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AOPA Online Members Only -- -- AOPA ePilot Volume 2, Issue 11AOPA Online Members Only -- -- AOPA ePilot Volume 2, Issue 11


Inside AOPA

On Capitol Hill

Airport Support Network

Quiz Me!

Picture of the day

ePILOT Calendar

Weekend Weather

Runway collision in Florida kills four
AOPA joins Richards-Gebaur closure lawsuit
Salt Lake Class B changes delayed
AIR-21 passes in House
Volume 2, Issue 11
March 17, 2000

GA News
The Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport in Florida was the site of a deadly collision between a Cessna 152 and 172 that occurred on one of the airport's two runways March 9. According to an Associated Press report in the St. Petersburg Times, the tower controller had cleared one airplane for takeoff but allowed the other Cessna to taxi into position and hold on the runway at an intersection farther down the runway. After the collision, the two airplanes exploded and the two occupants of each airplane were killed. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

On Tuesday, the FAA announced new initiatives aimed to enhance runway safety. A series of workshops to produce local and regional plans to reduce runway incursions will be held throughout the country over the next three months. A national summit in June will review efforts to reduce runway incursions through human factors and technological innovations. The FAA also wants to encourage pilots who have been involved in runway incursions to discuss the incidents with FAA safety inspectors who, in plea-bargain fashion, would take only administrative action against the pilot when necessary. AOPA is monitoring the initiative through its involvement in the FAA's Runway Safety Program. AOPA President Phil Boyer is the only industry representative attending the FAA administrator's monthly, top-level runway safety meeting. AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg will be involved in the Western region workshop. ASF continues to conduct safety seminars for operations at towered airports. Airport taxi diagrams for many towered airports are now available on ASF's Web site.

In preparation for production and assembly of the four-seat DA40 Diamond Star, Diamond Aircraft substantially reduced its workforce dedicated to building the DA20 Katana at the London, Ontario, Canada plant. Diamond would neither confirm nor deny that its North American CEO Peter Chambers left the company in the shakeup. A Diamond employee would only confirm that, "it's business as usual." Another Diamond North America employee said that the company's CEO was Christian Dries, the CEO of Diamond Aircraft in Austria. A company press release stated that these changes will have no effect on Diamond programs such as the DA40 and Katana 100. For more information on the DA40, see Katana Plus 2 January 2000 AOPA Pilot.

Safire Aircraft Company and Agilis Engines, Inc have reached a purchase agreement in which Agilis will supply 1,000 new turbofan engines for the Safire S-26 six-place twin jet. Safire claims that it has more than 400 deposits for the $800,000 S-26. Agilis has been in the gas-turbine design business since 1993. Many Agilis employees have been tapped from other aerospace and turbine-engine manufacturers. Agilis is working on a line of turbofans that will produce from 550 to 1,200 pounds of thrust. The S-26 engine is expected to be certified in 2003. For more information, contact Safire at 561/650-0830 or visit the Web site. Visit the Agilis Web site.

Superior Air Parts has appointed three additional manufacturing locations to the Certified Millennium Pre-Owned Engine program. Air West Aircraft Engines in San Carlos, California; Eagle Engines of Redding, California; and Airmark Engines, Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are now ready to begin manufacture of the Millennium Engine. Since October 1999, Western Skyways in Grand Junction, Colorado, was the only facility approved by Superior to manufacture Millennium Engines. Millennium Engines are made almost entirely of parts manufactured by Superior Air Parts, including its Millennium investment-cast cylinder assemblies. The engines are covered by a five-year warranty. For more information about the Millennium Engine program call 972/663-2627 or visit the Web site.

One of the largest media mergers, valued at approximately $8 billion, will transfer the ownership of aviation charting icon Jeppesen-Sanderson to the Tribune Company following a merger with Times Mirror announced on March 13. Times Mirror is the parent company of Jeppesen. The merger is not expected to have any effect on Jeppesen's business.

For daily news updates, see AOPA's Pilot Briefing.

Inside AOPA
Kansas City, Missouri's Richards-Gebaur Memorial Airport was closed at the end of 1999 to create an "intermodal" truck and railroad freight facility. AOPA has since filed a "friend of the court" brief supporting a lawsuit filed by the Friends of Richards-Gebaur Airport and the City of Grandview, Missouri, which is located near the airport. The suit contends that the FAA didn't follow required environmental procedures when it released Kansas City from its grant obligations to maintain the airport. The FAA permitted Kansas City to close the airport. That decision, however, would normally require an environmental study. But the FAA invoked a so-called "categorical exclusion," which allowed the agency to release Kansas City from its grant obligations to operate the airport without conducting formal environmental studies. Although the FAA decided that closing the airport wouldn't cause a significant impact, the Friends of Richards-Gebaur and the City of Grandview contend that there will be a considerable amount of increased truck traffic in the area and increased air traffic at other community airports. AOPA is concerned that this case could set a precedent that would make it easier to close other airports.

