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AOPA Online Members Only -- -- AOPA ePilot Volume 2, Issue 24AOPA Online Members Only -- -- AOPA ePilot Volume 2, Issue 24


Inside AOPA

On Capitol Hill

Airport Support Network

ASF News

Quiz Me!

Picture of the day

ePilot Calendar

Weekend Weather

AOPA President's confirmation in question
French Connection heirs consider sale
Cirrus awarded SR20 production certificate
Reunion set for venerable Bird Dog
Volume 2, Issue 24
June 16, 2000
GA News
The confirmation of AOPA President Phil Boyer to serve on the new FAA Management Advisory Council was put in question yesterday when the Senate Commerce Committee did not forward his name to the full Senate. The committee did forward the names of six other MAC nominees. After close of business Wednesday, Senate Commerce Committee staff faxed Boyer an additional three pages of follow-up questions from committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.). This is the second set of questions McCain has required Boyer to respond to since the May 4 confirmation hearing. At the conclusion of Thursday's hearing, Phil Boyer said, "From the lead questions, it appears Sen. McCain's biggest concern is his belief that I have misrepresented his position on general aviation user fees. This misunderstanding turns on the understanding of corporate aviation. AOPA opposes all aviation user fees--including general aviation user fees levied against any class of user--because they are inefficient, unnecessary, and a detriment to safety. Corporate aviation, whether piston or jet, is part of the general aviation community. I will never play a part in any strategy designed to 'divide and conquer' that community. And don't be fooled. Once user fees hit one segment of general aviation, the rest of us won't be far behind." For the complete story, see AOPA's Web site.


The families of French Connection pilots Daniel Heligoin and Montaine Mallet say that they have made no decision about the future of the FBO and flight school operated by the couple in Bunnell, Florida, but are receptive to proposals to purchase the properties. The two pilots died on May 27 while performing a side-by-side hammerhead maneuver at Bunnell's Flagler County Airport. They operated Mudry Aviation--an FBO and flight school at the field that specialized in aerobatic training--and also operated CAP Unlimited, a dealership for CAP aircraft. S.A. Smith, director of maintenance at Mudry and executor of the estate, said the families will entertain proposals for both. A decision is expected by the end of June as to the future of the properties. Mudry Aviation includes the flight school, maintenance shop, office equipment, two CAP 10B aircraft, and Heligoin's pristine Piper J-3 Cub. The CAP Unlimited dealership includes the right to sell CAP aircraft in the United States. Interested parties may contact Smith at Mudry Aviation, 904/437-9700. Heligoin and Mallet were buried in France last Friday.

Cirrus Design Corporation may now inspect each aircraft on the production line without direct government oversight after the FAA presented the company with a production certificate for the SR20 on Monday. An FAA official said the certificate establishes Cirrus as a legitimate aircraft manufacturing company that produces high-quality aircraft. The Duluth, Minnesota-based company has been hiring employees and adding tooling to boost production of the composite plane. Cirrus currently has 597 orders for the SR20; 39 have rolled off the assembly line since deliveries began last July.

Cessna's smallest warbird turns 50 this year. The life of the hard-working L-19/O-1 Bird Dog will be celebrated next month at the Kansas Aviation Museum in Wichita by people who built and flew it. About 75 Bird Dogs are expected to attend the three-day reunion. The single-engine Bird Dog was first built in 1950 as a military reconnaissance plane; it saw combat in Korea and Vietnam. Some are still on active duty in foreign countries. For more information on the July 17 through 19 event, see the Web site.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Inside AOPA
AOPA has organized an unprecedented meeting with the FAA to improve the airworthiness-directive process and ultimately control the cost of flying. In consultation with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), AOPA has invited the FAA and representatives of the nation's major aircraft type clubs/owner organizations to its Frederick, Maryland headquarters July 10. The gathering will focus on a new AD coordination process--a policy to give the FAA better information and user input on resolving airworthiness concerns. "This new initiative is vital to the continued health of general aviation," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It follows a common sense idea: If you have to look at aircraft airworthiness, talk to the people with first-hand experience… The FAA can avoid some of the unnecessary, impractical, or overly burdensome ADs we've suffered in the past. The agency can also more easily identify alternative means of compliance, if appropriate." This AD coordination process concludes several years of work behind the scenes among the FAA, AOPA, EAA, the Citabria Owners Group and the American Champion Aircraft Corporation.

