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| GA News |
| GARMIN TOPS AVIONICS ANNOUNCEMENTS IN RENO |
The Aircraft Electronics Association convention has become the venue of choice for avionics manufacturers who have big announcements. This year's AEA convention in Reno was no exception. The show stealer was Garmin's NavTalk Pilot GPS/cellular telephone. It takes advantage of AirCell's new technology that allows use of modified cellular telephones for air-to-ground calls. When you step out of the plane at your destination, you can continue to use the phone. There's a moving GPS map right on the cell phone that allows you to not only see your location, but that of another NavTalk Pilot user. It's priced at just under $2,500 and should be available in July. The NavTalk GPS receiver technology and software are the same as those found on the Garmin GPS III Pilot. The unit can be wired into the aircraft's audio panel. It knows a few more tricks. For example, using databases on CD-rom disks, additional ground and coastal information can be loaded into NavTalk. There is also an emergency dialing feature that allows the user to easily call 911, or air traffic control facilities. For information visit the Web.
A QUICK LOOK AT OTHER NEWS FROM RENO
Garmin shared the stage with quite a few other interesting new trinkets for the cockpit. THE FLIGHT GUIDE 3000 from ADR Products is an electronic kneeboard with a Pentium-processor-based touch-screen computer. Only 9 x 6 x 1 inches, the device allows the pilot to view electronic charts and checklists and connects to most GPS receivers to provide moving-map displays. The list price is $6,995...
...AIRCELL, the in-flight cellular telephone company that teamed with Garmin on NavTalk Pilot, says that it now offers air-to-ground coverage for half of the United States. By the end of the year, the company expects to achieve 95-percent coverage...
...AIRSHOW of Tustin, California, announced its Airshow Network, which provides up-to-the-minute news, stocks, weather, and sports directly to the aircraft...
...AVIDYNE unveiled its FlightMax 850, an enhanced ground proximity warning system. This joins the 450, 650, and 750 FlightMax models...
...CENTURY FLIGHT SYSTEMS announced that its full-featured Triden autopilot control system will weigh less than nine pounds and will be controlled by one panel-mounted computer/control box. Approval is expected in the near future; one is scheduled to be installed in AOPA's Millennium Mooney Sweepstakes airplane later this year...
...AND FINALLY, Honeywell has developed the Integrated Hazard Avoidance System (IHAS) 1000. The unit can provide position, weather, traffic, and terrain information on a single screen. The system can be constructed piece by piece in a building-block mode, or can be purchased with all functions in place.
GPS IS MORE ACCURATE, SO WHAT DID YOU GAIN?
As you may have heard, the Pentagon turned off selective availability, the system that degrades the accuracy of GPS signals. AOPA has been puzzled as to the value of signal degradation for years and has pushed for the move. Now that signals are more accurate, what did you gain? First of all, you didn't get the ability to do precision GPS approaches. That still requires additional accuracy from systems now in development. As AOPA told the White House National Security Council in a recent letter, however, you did reap a few benefits. For example, shutting off selective availability helps pilots to more accurately determine their location on the airport surface. It will also minimize false alarms given by terrain-avoidance systems. Finally, removal of selective availability improves the performance of local and wide-area augmentation systems that will be used for precision approaches in the future. Before you celebrate too much, the Pentagon each year will reevaluate its decision to keep selective availability (except in time of national emergencies) until 2006.
McCAIN CHALLENGES AOPA'S POSITION ON USER FEES
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain has challenged the appointment of AOPA President Phil Boyer to the new FAA Management Advisory Council because AOPA opposes user fees. "General aviation already pays its 'user fees' through federal fuel excise taxes," Boyer told McCain. "No, we don't need to impose individual charges for air traffic control services." President Bill Clinton nominated Boyer to be the voice of general aviation pilots and aircraft owners on the council. The Senate Commerce Committee hearing was part of the confirmation process for all nominees. In a terse exchange on May 4, McCain pushed the user fees proposal. Boyer answered that the aviation trust fund should be funded by the taxes that pilots and aircraft owners pay when they purchase aviation fuel. McCain then asked MAC nominees representing the airlines and pilot unions if they were for user fees. Both supported a "performance-based" system that would charge a user fee every time an aircraft used ATC services. Because of AOPA's continued opposition to user fees, McCain then told Boyer, "I seriously question your qualifications for this council."
JEPPESEN SANDERSON SALE EXPECTED IN JUNE
The Tribune Company's announced plan to sell Jeppesen Sanderson could be completed as early as mid-June, according to officials close to the sale. The Tribune Company bought the Times Mirror Company--the present owner of Jeppesen Sanderson--on March 13. Like Times Mirror, the Chicago-based Tribune Company is a publisher of newspapers and owns other media outlets. Tribune Chairman John W. Madigan said his company is "focused on our core business of broadcasting, publishing, and interactive [Web sites]." Jeppesen Sanderson is considered a "noncore asset" and is being offered to potential buyers through Merrill Lynch, the financial advisor for the sale. Tribune spokeswoman Katherine Sopranos told The Denver Post that the deal could be concluded shortly after shareholders for the Tribune and Times Mirror companies meet June 12 to consider the merger.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| FAA PROPOSES COSTLY T-34 WING-SPAR AD |
On May 5, the FAA published a proposed airworthiness directive (2000-CE-09-AD) mandating costly repetitive wingspar inspections for T-34s. The FAA cites the in-flight separation of the right wing of a T-34 engaged in mock aerial combat as the cause of the AD. Raytheon originally recommended the invasive wingspar inspection procedure in a previously issued "mandatory" service bulletin. The FAA estimates that compliance with the AD's initial inspection requirements would cost $14,460 per aircraft. Subsequent repetitive inspections are estimated to cost nearly $1,900 per inspection. The AD mandates that cracked wing spars be replaced before being returned to service. Raytheon refuses to produce replacement wing spars. If necessary, some aircraft may be retrofitted with replacement wing spars from Beech 55- or 58-series airplanes through STC. Such retrofits are estimated to cost more than $14,000. AOPA is continuing to monitor the development of alternative methods of compliance (AMOC) by the T-34 Association's technical committee. AOPA opposes the proposed AD in its present form and will advocate any AMOC that reduces the economic impact of the AD and assures an equivalent level of safety. AOPA will update the membership as this situation develops. For more information, and a copy of the proposed AD and related service information, visit AOPA Online.
