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AOPA Online Members Only -- -- AOPA ePilot Volume 2, Issue 26AOPA Online Members Only -- -- AOPA ePilot Volume 2, Issue 26


Inside AOPA

Airport Support Network

ASF News

Quiz Me!

Picture of the day

ePilot Calendar

The Road to Expo

Weekend Weather

Solutions named for runway incursions
FAA to buy new ground surveillance system
Aerobatic pilot dies in midair crash
AOPA aims to ease insurance problem
Volume 2, Issue 26
June 30, 2000
GA News
Aviation safety experts from around the country came together this past week to deal with the nagging and growing problem of runway incursions at American airports. Realizing that it's a complex problem involving a number of factors, the FAA is likely to take a multi-pronged attack involving high and low-tech solutions. Speaking at the FAA's Runway Safety National Summit in Washington, FAA Administrator Jane Garvey outlined a plan for reducing risks in ground operations–the most dangerous phase of flight–some of which will be implemented immediately. Specifically, under recent recommendations by the NTSB, Garvey mentioned modifying taxi into position and hold procedures, having controllers adjust speech rates, and reviewing intersecting runway operations at all airports served by scheduled carriers. A panel discussion about human factors on Tuesday brought to light ideas that could be implemented inexpensively such as three-dimensional paint (MITRE Corporation and AOPA have been pioneering such a project outside its headquarters) and better signage. Other ideas involved putting up stop-and-go lights on taxiways and implementing technology so that pilots can't "step on" or make radio transmissions at the same time. A common thread throughout the summit was the inherent tunnel vision shown by controllers, pilots, and ground vehicle operators. There was support for better education for all players in the airport system. Other solutions involved using ground radar and moving maps. There was also talk about a nonpunitive policy to allow controllers and pilots to report incursions without worrying about being penalized, and common sense proposals such as getting pilots to vigilantly look outside the cockpit.


FAA Administrator Jane Garvey announced Monday that her agency will buy a new ground surveillance system that will improve runway safety at 25 airports. Called ASDE-X, the surface detection equipment will provide detailed coverage for runways and taxiways and alert air traffic controllers to impending collisions, especially at night and in bad weather. The system will be similar to other types of ground radar installed at the nation's busiest airports. Garvey, speaking at the opening of the FAA's Runway Safety National Summit, said the 25 airports were selected based on the greatest need. The FAA plans to award a production contract for the system in September. A list of the airports is available on the FAA's Web site.

In an effort to reduce runway incursions and improve surface navigation, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, in conjunction with the FAA Runway Safety Program Office, is providing airport taxi diagrams for more than 330 of the busiest U.S. towered airports. For more information, see the Web site.

Former U.S. Aerobatic Team member and aeronautical engineer John Lillberg, 57, died while apparently trying to avoid a midair collision with a Learjet over Boca Raton, Florida, last Friday. After giving flight instruction at Pompano Beach, Lillberg was headed in an Extra 300 to the Willis Gliderport, a private airstrip near where he lived, The Miami Herald reported. The Lear 55, owned by the charter company Universal Jet Aviation, took off from the nontowered Boca Raton Airport shortly before 11:40 a.m. and was headed to Fort Pierce for paint work. The jet was climbing as Lillberg approached at what eyewitnesses believed was below 2,500 feet. The Extra 300 tried to avoid the climbing jet by turning and descending, but it was too late, the newspaper reported. The three men on the Learjet–Capt. Richard Smith, 40, first officer Kevin Reyer, 35, and pilot/observer Brad Moncrief, 29–along with Lillberg, died in the crash. The wreckage was scattered over a gated community in West Boca, but no injuries were reported on the ground. NTSB officials were to examine the Lear's cockpit voice recorder that was recovered Sunday. Lillberg made the U.S. Aerobatic Team in 1992 and 1996, and had retired recently from Pratt and Whitney where he had helped to design the engine for the Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter. A memorial has been placed on Lillberg's Web site.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Inside AOPA
AOPA has started an active effort to find ways to ease the growing commercial aviation insurance problem. "AOPA is vitally concerned that some flight schools, independent flight instructors and FBOs are finding it increasingly more difficult to obtain affordable insurance coverage," said Phil Boyer, AOPA president. "This insurance problem has already forced some flight schools and other aviation businesses to close, and others to raise their rates. If we start losing more flight schools, there will be a devastating impact on general aviation." AOPA recently hired respected aviation insurance consultant Ray Olsen. His first task will be to develop a list of all of the insurance companies writing commercial aviation insurance. That list will be posted on AOPA's web site in early July so that flight schools and instructors can make sure their insurance agents have checked all available options. AOPA and Olsen are also looking for other solutions to make commercial aviation insurance more available and affordable.

