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AOPA Online Members Only -- -- AOPA ePilot Volume 2, Issue 22AOPA Online Members Only -- -- AOPA ePilot Volume 2, Issue 22


Inside AOPA

On Capitol Hill

Airport Support Network

Quiz Me!

Picture of the day

ePilot Calendar

Weekend Weather

FAA obtains French Connection crash tapes
Eclipse to auction jets on Internet
TCM expands crankshaft inspections
AOPA fights for fish spotters
Volume 2, Issue 22
June 2, 2000
GA News
Videotapes taken from the ground and in the air will aid the investigation of the accident Saturday in Bunnell, Florida, that killed French Connection pilots Daniel Heligoin and Montaine Mallet. The two were making a promotional videotape at Flagler County Airport, where their flight school is based, when the accident occurred. They were performing a side-by-side hammerhead maneuver in which the two Cap 10B aircraft climb vertically in close formation before bringing the noses over laterally--like a hammer--and descending. They had successfully performed the same maneuver minutes earlier. Following the second maneuver, Heligoin apparently got under Mallet's aircraft during the vertical descent. At that point in the descent, the aircraft are to roll and depart the area in opposite directions. But when Heligoin rolled, his aircraft hit Mallet's wing, separating Heligoin's left wing from the tip to the midpoint. The leading edge of Mallet's right wing was damaged, causing her to enter a spin. There was no time for the pilots to use their parachutes, a Mudry Aviation official said. FAA inspectors from Orlando plan to return the videotape shot from the ground to Mudry Aviation as soon as their investigation is completed. It is not known if video cameras mounted on the aircraft were functioning at the time of the accident. Tapes from those cameras have also been obtained by investigators. Relatives of the two French natives were to arrive from France on Tuesday to attend memorial ceremonies and to determine the future of Mudry Aviation, the flight school that the two pilots owned. A tribute to the airshow performers, who specialized in aerobatic training since the early 1970s, can be found on their company's Web site.

The race for more affordable jets has taken to the Internet. Eclipse Aviation Corporation announced last Friday its intention of becoming the first aircraft manufacturer to try online auctioning. Called the Bidders' Club, the program will enable people to place bids for the yet-to-fly Eclipse 500 jet. The company will auction off 40 of the first 200 delivery positions and at least 100 of the first 1,000 positions. A Bidders' Club membership costs $5,000. The company will open the auction 120 days prior to the first customer deliveries, currently scheduled for August 2003. For those who want to take a more traditional route, the company is offering two other purchasing programs that require deposits. The target list price for the aluminum, six-place jet is $775,000. For more information, see the Web site.

Teledyne Continental Motors last Thursday issued revised mandatory service bulletin MSB-00-5B, expanding the applicability of its recommended crankshaft material inspections to more than 2,200 engines. The FAA made TCM's original crankshaft inspections mandatory through the issuance of emergency AD 2000-08-51. FAA sources indicate that a revised AD incorporating TCM's latest service bulletin will be published in the "Federal Register" as a final rule request for comments in the coming weeks. For more information and a copy of the latest version of TCM's mandatory service bulletin, visit AOPA Online.

The FAA issued final rule AD-2000-10-22 last Friday requiring spar doubler inspections and installation of spar reinforcement doubler kits on LA-4, LA-4A, LA-4P, LA-4-200, and Lake Model 250 airplanes. The original AD proposal (99-CE-27-AD) required removal of both wings, inspection of the upper and lower spar caps and doublers, replacement of any cracked parts, and/or the installation of a modification kit. It was also proposed that affected aircraft owners report the results of the required inspections to the FAA. In response to comments from AOPA and the Seaplane Pilots Association (SPA), the final AD eliminated the onerous spar cap inspection procedure and required a simple visual inspection of the spar caps and installation of a spar reinforcement doubler kit. Although the elimination of the invasive spar cap inspection substantially reduced the cost of the AD's required inspection procedure, the cost of the AD's mandated spar reinforcement doubler kit (currently available only from Aerofab) has recently skyrocketed. AOPA and SPA are exploring alternative methods of compliance that may substantially reduce the cost of the required spar reinforcement doubler kit. AOPA and SPA will update members as this situation develops. For more information and a copy of the AD visit AOPA Online.

The Wolf Aviation Fund is now accepting applications for grants that are used to support general aviation-related projects. The grants cover a wide range of projects, including improvements to aircraft, navigation, teaching of aeronautical subjects, and efforts to inform the public about the benefits of general aviation. To learn more about how to obtain a grant, and details about past winners, visit the Web site.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Inside AOPA
Colorado Gov. Bill Owens signed a bill into law last month that funds the placement of a dozen AWOS IIIs in areas where accurate weather information was previously unavailable. The move, backed by AOPA, will vastly improve flight safety. Reporting more accurate and timely weather conditions is an ongoing initiative at AOPA. In March the Weather Joint Safety Implementation Team (JSIT) issued its Safer Skies Focus Safety agenda. One significant recommendation was to increase the number of AWOS units. For the past two years, AOPA and other aviation organizations in Colorado have been pressing for better weather reporting systems in mountain passes across the Continental Divide.