FAA ISSUES FINAL AD ON MAULE AIRPLANES
On May 9 the FAA issued a final rule airworthiness directive affecting various models of Maule airplanes. The AD mandates the inspection of all Nicopress sleeve terminal ends for correct size compression and requires adjustment or replacement as necessary. The FAA cites one incident in which a cable slipped out of its Nicopress sleeve while a Maule M-7-235C was landing. An investigation revealed that the sleeve had not been adequately crimped and was slightly larger than the gauge dimension. AOPA is investigating and plans to comment on the provisions of this AD. AOPA will update the membership as this situation develops. For more information and a copy of the AD, visit AOPA Online.
| On Capitol Hill |
| HOUSE COMMITTTEE APPROVES DOT FUNDING BILL |
On May 8, the House Committee on Appropriations transportation subcommittee approved the Department of Transportation funding bill for fiscal year 2001. This important bill is the funding mechanism for the FAA. The bill provides the guaranteed funding required by the AIR-21legislation passed earlier this year to unlock the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. Furthermore, it includes dramatic funding increases for FAA operations. While committee mark-up notes are notorious for their lack of information, AOPA budget analysts have been able to ascertain several key details. OASIS funding, used to improve flight service stations across the country, will be funded at the FAA-requested level of $23.1 million. Fuel research appears to be funded at $2.5 million, which is a significant increase from the FAA's original request of $800,000. Most important, the legislation contains no new user fees. The bill now moves to the full Appropriations Committee for approval in the coming weeks. Based on the comments of key House legislators, there appear to be no major obstacles hindering final passage by either the full committee or the House of Representatives.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK – STEVE MARLOWE |
Airport Support Network volunteer Steve Marlowe, who watches issues for AOPA at Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana, Florida, advised AOPA of a noise-abatement restriction printed in the "Airport Facility Directory" stating that LNA is "closed to jet traffic." Marlowe did some digging and found that the restriction was implemented as a result of city rules and regulations adopted in March 1991. Our volunteer was able to obtain documentation of this ordinance, and evidence that Palm Beach County is enforcing the restriction. Marlowe reports that there has been an increasing amount of jet aircraft utilizing the airport, which--as a result--has county officials in an uproar: Beware, jet operators. Thanks to Marlowe's initiative, AOPA is now on the case.
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: Has Champion ever produced a multiengine aircraft?
Answer: Yes. The Champion Aircraft Corporation built a twin-engine aircraft known as the Lancer. It was produced for only one year (1963) and a total of 26 were manufactured. The Lancer was propelled by two Continental O-200 engines and had fixed-pitch McCauley propellers. To see this unusual aircraft, visit AOPA Online.
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 |
| FLY AWAY: ePilot PICKS FOR UPCOMING WEEKENDS |
Angels Camp, California. The Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee features a reenactment of Mark Twain's famous story May 18 through 21. The contest attracts more than 3,000 frogs from around the world (none fly their own planes). Columbia Airport (O22), 209/533-5685, serves the area. Call 209/736-2561 for event information.
Atchison, Kansas. An Antique Airplane Fly-In at the birthplace of Amelia Earhart takes place May 26 and 27. Amelia Earhart Airport (K59), 913/367-1872, is the site of the event. Call 800/234-1854 for event information.
Williamsburg, Virginia. The 393rd anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, America's first permanent English colony, is celebrated May 13 and 14. Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport (JGG), 757/229-9256, serves the area. Call 757/253-4848 for event information.
Frederick, Maryland. Join AOPA for the mid-Atlantic's premier fly-in on June 3 at Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK). The 10th Annual AOPA Fly-In and Open House features more than 90 exhibitors, static aircraft displays, free seminars, and good food. Visit the Web site.
CORRECTION: The Fallon Air Show in Fallon, Nevada, featured in ePilot last week, has been cancelled.
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.
ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Houston, Texas; and Jackson, Mississippi, May 13 and 14. Clinics are scheduled in Baltimore, Maryland; Irvine, California; Kansas City, Missouri; and Pensacola, Florida, May 20 and 21. 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 place May 14 in Houston, Texas. For details and a complete schedule, see the Pinch Hitter Ground School Schedule.
ASF FREE SAFETY SEMINARS
The next ASF safety seminars, free to the public, will take place May 12 in Boca Raton, Florida; and May 13 in Hartford, Connecticut. Click here for additional safety seminar information.
AOPA PILOT TOWN MEETINGS
Featuring AOPA President Phil Boyer
(7:30 p.m.; admission is free)
The next Pilot Town Meetings are in San Bernardino, California, May 15; Newport Beach, California, May 16; and Oxnard, California, May 17. Click for more information on Pilot Town Meetings.
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