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Coming in AOPA Pilot
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FAA REAUTHORIZATION BILL WINS SENATE APPROVAL
On Wednesday the U.S. Senate passed the FAA reauthorization bill, known as AIR-21, by an overwhelming vote of 82-17. While several last-minute negotiations appeared to place the bill in jeopardy, leaders in both bodies were able to come together on a final agreement. The final hurdle was cleared when House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bud Shuster (R-Pa.) dropped a controversial provision designed to enforce the budget points of order in the House/Senate conference report. Following strong opposition from committee chairmen in both bodies, Shuster agreed to drop the provision in exchange for letters involving Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert and House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier that promise to uphold the guaranteed funding levels that are the focal point of the deal. The original deal contained three parliamentary points of order to protect funding for the FAA. The first would block either the House or Senate from bringing up any bill or conference report that did not spend all annual trust fund revenues and interest each year. The second required that the total amount authorized for the Airport Improvement Program and the FAA's Facilities and Equipment program must be fully appropriated. The third point of order, which was dropped late in the negotiations, would have prohibited the House from considering a rule to waive either of the first two points of order. No firm opposition is expected in the House, which is scheduled to take up final passage of the bill next week. Passage of the legislation has been a major initiative for AOPA. Recent letters from AOPA members to their senators made a critical difference in moving the legislation forward.
| GA News |
| ECLIPSE UNVEILS PLANS FOR NEW PERSONAL JET |
Eclipse Aviation Corporation has announced the Eclipse 500, a new six-passenger twinjet expected to cruise at 368 kt, with a service ceiling of 41,000 feet and a range of 1,800 nm. Although the new Scottsdale, Arizona-based company was formally launched on Monday, development of the airplane has been under way for two years. The Model 500 will be powered by two lightweight Williams International EJ22 engines, each weighing 85 pounds and producing 770 pounds of thrust at sea level. Not only will Williams certify and produce the Eclipse’s engines, but Eclipse has contracted with the engine manufacturer to design, develop, and certify both the aircraft and its production facility. Eclipse will help to fund development of the EJ22.
The Eclipse 500 will feature an all-glass cockpit and avionics, with operating systems derived from the computer industry. Eclipse is working closely with NASA’s Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) program, which includes a "highway in the sky" navigation concept intended to revolutionize small-aircraft travel. The Eclipse 500 is expected to sell for $775,000 (in 2000 dollars) when deliveries begin in 2003. For more information, visit Eclipse Aviation’s Web site.
FAA ORDERS ATLANTIC CITY TO FIX BADER FIELD
The FAA has issued an unprecedented emergency order of compliance demanding that Atlantic City, New Jersey, immediately fix unsafe conditions at Bader Field. "Atlantic City is the poster child for everything that can be done wrong at an airport," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We commend the FAA for finally taking this forceful action to correct a problem that has been festering far too long." The FAA ordered Atlantic City to fix some 13 unsafe conditions immediately. Last month, AOPA sent a letter to top FAA officials asking them to take enforcement action against Atlantic City for its continued neglect of Bader Field. AOPA said the city had allowed the airport to deteriorate to an unacceptable level of disrepair. The association cited unkempt runways and taxiways littered with sharp shell fragments that could damage aircraft tires. AOPA said that Atlantic City's violations would be "enough to fill an encyclopedia." The FAA agreed. The FAA demanded that Atlantic City fix all of the AOPA-cited items, plus a host of other violations. The FAA said that Atlantic City had permitted a wind tee indicator to remain active, "…although it provides airmen with an inaccurate indication of which way the wind is blowing."
WEATHER CHANNEL BUYS WSI
Landmark Communications, owner of The Weather Channel and other media properties, will acquire Weather Services International Corp. (WSI) from Litton Industries for a reported $120 million in cash. "We're delighted with this acquisition," Landmark CEO John O. "Dubby" Wynne said. "The Weather Channel and our television stations have been WSI customers for years, and we have a very high regard for their team and their products. We look forward to helping WSI to grow its technology and forecasting abilities so that it can continue to provide outstanding service and products to its customers." WSI will continue to operate out of its suburban Boston headquarters. The sale is subject to antitrust approval. Landmark Communications, based in Norfolk, Virginia, has 5,000 employees in 20 states and in Europe.
For daily news updates, see AOPA's Pilot Briefing.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA DECLINES CHARITY DRUG-TESTING EXEMPTION |
AOPA has said "thanks, but no thanks" to the FAA for the charity sightseeing flight drug testing exemption granted to the association on February 2. "We appreciate the FAA’s effort, but what we got is nothing like what we asked for," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. The exemption would require "event sponsors" to brief pilots on drug-free operations, review pilot logbooks, and provide AOPA with a report of all pilots who participated in the charity event. Most sponsors wouldn’t be AOPA members, or even aviation-related organizations. However, based on those sponsor reports, AOPA would have to provide an annual report to the FAA listing names, addresses, and certificates numbers of every pilot who had participated in a charity sightseeing flight. "No disrespect, but what does the local church or charity know about pilot logbooks?" asked Boyer. "And how could AOPA possibly be responsible for them?" Pilots can still obtain individual exemptions from the drug testing regulations to participate in charity or community fund-raising flights. For more information, contact AOPA’s Pilot Information Center (800/USA-AOPA).
