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AOPA Online Members Only -- -- AOPA ePilot Volume 2, Issue 23AOPA Online Members Only -- -- AOPA ePilot Volume 2, Issue 23


Inside AOPA

On Capitol Hill

Airport Support Network

ASF News

Quiz Me!

Rod Machado's Tips

Picture of the day

ePilot Calendar

Weekend Weather

House kills prime NASA GA program
eBay avionics auction spurs complaints
Winners announced in Trinidad paint contest
AOPA Fly-In: Clear skies, many planes
Volume 2, Issue 23
June 9, 2000
GA News
NASA officials say the fight has only just begun following action by a House subcommittee that killed the new Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) program (see " Future Flight: Your Future GA Airplane," January AOPA Pilot. NASA won approval from the Clinton administration in January for a system using highly automated aircraft and small GA airports that provides private air travel to the masses. The House Appropriations subcommittee on HUD and independent agencies cut startup funds for this year and all future-year funding as well. Subcommittee chairman Rep. James Walsh (R-N.Y.) told The Daily Press, published near NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia where the program is based, that in his opinion the FAA could fund the program. SATS program chief Bruce Holmes told the paper that there seems to be confusion among House members about the operational functions of the FAA versus the research role of NASA. There are several opportunities to restore the funds as the funding bill moves through further committee action in the House and Senate, votes on the House and Senate floors, and finally in House/Senate conference committees.

Two dozen buyers of avionics that were advertised on the popular eBay auction Web site, many of them AOPA members, say they never got the merchandise or that it arrived in poor condition. The total merchandise involved is valued at approximately $35,000. The company involved is BestBuy Avionics located in downtown Portland, Oregon. AOPA's Aviation Services Department has heard from several of the buyers and has alerted local authorities in the Portland area in order to aid in any investigation that might be in progress. One complainant told The Oregonian newspaper that merchandise he received appeared to have been in a fire. Efforts by AOPA to contact the merchant, identified in a report by Portland's KOIN-TV Channel 6 as Brent Sherman, have been unsuccessful.

On Wednesday the FAA released emergency AD 2000-11-51 mandating replacement of certain Unison (Slick) magnetos on Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) O-300, IO-360, TSIO-360, and LTSIO-520-AE engines. Affected magnetos include Unison models 6314, 6324, and 6364 serial numbers 99110001 through 99129999 inclusive. The FAA issued the AD in response several incidents including an in-flight failure of an IO-360 installed in a Cirrus SR-20 in which the magneto impulse coupling stop pin migrated out of the magneto frame, causing damage to the gear train of the engine and ultimately engine failure. The AD mandates removal and replacement of affected magnetos within 10 hours TIS after receipt of the AD. Upon removal, suspect magnetos must be inspected to ensure that the stop pin is still present. If it's missing, the AD requires inspection of the gear train or oil sump to find the missing pin and to look for additional damage. TCM will extend warranty coverage to factory installations still under warranty. Unison will cover the cost of required inspections and parts replacements for all aftermarket parts and will extend warranty coverage for any inspections/repairs resulting from missing stop pins on a case-by-case basis. Affected aircraft owners are encouraged to contact Unison customer service at 815-965-4700 for warranty information. For more information and a copy of the AD contact AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800-872-2672.

After putting out a call to AOPA members, the lucky winner of Socata Aircraft's "Paint the Trinidad" contest is a symphony conductor and an active pilot. Scott Dorsey of Alliance, Ohio, has won a trip for two aboard an Air France Concorde SST to Paris and a side trip to Socata's factory in southern France. Two second place winners–Bryan C. Rivera of Bronx, New York, and Bill Smith of Carmel, Indiana–have won Honeywell GPS units. The multiple third-place winners are still being chosen. Socata is welcoming the new century with the introduction of a new generation of TB aircraft. Dorsey's winning design will be displayed on a Trinidad at EAA AirVenture 2000 in Oshkosh.

