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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 2, Issue 47AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 2, Issue 47


Inside AOPA

On Capitol Hill

Airport Support Network

ASF News

Quiz Me!

ePilot Calendar

Weekend Weather

Group approves new aviation domain names
Signature buys Ranger Aerospace
AOPA raises concerns about Gillespie Field project
Gorton holds narrow lead in Washington
Volume 2, Issue 47
November 24, 2000
GA News
Two Cessna Aircraft test pilots landed in the dark in a wheat field last Wednesday morning after they lost the engine to their prototype Cessna T182T Skylane. The pilots took off at 6 a.m. from Cessna's Pawnee facility in Wichita and landed in the field located southeast of Atlanta, Kansas, about 20 minutes later after the engine quit, said a Cessna spokeswoman. There was no structural damage to the aircraft and there were no injuries. Cessna is currently investigating the cause of the engine failure. There is no word yet whether it will delay development of the new model. The spokeswoman said Tuesday that the airplane will be flown again as soon as the cause is determined and a new engine is installed. The T182T was introduced earlier this year as part of a new line of Skylanes that offer speed improvements, refined interiors, and updated avionics.

Aviall Inc., a global parts distributor, announced Tuesday that its $43 million agreement to purchase Superior Air Parts has been terminated. "We regret this turn of events as Superior Air Parts remains an excellent acquisition opportunity. Unfortunately, the timeframe necessary to complete the transaction was unacceptable to the parties involved," said Paul Fulchino, chairman, president, and CEO of Aviall. Superior Air Parts, headquartered in Dallas, manufactures and distributes FAA-approved parts for piston-powered general aviation aircraft.

Aviation companies have new virtual real estate addresses to stake out on the Internet, thanks to a decision last week to allow new domain names. Since .com, .net, and .org (that AOPA uses) have become crowded, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved seven new Web address suffixes, including .aero for the aviation industry. That way companies can use simpler and easier to find addresses that may have been taken by other users. The new addresses could be in use as soon as the middle of next year. For more about ICANN, see the Web site.

The world's largest FBO will acquire a major airline services company in a $152 million deal. Signature Flight Support Corporation has offered to buy Ranger Aerospace Corporation's stock, including the repayment of its debt. Ranger is the parent company of Aircraft Service International Group Inc., headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that serves the airlines. Signature is a wholly owned subsidiary of BBA Group of London, England, and concentrates on business and commercial aviation. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter 2001. "This combination brings together two of the largest and most respected names in the aviation services industry," said Steve Townes, president and CEO of ASIG and the founder of Ranger. For more, see the ASIG Web site or Ranger Aerospace.

Next Friday marks an important date for aviation. Care to take a guess? On December 1, 1918, the U.S. Weather Bureau made the first aviation weather forecast. While the eighty-second anniversary may not call for a huge celebration, nonetheless, it's commemorated each year to honor forecasters for their late hours in support of pilots. The Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City, Missouri, for instance, plans to celebrate with pizza.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Inside AOPA
The FAA has granted an amended blanket exemption to AOPA members for conducting charity sightseeing flights without implementing an expensive drug-testing program. "Now we have a program that pilots can really use," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The FAA responded to our requests and modified the exemption to make it less bureaucratic." For more, see AOPA Online.


AOPA has expressed concerns about pending plans to use about 70 acres of airport property at Gillespie Field (SEE) in El Cajon, California, for nonaviation uses. "Since aviation needs currently exist, it is imperative that the property in question…be used to accommodate existing and future aeronautical needs," reads a recent letter to the San Diego Board of Supervisors. Aviation needs include hangars, tiedown areas, and a myriad of aviation businesses. Gillespie Field is vital to the county, Southern California, and the national airport system. Too often AOPA has seen nonaviation developments stifle airport growth. AOPA urged the county to work with airport users to ensure compliance with federal obligations and to take other steps to protect the land. The issue was brought to AOPA's attention by ASN volunteer Bruce Overson.

On Capitol Hill
At press time, Senate aviation subcommittee Chairman and AOPA Political Action Committee recipient, Slade Gorton of Washington State appears to have withstood a major wave of votes from strongholds of his Democratic challenger, Maria Cantwell, this week. He should claim a fourth term in the U.S. Senate. Experts are forecasting that Gorton will win by 2,000 to 2,500 votes–an even closer election than the 6,000-vote victory that made Gorton state attorney general in 1968. The margin in the Senate race is close enough–less than one-half of 1 percent–that an automatic recount will come after counties complete the reporting of vote totals during the middle of next week. A Gorton victory would provide Republicans with a fifty-first vote, allowing them to retain control of the Senate.