AOPA CALLS FOR SUMMIT ON WAAS IMPLEMENTATION
AOPA President Phil Boyer and Dennis Roberts, executive director and vice president of Government and Technical Affairs, recently met with FAA Administrator Jane Garvey and her senior management team responsible for the delivery of the GPS wide-area augmentation system. GPS-WAAS promises to deliver precision approaches to hundreds of airports using satellite-based navigation. At the meeting, Boyer called for a summit of top-level FAA officials, contractors, industry, and aviation user groups (including airlines and general aviation) to "once and for all" answer the questions pertaining to deliverable products, user benefits, schedules, and costs for implementing the GPS-WAAS system. Garvey welcomed the offer and agreed to participate, along with Deputy Administrator Monte Belger. AOPA, in conjunction with the Air Transport Association and the industry's Satellite Navigation Users Group (SNUG), is planning an agenda that includes a briefing by the FAA and its WAAS contractors on the program's status. The FAA is also being asked to update industry on progress it is making to streamline the equipment-certification process in order to incorporate this new technology into the general aviation and air-carrier aircraft fleets. It is hoped that the FAA and the aviation industry can agree on where this program is going and what benefits can be expected once it is in place. This consensus opinion will then be relayed to those on Capitol Hill who have questioned the commitment of both the FAA and the aviation community to the program. The meeting could occur as early as this month
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK - JOE JOHANSON |
The five general aviation mid-air collisions that have occurred so far this year inspired AOPA Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteer Joe Johanson of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, to develop a training course and a series of seminars to avoid this hazard. Johanson called a meeting of the airport and city officials to discuss ways to reduce midairs near New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport. With the help of the ASN staff, he presented statistics and asked that the appropriate measures be taken to assist in this awareness training. Johanson has been given authority to hold a workshop for pilots and the general public. He also volunteered to go through the FAA training program to be the aviation safety counselor for his area.
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: If "high density altitude" means your aircraft behaves as if it is at a higher altitude than it really is, and as you increase in altitude, the density of the atmosphere decreases, shouldn’t it really be called low density altitude?
Answer: Sounds like something that comedian Jerry Seinfeld would say. It might be a valid point, but we’re probably stuck with this grammatical confusion. Think of it this way--the word "high" modifies the word "altitude," not "density."
Got a technical question? Call 800/872-2672 or e-mail [email protected]. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to [email protected].
| Picture of the day |
|Dozens of new photos from the last two years of AOPA Pilot were added the AOPA Online Gallery last week. 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 |
|Your engine oil is talking to you. Can you speak the language? Find out how in the April issue of AOPA Pilot. You’ll also find articles on how pilots of the future will train, Internet weather resources for pilots, the beautiful gull-wing Stinson Reliant, and the return to production of the famous Monocoupe 110 Special. Look for the April issue in your mailbox in about 10 days |
| Rod Machado's Tips |
|Ever hear that you should not lower flaps during a turn in case one breaks and results in an asymmetric flap situation? Rod Machado expresses his views on that topic this month on AOPA Online. |
| ePILOT Calendar |
| FLY AWAY PICKS FOR UPCOMING WEEKENDS |
Titusville, Florida. The Valiant Air Command Air Show, an all-warbird airshow featuring restored military aircraft, dogfights, strafing, and skydiving, takes place March 10 through 12. Space Coast Regional Airport (TIX) is the host airport, 407/267-8780; Arthur Dunn Air Park (X21) also serves the area, 407/267-8780. Call 407/268-1941 for event information, or visit the Web site.
Marysville, California. The 120th Bok Kai Festival, featuring the oldest parade in California, takes place March 11 and 12. The festival honors the Chinese water god and celebrates the Chinese Year of the Dragon. Yuba County Airport (MYV) serves the area, 530/741-6248. Call 530/742-4686 for event information.
Meadville, Pennsylvania. . The Spring Fever Folk Festival features the best in local and regional talent March 24 and 25. Port Meadville Airport (GKJ) serves the area, 814/333-2677. Call 814/967-4733 for event information.
St. Joseph, Missouri. An Old West observance of the start of the Pony Express and the end of the reign of the notorious outlaw Jesse James takes place March 31 through April 2. Rosecrans Memorial Airport (STJ) serves the area, 816/271-4886. Call 816/232-8206 for event information.
AOPA Expo. Join us for AOPA Expo 2000, October 20 through 22 in Long Beach, California.
For details on individual airports, see AOPA’s Airport Directory Online. For more calendar events, see the AOPA Pilot magazine Aviation Calendar of Events.
A SF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are in Ontario, California, and Phoenix March 11 and 12. Clinics are scheduled in Miami; Lubbock, Texas; and Birmingham, Alabama, March 18 and 19. 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-Hitterï¿½ Ground School will take place place March 11 and 12 in Phoenix, Arizona. 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 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on March 28; Burlington, Vermont, on March 29; and Mid-Hudson River Valley, New York, on March 30. Click for more information on Pilot Town Meetings.
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