IAOPA (the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations) is promoting general aviation at an international conference of world aviation officials gathered at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada. IAOPA Secretary General John Sheehan presented a formal paper to the ICAO Conference on the Economics of Airports and Air Navigation Services (ANSConf 2000, June 19-28) demonstrating that general aviation and aerial work (GA/AW) operations contribute significantly to world economies and are the foundation of the world's air transportation system. IAOPA also staffed a booth and presented an AOPA-US video on general aviation to educate aviation officials from some 185 ICAO-member countries. AOPA-US also provided staff support to IAOPA in Montreal. The head of ICAO's air navigation commission recently told AOPA-US that GA is a "United States problem" and that GA is "not significant" in the rest of the world. "More than 600,000 pilots and 300,000 aircraft engage in GA/AW activities worldwide, comprising the majority of aviation operations," Sheehan said. "GA/AW needs must be accommodated by national authorities as they plan and operate aviation infrastructures." Sheehan also presented three framed photographs of representative general aviation aircraft to the ICAO secretary general. There are currently no photos of GA aircraft displayed in the ICAO headquarters. For more information, see AOPA Online.

Airport Support Network
AOPA recently learned of a proposed school site located just a little over a mile from the airport under the traffic pattern for runway 20 at Watsonville, California. ASN Volunteer Kerrick R. Philleo quickly began investigating the issue and provided AOPA headquarters with extensive historical data and information on the current situation regarding this longstanding proposal which is currently up for review with state aeronautics department. Philleo also acquired the insight and perspective of the FAA Airport District Office and has informed several of the pro-airport activist groups and solicited their support. Through Kerrick's timely and thorough involvement, ASN has once again been able to lend support against airport encroachment issues that continue to threaten the national airport system.

Click here to learn more about the Airport Support Network.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
The Air Safety Foundation's research aircraft, a donated Piper Archer, has been equipped with FAA Capstone avionics used to test systems that one day we will all use to make flying safer. A large display screen is capable of showing weather text and graphics, traffic information, highway-in-the-sky GPS approaches, and moving-map navigation. The system is also being installed on AOPA's workhorse, a Beech Bonanza.

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

Question: Is the compass rose at my local airport set to geographic or magnet direction? If magnetic, is the variation for the geographic area included?
Answer: Many airports have a compass rose painted somewhere on the ramp or taxiway. It is usually located away from possible metal interference of hangars, fuel pumps, or anything else that could affect a compass. The compass rose is usually laid out with lines designating the four cardinal magnetic directions (North, South, East, West). These directions are laid out precisely according to magnetic headings specific to the geographic area of the airport. More elaborate compass roses may have additional lines painted to designate intermediate headings.

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.

On the Road to Expo
AOPA Expo planners have announced the topics for the three general sessions at this year's convention in Long Beach, California, Oct. 20 to 22. The Friday general session is titled "GA Safety–50 Years and Rising" and will be presented by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Saturday's general session will give you a chance to "Meet the FAA administrator." On Sunday you'll meet "Team AOPA" and will get the latest reports on what AOPA is doing on your behalf on a variety of topics.

ePilot Calendar
Arlington, Washington. The Northwest Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-In and Convention takes place July 5 through 9. Air shows, aviation forums, and homebuilder's workshops. Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO), 360/435-8554, is the host airport. Call 360/435-5857 for event information.

Greeley, Colorado. The Greeley Independence Stampede commemorates the nation's independence with a western flair June 22 through July 4. Rodeo, parade, fireworks, and country music and classic rock performers. Greeley-Weld County Airport (GXY), 970/356-9141, serves the area. Call 800/982-2855 for event information.

Hannibal, Missouri. Tom Sawyer Days take place June 30 through July 4, featuring frog jumping, mud volleyball, the national fence painting contest, and fireworks launched from the banks of the Mississippi River. Hannibal Municipal Airport (HAE), 573/221-3230 serves the area. Call 573/221-2477 for event information.

Pine Mountain, Georgia.
Celebrate Independence Day on the shore of Robin Lake at beautiful Callaway Gardens July 4. Callaway Gardens-Harris County Airport (PIM), 706/663-5055, serves the area. Call 800/225-5292 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 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Portland, Maine; and Seattle, Washington on July 8 and 9. Clinics are scheduled in Jacksonville, Florida, and San Mateo, California, July 15 and 16. For complete details, visit the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule.

The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in in Northbrook, Illinois, July 10; Batavia, Illinois, and Providence, Rhode Island, July 11; Bedford, Massachusetts, and Rockford, Illinois, July 12; and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Peoria, Illinois, July 13. For more information about ASF Safety Seminars, visit the Web site.

(Pinch Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground School will take place July 9 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 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 Omaha, Nebraska, August 28; and Des Moines, Iowa, August 29. Click for more information on Pilot Town Meetings.

Contacting ePilot
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