our aviation system. We are kidding ourselves if we think we can continue to patch and tinker with computer software designed in the 1960s and expect it to handle today's needs." On January 6 approximately 395 flights were delayed up and down the East Coast because of corrupted flight data software.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| RUNWAY INCURSIONS AN ISSUE IN THE NEW YEAR |
Efforts by the entire aviation industry, led in particular by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, have at least stemmed the rising tide of runway incursions, but year-end 1999 data show that there's still much work to be done. ASF reports that runway incursion numbers involving pilot deviations (PD) were just about even between 1998 and 1999. The incursion problem, which involves both general aviation and air carriers, has become one of the FAA’s highest priorities. In 1999 there was one more PD incursion (184) than 1998 (183). Up until the last quarter of 1999, it looked as if the trend might be reversing, but apparently some pilots were determined to beat 1998's record. October and November PD incursions were two to four fewer, respectively, than last year. However, December’s big finish of 21 PDs (six more than 1998) was enough to guarantee that there will be continuing emphasis on this issue. For more information on the subject, see the ASF publication " Operations at Towered Airports."
| Airport Support Network News |
| CURFEW AVERTED IN AUSTIN DISPUTE |
The threat of a threat from AOPA has apparently headed off a potential curfew or even the possible closing of Georgetown Municipal Airport, located just north of Austin, Texas. The airport is one of several GA fields in the Austin area that has been threatened or closed. AOPA's reaction was a result of reports from AOPA Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteer Ken Koock. Koock says a sub-committee of the Georgetown City Council wants a moratorium on further development at the airport--not including projects already under construction, contract, design, or planning--until after a noise study is completed and recommendations have been made. In addition, the sub-committee recommended that there be limits placed on touch-and-go operations and that a study be completed to relocate the airport. AOPA has informed the city that it will not close the airport and there will be no noise abatement procedures put into place until the proper process is followed, including an FAR Part 150 study. In addition, no curfew will be tolerated. Koock says the mayor, city manager and others are reported as "OK with the situation." For more information on how you can participate in the ASN program, visit the ASN Web site.
| Quiz me! |
|Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: If a non-instrument-rated private pilot is receiving dual instruction from an instrument-rated flight instructor, in actual instrument conditions while on an instrument flight plan, may he/she log as pilot-in-command time during that time in which he/she is the sole manipulator of the controls?
Answer: The answer is yes, confirmed by a letter of interpretation from Louis C. Cusimano, FAA manager of the General Aviation and Commercial Division, dated November 1988. As long as the CFII "acts" as the pilot in command of the aircraft and is appropriately rated, current, and holds a medical certificate, the student may "log" the time as sole manipulator of the controls.
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. |
| Coming Up In AOPA Pilot |
|Find out what Pilot editors think of the Mooney Ovation2, how datalink will change your aviating future, where to find info in "AOPA’s Airport Directory," and tips and techniques for dealing with minimum weather on the approach in the February AOPA Pilot–which should be in your (snail)mailbox in about 10 days. |
| ePILOT Calendar |
| FLY AWAY PICKS FOR THIS WEEKEND |
Charleston, South Carolina. Sweetgrass basket-making, storytelling, and other traditional African American arts are presented January 16 through March 19 during African American Plantation Days. Charleston Executive Airport (JZI), 843/559-2401 and Charleston International Airport (CHS), 843/767-1100 serve the area. Call 843/556-6020 for event information.
Willcox, Arizona. During the three-day "Wings Over Willcox" celebration January 14 through 16, more than 20,000 sandhill cranes return to southeastern Arizona. The celebration of these magnificent birds features lectures, tours, and seminars. Chocise County Airport (P33) serves the area, 520/384-2908. Call 800/200-2272 for event information.
Plymouth, Michigan. The Plymouth International Ice Sculpture Spectacular, the oldest and largest ice-carving event in North America, runs through January 17. Canton-Plymouth-Mettetal Airport (1D2) serves the area, 734/459-0012. Call 734/459-9157 for event information.
Park City, Utah. The world’s top showcase of American independent movies takes place January 20 through 30 at the annual Sundance Film Festival. Heber City Municipal-Russ McDonald Field (36U) is the closest airport, 10 miles from Park City. Call 435/654-3962 for airport information; call 801/328-3456 for festival information.
For details on individual airports, see AOPA’s Airport Directory Online. For more calendar events, see the Pilot magazine Aviation Calendar of Events.
A SF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
Clinics are planned this month in Charlotte, North Carolina; Detroit, Michigan; Richmond, Virginia; Jacksonville, Florida; Long Beach, California; and Seattle, Washington. 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-Hitter Ground School is scheduled for San Jose, 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 scheduled for Salt Lake City, Utah; San Jose, California; and Concord, California . Click for more information on Pilot Town Meetings.
| What's New at AOPA Online |
|AOPA members can now access a comprehensive archive of "AOPA Flight Training" magazine articles on-line in the Flight Training Archives. |
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