Airport Support Network
ASN Volunteer Ann Devers from North Las Vegas Airport (VGT), Nevada, is working, among others, with the FAA on changes to the Class B airspace and progress on the high limits ILS to be installed at the airport and the overall impact on traffic and the practice areas. Devers, in conjunction with the Clark County Aviation Association (CCAA), is sponsoring a Fly-A-Controller program in the hopes of illustrating the problems of flying in the area. The Las Vegas-area controllers are anxious to participate. The program began in November and will continue as an ongoing project of the CCAA. Devers serves as secretary of the association.

Click here to learn more about the Airport Support Network.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is warning pilots to be careful around military training areas in the wake of last Friday's midair collision between an F-16 and a Cessna 172. "Pilots should be aware that they can encounter high-speed military aircraft at low altitudes outside of military operations areas (MOAs) and restricted areas," said ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg. The 172 and an Air Force F-16 collided south of Tampa, Florida, at about 4 p.m. The accident, just outside of the Tampa Class B and near the beginning of a low-altitude military training route (MTR), killed Jacque Olivier, 57, a flight instructor and charter pilot. The F-16 pilot ejected safely. While the cause of the crash is under investigation, AOPA has been pushing the FAA and the military for years to make real-time information on military flight activities available to civilian pilots, said Melissa Bailey, AOPA vice president of air traffic services. ASF is now offering its latest safety seminar, "Collision Avoidance," at locations across the country. For more on seminars, see AOPA Online. For a review of military airspace, see "Craniums Up," in the September 1999 issue of AOPA Pilot.

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

Question: What is the offshore distance requirement (in miles) when a speed increase is allowed to more than 250 knots below 10,000 feet?
Answer: The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) answers this in Section 4-4-11i by stating, "Speed restrictions of 250 knots do not apply to U.S. registered aircraft operating beyond 12 nautical miles from the coastline within the U.S. Flight Information Region, in Class E airspace, below 10,000 feet MSL." The section goes on to discuss this speed restriction in other types of airspace. For more, see AOPA Online.

Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? Call 800/872-2672 or e-mail to [email protected]. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to [email protected].

Charts Current?
NOS instrument approach plates and IFR en route charts expire on November 30 as part of the 56-day cycle. The Airport/Facility Directory will also be updated on that date. Make sure you have current information before you fly.

ePilot Calendar
In response to member requests, some destinations will be posted one week in advance.

Gallup, New Mexico. Held the first weekend of December every year since 1981, the Red Rock Balloon Rally takes place December 1 through 3. More than 200 hot air balloons float above the red rocks of Indian country. Gallup Municipal Airport (GUP), 505/722-4896, serves the area. Call 505/722-6274 for event information.

Bedford, Pennsylvania. An old-fashioned Christmas celebration takes place December 1 through December 10 in quaint Bedford. Bedford County Airport (HMZ), 814/623-0704, serves the area. Call 814/623-1156 for event information.

San Angelo, Texas. Historic Landmark Fort Concho hosts Christmas at Old Fort Concho December 1 through December 3. San Angelo Regional Airport/Mathis Field (SJT), 915/659-6409, serves the area. Call 915/657-4441 for event information, or visit the Web site.

Colby, Kansas. The small town of Colby is a winter wonderland from November 24 through December 24. Shaltz Field (CBK), 785/462-4438, is the local airport. Call 785/462-7643 for event information.

Mansfield, Ohio. The Mansfield Aviation Club Christmas Party and Annual Meeting will take place December 1 at the Sons of Herman Banquet Hall. AOPA President Phil Boyer is the featured speaker. Reservations are due by November 24. For more information, contact Jerry Calhoun, 419/522-8274.

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, and Fresno, California, December 2 and 3. Clinics are scheduled in Chicago and Denver, December 9 and 10. For complete details, visit the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule.

The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in Waco, Texas, November 27; West Houston, Texas, November 28; St. Louis, November 29; San Antonio, Texas, November 29; and Austin, Texas, November 30. For more information see Web site.

(Pinch Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground School will take place place December 17 in Orlando, Florida. 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 Las Vegas, November 28; Prescott, Arizona, November 29; and Phoenix, November 30. Click for more information on Pilot Town Meetings.

For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie Walker at [email protected].

Contacting ePilot
Got news tips? Contact ePilot editor Nathan A. Ferguson at [email protected]
Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

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