Under the new AD coordination concept, an FAA "Airworthiness Concern Process Guide" would direct FAA aircraft certification offices to solicit input from aircraft type clubs/owner organizations when developing airworthiness actions. "In the past, the FAA offered their people no formal guidance on how and when to issue an AD," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Consequently, the FAA sometimes issued an AD when other, less burdensome action would have addressed a safety concern." AOPA has already distributed the FAA's draft AD guidebook to type clubs and owner organizations for comment. After incorporating the input, the FAA will present a revised guidebook draft at AOPA headquarters on July 10. After the meeting, the FAA will develop a "first edition" AD coordination document, scheduled to be ready for presentation at EAA's AirVenture event in August. AOPA will give the FAA an initial "report card" on AD coordination during the AOPA Expo 2000 convention in October and discuss any needed changes.

The NTSB on Tuesday gave the FAA a list of recommendations on how to prevent runway incursions. Included in that list was a suggestion AOPA has been advocating for years: Change FAR 91.129 (i) to require a pilot to get specific clearance before taxing across each runway. In 1998, AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg chaired an FAA subcommittee which also recommended improving painted hold short lines and other low-tech solutions to preventing incursions. NTSB Chairman Jim Hall said the FAA should immediately proceed with such low-cost or no-cost solutions.

AOPA President Phil Boyer honored the first new general aviation airport dedicated in the new millennium. Boyer was the featured speaker last weekend at the Sandusky County Regional Airport (S24) in north-central Ohio, the first new airport built in the state in 30 years. "It's almost impossible to build a new airport these days," Boyer told the crowd. "From my travels across the country, I can tell you that many communities would give their right arms for an airport like this." Boyer said that GA airports, mostly privately owned, are closing at the rate of about one a week. "It's hard to understand the logic in this," Boyer said. The new Sandusky airport is estimated to provide $50 million in investment and new jobs. Construction of the $8 million facility began in 1997, after a more than 10-year battle to overcome local opposition and secure federal and state funding. With a 5,500-foot runway and GPS approaches, it's well-suited for modern corporate aircraft.


Despite the determined opposition of AOPA and area pilots, the FAA has approved the new Phelps Military Operations Area near the North Carolina coast. Located southwest of Dare County Regional Airport on the Outer Banks, the MOA will be implemented on August 10. It extends from the tops of Restricted Area R-5314 segments G, H, and J to 17,999 feet msl. The Phelps MOA is to give the military higher altitudes for practice runs in the Dare County Bombing Range. The Department of Defense and the FAA say they will develop a memorandum of understanding to facilitate IFR operations through the special use airspace into Dare County Regional Airport. For VFR pilots, the FAA said it will publish range control radio frequencies on aeronautical charts so that pilots can ask the military if the special use airspace is active. The FAA promises to monitor how well the military responds to civilian requests for airspace status. Pilots who encounter problems accessing the Dare County Range special use airspace should inform AOPA.

AOPA President Phil Boyer joined other general aviation industry leaders in telling Congress that an airline proposal to create yet another commission on air traffic control reform is misguided. In a recent letter, Boyer told Senate Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens, pilot and AOPA member, that supporters of the air traffic commission are inaccurately portraying GA's position. AOPA believes the proposal is just another airline attempt to create a user fee-funded air traffic control system. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) joined AOPA in opposing the ATC reform commission.

AOPA-backed legislation to protect backcountry airstrips was recently introduced in the Senate. The bill, sponsored by senators Michael Crapo and Larry Craig of Idaho and Conrad Burns of Montana, is similar to legislation already introduced in the House by Utah Rep. Jim Hansen, pilot and AOPA member. The Backcountry Landing Strip Access Act would prevent federal land managers from closing airstrips without first consulting state aviation agencies and airstrip users.

