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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 2, Issue 37AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 2, Issue 37


Inside AOPA

On Capitol Hill

Airport Support Network

ASF News

Quiz Me!

The Road to Expo

ePilot Calendar

Weekend Weather

Columbia 300 crosses Atlantic
FAA keeps pilots from causing shuttle trouble
Aviation pioneer dies
AOPA questions emergency Lycoming AD
Volume 2, Issue 37
September 15, 2000
GA News
The Lancair Company has added the phrase "world class" to its marketing spin after the first Columbia 300 touched down on European soil last week. The flight marked renowned ferry pilot Margrit Waltz's 514th crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in general aviation aircraft. "I felt very comfortable flying the Columbia 300 over this very long route. This was a special trip because it was my first in a Lancair, and my first in an aircraft that made me confident enough to fly without extra fuel aboard," she said. Waltz left from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Pennsylvania) International Airport and made stops in Newfoundland, Greenland, and Iceland before arriving in front of a cheering crowd at the destination in Bremen, Germany. The airplane will be on an overseas tour, flown by a representative of Lancair's certified European dealer. For more information, see the Web site.

Two FAA aircraft, one of them carrying an AOPA Pilot editor, patrolled the skies over Kennedy Space Center last Friday during the launch of space shuttle Atlantis, looking for intruding spectator aircraft. There were numerous general aviation aircraft in the air to watch the launch, but none entered the restricted airspace. Intruders have been a problem following the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, and especially during the launch of the shuttle carrying Sen. John Glenn on his return visit to space. One aircraft approached the restricted area, stopped short of the border, and began circling, waiting with an estimated 15 spectator aircraft for the launch. The more frequent use of GPS may be responsible for the decrease in intrusions during rocket launches, but out-of-state pilots are still sometimes surprised to find themselves inside restricted airspace during a mission. If an intruder is found, the FAA-operated aircraft pull alongside and use various methods to encourage the intruder to leave.


Peter G. Tanis, known for developing cold-weather systems for aircraft, died August 13 at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. He was 63. Tanis developed and patented the first electric preheater for light airplanes and received numerous patents for cold-weather systems for airplanes and helicopters. Tanis heaters are sold worldwide. In 1977, the family established Tanis Aircraft Services at the Glenwood Municipal Airport. Tanis is survived by his wife Betty; son, Bruce; daughters Brenda Stichter and Lisa Trumble; sister Barbara Snider; and numerous nieces and nephews.

How would you like to be notified via e-mail the second your ideal aircraft becomes available? Aircraft Shopper Online has introduced a new service that allows you to keep up with the aircraft market by harnessing the power of the Internet. For more information, see the Web site.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Inside AOPA
The FAA has issued an emergency airworthiness directive affecting some 3,000 Lycoming engines. AD 2000-18-53 requires the inspection or replacement of the oil filter converter plate gasket on specific versions of Lycoming 320, 360, 540, 541, and 720-series engines manufactured or overhauled after April 1, 1999. Any gaskets with more than 50 hours of time in service must be replaced before further flight. The AD also calls for an immediate inspection of gaskets with fewer than 50 hours, as well as replacement at 50 hours and at every 50-hour interval thereafter. There have been several accidents since February 14 attributed to loss of oil because of a gasket failure. AOPA agrees that some airworthiness action is necessary. AOPA, however, has expressed concern to the FAA that many aircraft may be unnecessarily grounded because of a shortage of replacement gaskets, and pointed out that the converter plate was not designed for repetitive removal. AOPA is working with the FAA to find better and less costly means to solve the problem. For more information, see the Web site.


The General Aviation Coalition (GAC), chaired by AOPA President Phil Boyer, called on the FAA to fix problems with pilot certification and to do a better job of protecting airports. GAC, composed of 16 aviation associations–including AOPA, EAA, and the National Association of Aircraft Resellers–met with FAA Administrator Jane Garvey and senior FAA officials last week. "The challenge with such a diverse group is to find common ground," Boyer said. "That's why this year we have focused on two broad issues, certification and airport protection, that affect all general aviation." For more information, see the Web site.

Following a two-day mission by AOPA medical certification specialists, hundreds of pilots received FAA notification that their applications for special issuance medical certificates have been approved. The AOPA specialists worked directly with the FAA's Aeromedical Certification Division in Oklahoma City to reduce the backlog of long-pending applications, some of which had been "misplaced" for nearly a year. The Oklahoma City mission was mounted in response to more than 550 complaints from AOPA members whose special issuance applications had been in various stages of review for months without resolution. For more information, see the Web site.

Environmental groups have joined the Clinton Administration in a full-frontal assault against backcountry airstrips. Using deceptive language and outright inaccuracies, the groups have attacked Sen. Mike Crapo's (R-Idaho) amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill that would prohibit federal funds from being used to close airstrips on land controlled by the Interior and Agriculture departments. The Wilderness Society now claims the U.S. Forest Service "traditionally uses a formal decision-making process that includes public involvement" before deciding to close an airstrip, but AOPA notes that that's not true because there is nothing in current law that requires such public involvement. For more information, see the Web site.