AOPA is opposing a proposed director's order by the National Park Service that would give it unprecedented power to regulate noise, including that of high-flying aircraft. Order 47, "Soundscape Preservation and Noise Management," would give park service personnel the authority to determine if any sound was "appropriate" in the park. But AOPA told the park service that the order is in direct conflict with federal law, including the National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000, which gives the FAA sole authority to regulate airspace.

AOPA has filed a complaint with the FAA alleging that the city of Austin, Texas, violated federal agreements in its operation of the new Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. AOPA has also called for an investigation. "We have continually voiced concerns about the lack of adequate and reasonably priced general aviation facilities at Austin-Bergstrom Airport," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "All of the GA services at the former Robert Mueller Municipal Airport were supposed to be available at Bergstrom. They aren't." (Austin closed Mueller Airport, a thriving GA and airline facility convenient to the city, in 1999. It transferred operations to the former Bergstrom Air Force Base, which was converted for civilian use.) AOPA filed a so-called "Part 13 complaint," asking the FAA to investigate whether Austin violated federal agreements by granting exclusive rights to two FBOs to operate at Bergstrom. The FBO agreements prohibit any other company from providing fuel, tiedowns and hangar space, maintenance services, and other needed GA services at the airport. But such exclusive agreements violate federal regulations, AOPA told the FAA.

On Capitol Hill
AOPA recently wrote Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, to express concerns regarding an amendment added to the Fishermen's Protective Act, H.R.1651, which would prohibit the use of aircraft for Atlantic bluefin tuna fishing. The amendment is supposed to reduce competition among fishery participants by eliminating the so-called "unfair competitive advantage" of fish-spotting aircraft. AOPA, however, believes this is not a justifiable reason for eliminating a legitimate industry through legislation. Additionally, AOPA has informed the senator that this provision could set a precedent for even more intrusive legislative restrictions on general aviation aircraft use. A number of AOPA members would be directly affected by the proposed legislation. In fact, the 1999 winner of the AOPA Member Sweepstakes aircraft is a full-time fish spotter on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

Airport Support Network
ASN Volunteer David Dodson, of Elkhart Municipal Airport (EKM) in Indiana, recently reported an encroachment situation in which residential development was being proposed one-half mile off the end of the runway. At a zoning board meeting Dodson found out that the land slated for development was the only portion within the noise-sensitive area that was zoned for residential single-family homes because of a previous city council action. Dodson presented the airport users' concerns regarding noise and the detrimental impact on future Airport Improvement Program funding. Dodson followed up with a letter to the mayor reiterating concerns over the proposed encroachment and asked that steps be taken to override the council's previous actions. David received written confirmation from the mayor in support of his views with a promise to take action to avert the proposed development and have the land zoned appropriately.

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'm relocating because of my job and planning a long cross-country between Maine and Oklahoma. I'm carrying two animals with me and need a place to stay overnight in the middle of the trip. Any suggestions as to how I can find a place right on a field?
Answer: Take a look at our online Airport Directory. Scroll down the main page until you come to the "Advanced Search" function. There, you can place certain parameters such as camping or lodging nearby or on field. You can search any state you are flying through and, for example, look for airports that have both restaurants and motels on the field.

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].

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
Frederick, Maryland. Join AOPA for the Mid-Atlantic's premier fly-in June 3 at Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK). The 10th Annual AOPA Fly-In and Open House features more than 90 exhibitors, static aircraft displays, free seminars, and good food. Visit the Web site.

Pueblo, Colorado. Bluegrass on the Water is a two-day celebration taking place June 3 and 4; there's "pickin' and grinnin'" 24 hours each day; campsites available. Pueblo Memorial Airport (PUB), 719/948-3355, serves the area. Call 719/549-2414 for event information

Twin Falls, Idaho. Western Days take place June 3 and 4 with shoot-outs, barbecue, and a chili cook-off. Magic Valley Regional Airport (TWF), 208/733-5215, serves the area. Call 208/733-8100 for event information

Petersburg, Virginia. The fourth annual Virginia State EAA Fly-In takes place June 10 and 11. Air show each day; airplane camping available. Petersburg Municipal Airport (PTB), 804/861-0218, is the host airport. Call 804/358-4333 for event information.

AOPA Expo 2000
takes place in Long Beach, California, October 20 through 22. Visit the Web site.

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 Orlando, Florida, and San Jose, California, June 3 and 4. Clinics are scheduled in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Columbus, Ohio, June 10 and 11. Safety seminars are scheduled in St. Louis, Missouri, June 5; Kansas City, Missouri, June 6; Springfield, Missouri, June 7; and Wichita, Kansas, June 8. For complete details, visit the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule.

(Pinch Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground School will take place June 18 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 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 Indianapolis, Indiana, June 12; Waukesha, Wisconsin, June 13; Chicago, Illinois, June 14; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 15. Click for more information on Pilot Town Meetings.

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