Through its continuing advocacy efforts, AOPA has learned that the FAA is planning to issue a temporary flight restriction that would close New York City's Hudson River and East River VFR corridors on July 4. President Clinton is scheduled to attend Independence Day celebrations at New York's harbor. AOPA is working to ensure the TFR is absolutely necessary and not overly restrictive. Pilots will still be able to access area airports, but aircraft that violate the TFR may be pursued by U.S. Customs Service gunships, according to AOPA's inside information. Before you fly, check notams and AOPA Online for more information.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Inside AOPA
The FAA will begin imposing foreign overflight fees on August 1, but these new air traffic control user fees will not affect most U.S. general aviation pilots. Aircraft landing or taking off in the United States will not be charged ATC user fees. Congress gave the FAA the right to charge overflight fees to aircraft that otherwise do not pay U.S. aviation taxes. Most of those aircraft are foreign airlines that fly through U.S. airspace without touching American soil. The new foreign overflight fee is $37.43 per 100 nm flown over land and $20.16 per 100 nm over the ocean while under U.S. air traffic control. "While this fee doesn't yet affect general aviation, it is a frightening preview of what could happen if the administration ever succeeds in imposing user fees on all aviation," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.


The Mid-Atlantic's famously fickle weather cooperated once again, providing clear skies and temperatures in the 70s for the Tenth Annual Fly-In to AOPA headquarters. Some 760 aircraft flew in from as far as Georgia, Arizona, California, and Quebec. An estimated 6,500 people turned out for what has become the biggest one-day aviation event of its type on the East Coast. Once again, many of the attendees came for the more than 25 hours of free seminars on aviation safety. An extra session of the Air Safety Foundation's "GPS for VFR Operations" had to be added because of the interest. "General aviation pilots are dedicated to improving their skills and knowledge," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It was a beautiful day for flying and to be outside. That so many pilots chose to spend part of the day inside a classroom really speaks to that dedication." A special FAA medical certification seminar included a presentation by federal air surgeon Dr. Jon Jordan, the first time the FAA's top medical officer has addressed an AOPA Fly-In crowd. AOPA's annual event was also the first public display in the United States of the Extra 400. Among the 47 other aircraft on static display were two Cirrus SR20s, a Micco SP20, the new Commander 115, and new aircraft from Cessna, Mooney, Raytheon, and Piper. The center of attention, however, was the 2000 AOPA sweepstakes plane, the Millennium Mooney. Fresh out of the paint shop, the refurbished 201's striking metallic paint drew admiration from hundreds of pilots. (New or renewing AOPA members this year are eligible to win the Millennium Mooney.)

AOPA officials met this week in Chicago with regulators from both the FAA and the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA). The annual conference provided a chance to discuss regulatory and certification harmonization between the FAA and its European counterparts. Topics included aircraft/pilot certification, validation of foreign flight crew licensing, certification of flight training organizations, international aircraft operation standards, and approval of maintenance on foreign-registered aircraft.

Having received the Runway Incursion Joint Safety Analysis Team's (JSAT) report, members of the RI Joint Safety Implementation Team (JSIT) will meet Wednesday in AOPA's Washington, D.C., offices. The JSIT, co-chaired by Dennis Roberts, AOPA's executive director and vice president for Government and Technical Affairs, is charged with sorting, prioritizing, and developing implementation strategies for the JSAT's more than 100 recommendations. Work from the JSIT will be used by the FAA and Congress to identify the most cost-effective and practical methods for reducing runway incursions at the nation's airports.

The National Geodetic Survey is back to providing data to the FAA. The NGS had canceled service to the FAA on May 19 for not paying a $3.5 million bill. But the NGS notified AOPA that after a brief pause, the FAA has provided the funding for work to continue with only minor problems. The NGS, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, provides airport and obstruction surveys. The FAA uses the data to, among other things, develop instrument approach procedures. AOPA previously issued a letter to the FAA, urging it to meet its financial obligations.

The "Private Planes" episode of the History Channel's "Modern Marvels" series airs Monday at 10 p.m. Eastern time (check local listings). AOPA worked with the producer to include more everyday general aviation beyond the focus on today's business jet boom. AOPA's Communications Division was interviewed and allowed to comment on the resulting script for accuracy and balance. Interviews are expected to air with Bombardier officials in Canada, industry observers in Wichita, Aviation Week and Space Technology reporter Ed Hazelwood, and AOPA Senior Vice President of Communications Drew Steketee.