Last year AOPA petitioned the FAA to address two key safety issues--the definition of a "high performance" airplane, and the regulations governing the renewal of flight instructor certificates. In an unsigned letter, the FAA categorically denied AOPA's petition to make common sense out of the current definition of a high-performance airplane on the grounds that it did not address a "valid safety concern". Months later, the FAA denied AOPA's petition to modify regulations that would make it easier for a flight instructor to maintain his or her instructional privileges, stating that the FAA was currently pursuing similar rulemaking initiatives. In a March 13 letter, AOPA resubmitted both petitions, stating that each issue addressed a valid safety concern and would serve the industry's needs as set forth in the FAA's most recent Aerospace Forecast. For a copy of AOPA's petition, the FAA denial letters, and AOPA's original rulemaking petitions, visit AOPA Online.

AOPA has urged Forks Township in eastern Pennsylvania to consider the Lehigh-Northhampton Airport Authority's request for a runway extension at Easton Airport (N43). The 1,953-foot runway must be extended about 300 feet to meet state airport licensing requirements. "This runway extension does not constitute a move to turn the airport into a commercial airport," AOPA told the township. "A safe airport is a viable and necessary endeavor, one that will benefit Forks Township and General Aviation alike.

At a recent meeting between FAA management and AOPA at the Salt Lake Tracon/Tower it was confirmed that the FAA will delay any Class B airspace changes until after the coming Olympics have ended. This gives GA a short reprieve from the planned increase in Class B airspace height to 12,500 feet. In the meantime, AOPA has asked the FAA to publish the arrival/departure routes used by jet traffic in the SLC area on the Salt Lake City Terminal Area Chart. AOPA also requested that the Tracon disseminate a letter to airmen explaining where airspace overflights could be conducted the safest.

On Capitol Hill
While the conference report for AIR-21, the bill that would unlock the aviation trust fund, was adopted with little opposition in the U.S. Senate, its course through the House of Representatives was slightly more turbulent. In fact, several senior House members objected to the bill's spending guarantees, including Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Young (R-Fla.), Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich (R-Ohio), and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas). All argued that the House should not go along with guarantees for aviation programs at the possible expense of other domestic needs--even though they joined a majority of other members in passing a similar bill for highways and transit systems. Nevertheless, the bill passed the body by vote of 318-102. AIR-21 will require that an estimated $33 billion in revenue and interest in the Airport and Airway Trust Fund be spent on aviation. About $6.7 billion will be authorized from the U.S. Treasury's general fund. Furthermore, the bill authorizes $3.2 billion in spending for the Airport Improvement Program in fiscal 2001, an increase of $1.3 billion over the current year. President Clinton is expected to sign the legislation into law by April 1. AOPA's February National Pilot Alert and members' letters to the U.S. Senate helped win recent Senate passage after months of stalemate and an early March compromise between House and Senate conferees.

Airport Support Network
The Marion County, Florida, board of commissioners began discussions on the possible closure of Florida's Dunnellon Airport. AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Earl Meredith notified AOPA of the issue, and did a significant amount of local research. Because of the documentation Meredith provided, AOPA wrote a letter urging the commissioners to carefully consider the irreversible implications of the closure of the airport. This saga will continue, and Meredith will keep AOPA on top of the issue.

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: After earning my instrument rating and learning that standard holding patterns are to the right, in the heat of flying, I now sometimes become confused between the direction of turns in standard holds and standard airport traffic patterns. Is there an easy and quick way to remember whether standard airport traffic patterns are made to the left or the right?
Answer: Standard airport traffic patterns are made with left turns. The easy way to remember this? The PIC is usually in the left seat. Its easier to see and (for many) to make turns in the airport traffic pattern to the left than to the right. But pilots should always check individual airport information in the appropriate Airport Facility Directory.

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
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.

What's New at AOPA Online
Get an " inside-the-Beltway" briefing on the current status of aviation legislation from AOPA Legislative Affairs in Washington, D.C.

ePILOT Calendar
Beaumont, Texas. The oldest art organization in Texas presents its fine arts and crafts festival March 25 and 26. The Beaumont Art League offers music, performing arts, arts and crafts, and fine food. Beaumont Municipal Airport (BMT), 409/866-0084 and Southeast Texas Regional Airport (BPT), 409/722-0251, serve the area. Call 409/833-4179 for event information.

Homestead, Florida. The Grand Prix of Miami begins the start of the PPG CART World Series March 26. Side-by-side racing on the 1.5-mile Homestead oval thrill fans in this star-studded race presented by Toyota. Dade County/Homestead Regional Airport (HST), 305/258-6360, and Homestead General Aviation Airport (X51), 305/247-4883, serve the area. Call 305/230-5000 for event information

St. Mary's City, Maryland. The season opening weekend of this historic Maryland city is held March 26, the date of the founding of the state of Maryland in 1634. St. Mary's County Airport (2W6), 301/373-5416, serves the area. Call 301/862-0990 for event information.

Monterey, California
. California's original wine festival enters its twenty-fourth year. The Monterey Wine Festival, March 30 through April 2, features more than 120 wineries and 700 different wines. Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY), 831/648-7000, serves the area. Call 831/656-9463 for event information.

For details on individual airports, see AOPA’s Airport Directory Online. For more calendar events, see the AOPA Pilot magazine Aviation Calendar of Events.

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are in Miami, Florida; Lubbock, Texas; and Birmingham, Alabama, March 18 and 19. 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 in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 16. 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 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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