A standing-room-only crowd of some 225 Michigan pilots welcomed AOPA President Phil Boyer to the Lansing Pilot Town Meeting on Monday. On hand with Boyer were Michigan Aeronautics Commission member Lowell Kraft and AOPA Regional Representative Bill Blake. Boyer was greeted by Marion J. "Babe" Ruth, central Michigan's pioneer woman pilot and a charter (1939) AOPA member. Some 64 percent of Michigan's 17,855 pilots are AOPA members. In this 227th AOPA Pilot Town Meeting, pilots heard about both national topics and local news, including issues and successes at New Hudson, Grosse Ile Municipal, and Bishop International airports.

On Capitol Hill
As the remaining days of the 106th Congress come to a close, AOPA Legislative Affairs has been making the rounds of congressional offices on Capitol Hill in an effort to bring attention to several issues. On Wednesday, AOPA President Phil Boyer sent a letter to each member of the Senate, expressing concern over recent proposals to commercialize the air traffic control system. Boyer was quick to point out that passage of the AIR-21 legislation earlier this year made such efforts unnecessary because it unlocked the Aviation Trust Fund and privatization efforts could divert efforts to follow through with the legislation. On another front, as deliberations begin over the National Weather Service Reauthorization Act, AOPA Legislative Affairs has been meeting with key House and Senate staffers to express opposition to adoption of the bill in its current form. If enacted, the result could be the loss of basic, low-cost weather services and products used by the public and paid for through general tax revenue. More important, gaps in weather data dissemination could be created, resulting in serious safety concerns for general aviation pilots. For more on the issue, see the Web site.

Airport Support Network
Throughout the continuing saga regarding the fate of Plum Island Airport in Newburyport, Massachusetts, ASN volunteer Robert Walton has done a superb job of concentrating his efforts to ensure the future and viability of the airport. There has been overwhelming support nationwide to keep the airport open since the airport owner, Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (SPNEA), announced that it would not renew the lease with airport management when it expires in 2001. Walton reports that because surrounding communities, businesses, and several support groups formed to lobby for the future existence of one of the nation's oldest airports, SPNEA has decided to rethink its decision to close the airport. Walton has spoken publicly in support of the airport and continues to play an active role in keeping it open.

Click here to learn more about the Airport Support Network.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
FAA Administrator Jane Garvey recently thanked AOPA and the Air Safety Foundation for "taking such a vital and proactive stance on the runway safety issue." In a letter to AOPA President Phil Boyer, Garvey specifically noted two safety articles in the August issue of AOPA Pilot ( Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents: Chain Reaction and an accompanying piece, Examining the Causes), saying they captured "how each and every pilot can contribute to safety overall and reduce runway incursions." Garvey concluded, "Phil, thank you for continuing so strongly with your many and varied runway safety efforts. I appreciate the special partnership that continues to develop between our two organizations." Garvey will be the featured speaker at AOPA Expo 2000 during the general session at 9 a.m. on October 21 at the Long Beach Convention Center. For more on Expo, see the Web site.

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

Question: Would you give me the regulation that requires some sort of stall warning?
Answer: FAR Section 23.207 covers stall warnings. It states that "there must be a clear and distinctive stall warning, with the flaps and landing gear in any normal position, in straight and turning flight." The regulation continues to clarify other aspects of stall warnings. The full regulation may be found on the Web site.

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].

On The Road To Expo
Don't miss AOPA Expo 2000 in Long Beach, California, October 20 through 22. Hear the FAA administrator discuss hot topics with AOPA executives. Listen as the AOPA Air Safety Foundation addresses key general aviation safety issues. And meet the AOPA staff! There will be thousands of products, 80 aircraft on display, and 82 seminar topics. Check out the Web site for complete information or call 888/GO2-EXPO for details.

ePilot Calendar
Ravenna, Ohio. The annual Balloon A-Fair festival continues through September 17 and features fireworks and a parade. Balloons are launched at Sunbeau Valley Farm. Portage County Airport (29G), 330/298-3277, serves the area. Call 330/296-3247 for event information.

Alamogordo, New Mexico. The annual Hot Air Balloon Invitational takes place September 16 and 17. Alamogordo-White Sands Regional Airport (ALM), 505/439-4110, serves the area. Call 505/682-3785 for event information.

Reno, Nevada. The National Championship Air Races and Reno Air Show continues through September 17. Reno/Stead Airport (4SD), 775/328-6370; Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO), 775/328-6400; and Spanish Springs Airport (N86), 702/673-4455, all serve the area. (Stead is the host airport). Call 775/972-6663 for event information.

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 Phoenix, Arizona; Richmond, Virginia; and Sacramento, California, September 16 and 17. Clinics are scheduled in Baltimore, Maryland, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 23 and 24. For complete details, visit the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule.

The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on September 16 and Philadelphia on September 28. For topic information see Web site.

(Pinch Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground School will take place September 24 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 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 Houston, Texas, September 18, and Atlanta, Georgia, September 19. Click for more information on Pilot Town Meetings.

Contacting ePilot
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