On Capitol Hill
The U.S. House Resources Committee will take up legislation AOPA has pushed to protect backcountry airstrips from closure by the federal government, but only over the objection of House Democrats. They complain that the problem should be studied further even though these strips continue to be closed. House Bill 3661 would stop federal agencies from permanently closing airstrips on rural areas without first consulting state aviation departments. The AOPA-supported legislation also provides for a 90-day comment period in which issues of closure can be heard. These important airstrips serve as emergency landing sites for small aircraft flying in mountainous and rural terrain, as well as a means of access for emergency and firefighting crews. The bill is expected to reach the full House in the coming weeks.

Airport Support Network
Airport Support Network (ASN) Volunteer Dan Swanson alerted AOPA of a proposal to locate a six-turbine "peaker" electric power plant close to the Dupage (West Chicago) Airport. Swanson found that the FAA was conducting an obstruction evaluation study, but did not address all the safety concerns. These concerns included potential electromagnetic interference and extremely hot water vapor emissions that could cause turbulence, clouds, fog, and icing in winter. He worked with airport management, the FAA, Illinois Department of Aeronautics, Environmental Protection Agency, AOPA, Dupage Pilots Association, and the city of West Chicago to address the safety issues. Because of Swanson's tireless efforts, the power company eventually withdrew its proposal.

Click here to learn more about the Airport Support Network.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
The general aviation safety record is gradually improving, Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg told a world gathering of aviation insurance underwriters in Dresden, Germany, recently. Speaking before some 140 delegates of the International Union of Aviation Insurers, Landsberg highlighted the strengths of GA and where safety improvements could be made. One key area of discussion was the difficulty that many small flight schools and FBOs are having in obtaining affordable insurance coverage. Rapid flight instructor turnover and some persistent losses have caused rates to rise significantly in the past six months. ASF's extensive library of safety advisors and aircraft-specific information is one way to help new CFIs and low-time pilots learn about proper risk management.

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation, the leader in flight instructor refresher clinics (FIRCs), held its annual staff flight instructor standardization meeting in May. A dozen instructors plus ASF staff met with the FAA to iron out the tough questions that are asked each weekend at ASF's clinics. John Wensel, FAA certification branch manager, fielded questions about pending changes to Part 61, the new 8710-1 form, and the new AC 61-83E (address requirements for FIRC programs) due out in a few months. ASF is constantly producing new units for the FIRC. "Even though the core topics don't change, we seek new ways of presenting them. Real-life scenarios and topical information are essential in keeping the program fresh," ASF Vice President of Training Dick Hiner said. Some of the new units included were aviation weather, airspace, and spatial disorientation. The effort pays off. The majority of ASF's instructor critiques consistently rate the ASF FIRC and presentation team as excellent. To learn more about FIRC locations or to register, call 800/638-3101 or visit the Web site.

Tom Harper of Avidyne Corporation presented AOPA President Phil Boyer with a $1,000 donation to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation during the Tenth Annual AOPA Fly-In and Open House. Avidyne makes the FlightMax Flight Situation Display (FSD) that can help improve pilot situational awareness. Many general aviation companies have contributed to ASF's ongoing programs to improve GA safety.

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

Question: My family attorney suggests that I put my plane into a family trust. What documents do I need to do this?
Answer: Send the FAA Aircraft Registry the following: a bill of sale that transfers the aircraft from yourself to the trust, naming yourself as trustee; completed registration form; a certified true copy of the trust document; and a $5 check made out to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. You can find a copy of the bill of sale on AOPA's Web site. Or, you can call 800/USA-AOPA and request copies of both the bill of sale and the registration form.

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].

Rod Machado's Tips
Aviation humorist Rod Machado answers a question about VFR-on-top from a bright young instrument-rated pilot. See this helpful tip on AOPA Online.

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
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Aerospace America's International Airshow takes place June 16 through 18 featuring the 69th Battalion Special Operations Group and Julie Clark's American Aerobatics. Call 405/685-9546 for event information.

Hillsboro, Oregon. The Portland Rose Festival Airshow takes place June 16 through 18. Portland-Hillsboro Airport (HIO), 800/547-8411, is hosting the event. Call 503/227-2681 for event information.

Niagara Falls, New York. Thunder Over Niagara Airshow 2000 takes place June 17 and 18 at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Call 718/236-2161.

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 Las Vegas, Nevada, and Columbus, Ohio, June 10 and 11. Clinics are scheduled in Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 17 and 18. 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.

Contacting ePilot
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