On Capitol Hill
The Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee has approved $12.1 billion in funding for the FAA for fiscal year 2001. The $6.35 billion approved for FAA operations funding was criticized by some senators and labeled as a move that could "create substantial delays in a system already strained to meet the demands arising from the rapid growth in air travel" by FAA Administrator Jane Garvey. Regardless of this criticism, preliminary analysis shows that most programs will be funded at a level supported by AOPA. In accordance with the AIR-21 legislation passed earlier this year, the committee has approved $2.65 billion for facilities and equipment and $3.2 billion for the Airport Improvement Program. Furthermore, the committee has provided $183.3 million in funding for research and development. The bill does not include user fees or an airline proposal to create a commission to study air traffic control. The committee also approved full funding of the AOPA-supported program designed to modernize flight service stations, known as OASIS, as well as $25 million for modernizing the loran navigation system. The legislation was expected to come before the full Senate for approval yesterday.

Airport Support Network
In an effort to educate antiairport activists, ASN Volunteer Christopher Erkmann of Spirit of St. Louis Airport (SUS), recently gave a presentation on voluntary noise abatement procedures. The activists later agreed that the noise levels were acceptable and the altitudes were not threatening to the group gathered on the ground. Erkmann has been working diligently with the airport administration to create the noise abatement procedure. He invited local officials and the media to attend an FAA safety seminar where he showed the ASN "Flying Friendly" video. The results were outstanding and nearly 100 people expressed interest in joining forces to support their local airport.

Click here to learn more about the Airport Support Network.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
FAA Administrator Jane Garvey last week called for an improvement in technology and human factor deficiencies involving dangerous runway incursions. The FAA-hosted runway safety symposium in Arlington, Virginia, brought together human factor specialists and government and trade representatives including ASF staff. They listed a number of recommendations to stem the deadly tide in the following areas: procedures, technology, communications, training, and data analysis.

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

Question: On a sectional chart, why are airports with hard-surfaced runways longer than 8,069 feet depicted differently than airports with runways shorter than that length? What's so special about 8,069 feet?
Answer: Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with national defense or special use, but with the scale of the sectional chart. The sectional chart has a scale of 1:500,000, which means every inch represents 500,000 inches on the Earth. The blue or magenta circles used to depict airports are a fixed size while runways are shown at proper scale. The longest runway that will fit (to scale) within those circles is 8,069 feet. Longer runways are indicated by a different symbol.

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
Olympia, Washington. The "Gathering of Warbirds" at the Olympic Flight Museum takes place June 17-18 and is expected to attract more than 50 visiting warplanes. Olympia Airport (OLM), 360/586-6164, is the host airport. Call 360/705-3925 for event information.

Columbus, Ohio. The Big Bear Balloon Festival takes place in Beulah Park in Grove City June 23-25. More than 60 sport and special-shaped balloons and performances by The Beach Boys, the Village People, and Clint Black. Bolton Field (TZR), 614/239-4003; Columbus Southwest (O41), 614/878-4080; and Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK), 614/491-1401, are all south of Columbus, near Grove City. Call 877/938-6337 for event information.

Tyler, Minnesota. The city's Danish heritage is celebrated during Aebleskiver Days June 23-24. Tyler Municipal Airport (63Y), 507/247-5556, serves the area. Call 507/247-3905 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 Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 17 and 18. Clinics are scheduled in Phoenix, Arizona, and Reston, Virginia, June 24 and 25. For complete details, visit the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule.

The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in Queens, New York, June 19; Long Island, New York, June 20; Poughkeepsie, New York, June 21; and North Brandeis, New Jersey, June 22.

(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 Lansing, Michigan, August 22; Des Moines, Iowa, August 23; and Omaha, Nebraska, August 24. Click for more information on Pilot Town Meetings.

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