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| GA News |
| SUPERIOR ANNOUNCES LOW-OCTANE ENGINE |
Superior Air Parts Inc. will announce at the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In a factory-new, zero-time engine for the experimental aircraft market. Although all the parts are FAA-approved, the engine has not been certified yet. The 180-horsepower, four-cylinder XP-360 engine can run on 91-octane auto fuel. It features a computer-optimized camshaft designed for better cruise economy, lower valve-train loads, and smoother operation, in addition to a dynamically balanced crankshaft. The engine is being built at Teledyne Mattituck Services in Long Island, New York, and is available immediately. Special Sun 'n Fun prices start at $21,500 for the carbureted model, $26,280 for the fuel-injected one, and $29,990 for the model with a computerized full-authority digital engine control (FADEC) system. For more, see the Web site.
KLM CLOSES ACADEMY FOR CONTRACT TRAINING
KLM Flight Academy, which has conducted ab initio pilot training in Arizona for European airlines, is closing its U.S. flight-training academy. Instead, Pan Am International Flight Academy (PAIFA) has announced that it will train up to 120 pilots per year at its new Fort Pierce, Florida, facility under a three-year contract. The training, from private pilot through ATP, will be provided under the European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) Flight Crew Licensing (FCL) rules. KLM Flight Academy will continue to provide ground training segments, multiengine ratings, and airline transition bridge courses in The Netherlands.
DIESEL SKYLANE GETS NEW COWLING
Roy LoPresti's Speed Merchants company is designing a new cowling for a Cessna 182 powered by a French diesel engine. The work is part of the supplemental type certificate (STC) process. SMA, Societe de Motorisation Aeronautiques, is hoping to receive FAA certification for the SR-305 230-hp engine later this year. It offers improved performance and longer TBO than a regular avgas engine and has the ability to run on jet fuel. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University partnered with SMA to develop the engine and pursue the STC. Flight demonstrations are planned this summer at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. A price has not been announced. For more, see the Web site.
AASI STRUGGLES AFTER STOCK MARKET DROP
Advanced Aerodynamics & Structures Inc. (AASI), developer of the Jetcruzer 500 single-engine turboprop, has fallen on hard times but is trying to reassure its vendors and contractors that it will certify and produce the airplane. The Long Beach, California, company said in a March 19 letter that it has been "going through an extremely difficult time" and that the past six months have been particularly tough for it and other publicly traded companies after the stock market slump. But AASI said that it has made an arrangement with some investors for continued funding of the project. It also promised to pay off its outstanding accounts.
BRS TO CERTIFY SKYHAWK PARACHUTE SYSTEM
BRS Inc. has applied for FAA certification to install its emergency parachute system on Cessna 172s. BRS has initiated development tests and hopes to receive certification by the end of this year. Similar to the systems used on the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 and Cessna 150s, the BRS-172 system is designed to lower a single-engine Cessna and its passengers to the ground in an emergency. The factory-direct price for the first 50 units is $13,495. For more, see the Web site.
TUCKER SIGNS WITH TEAM ORACLE
The SkyDancer is back with a new sponsor. Aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker confirmed that software giant Oracle Corporation has stepped in to sponsor his 2001 airshow tour. Tucker begins the season at the Air & Sea Show in Fort Lauderdale on May 5 and 6. With 20 appearances planned in North America this year, Tucker intends to make a few changes to his popular act. "I'm trying a new maneuver right now...it should be pretty cool," he said. The new sponsor also means a new paint job for the well-known SkyDancer, a highly modified Pitts, from its previous black to what Tucker calls "red with more red." Because the airplane takes three weeks to paint and reassemble, Tucker will miss the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In, which begins Sunday. For more on Tucker, see his Web site.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Squawk Sheet |
| AOPA COMMENTS ON CESSNA CONTROL WHEEL AD |
This week AOPA forwarded alternatives to a proposed AD mandating inspection and pull testing of plastic control wheels installed on several popular models of Cessna airplanes. Citing technical information provided in part by the Cessna Pilots Association, AOPA opposed the AD. AOPA recommended that instead of issuing an AD, the FAA issue a GA Alert to mechanics stressing the importance of inspecting control wheels during these routine aircraft inspections. AOPA also recommended that the FAA issue a special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) to owners of affected airplanes.
FAA ISSUES CESSNA MIXTURE AD
After several weeks of preparation, the FAA published a final rule AD intended to correct an overly rich condition that could occur in Cessna 172 airplanes manufactured since the company restarted production in 1996. Although the airplanes' mixture settings are set properly prior to customer delivery, the overly rich mixture condition reportedly develops within the first several hundred hours of aircraft operation. The AD requires a one-time inspection for proper engine idle speed and fuel control mixture setting, and adjustment as necessary. For more, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| SPORTY'S, MBNA REDUCE FLYING COSTS |
AOPA members can now get a 5-percent discount on any item purchased from the Sporty's Pilot Shop catalog with an AOPA Visa or MasterCard from MBNA and a valid membership number . The new discount is an additional benefit which complements the 5-percent FBO rebate already available to AOPA members who use the AOPA credit card for any purchases up to $5,000 annually at a qualifying fixed base operator. "AOPA is always striving to help pilots reduce the cost of flying," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Now AOPA members can save money on essential pilot supplies, training materials, and the AOPA Insignia Collection at Sporty's." For more, see AOPA Online.
AOPA CONTINUES PUSH FOR BETTER NOTAM SYSTEM
The crash of a Gulfstream III last week in Aspen, Colorado, has revealed some shortcomings in the FAA's notam system. AOPA will continue to push the FAA to rationalize and modernize the system. An FAA flight check had determined that the instrument approach to Aspen-Pitkin County Airport was unsafe days before last week's Gulfstream III accident that claimed 18 lives. On March 26, the FAA issued a notam prohibiting night instrument approaches. That notam was distributed to flight service stations by computer. The Gulfstream pilot was briefed on the notam, but according to the NTSB investigation, Aspen Tower–which is supposed to get notams by fax–did not know that night instrument approaches were no longer available. While it may or may not have been a factor in the accident, the different delivery methods and multiple notam categories illustrate a system that has failed to evolve from teletypes. "All notams should be put in a searchable database, accessible over the Internet," said Melissa Bailey, AOPA vice president of air traffic services. "That way pilots, briefers, and ATC personnel could easily get the flight safety information pertinent to their operations without wading through reams of extraneous data."
FAA DELAYS GRAND CANYON FLIGHT RULES AGAIN
The FAA has once again delayed the new Grand Canyon Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) final rule and commercial air tour routes that were scheduled to go into effect April 1. The agency is reexamining "safety of flight" issues. The new rules would primarily affect commercial air tour operators, but also include two flight-free zones over the east end of the national park. AOPA had successfully objected to parts of the rule that would have imposed greater restrictions on transient general aviation aircraft crossing the canyon.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| SENATE PASSES CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM |
If new legislation passes the House, it could level the playing field between general aviation and the airlines, which have given millions of dollars in soft money to political candidates and political parties. In a historic vote Monday, the Senate approved campaign finance reform legislation aimed at restricting the unregulated special-interest contributions. The legislation would ban soft-money donations from unions, corporations, and wealthy individuals to political parties. It would also increase hard-money donations, or regulated individual contributions to candidates, from $1,000 to $2,000 per year, and restrict broadcast special-interest issue ads before primary and general elections. For more Capitol Hill news, see AOPA Online.
LEADERS REINTRODUCE BACKCOUNTRY AIRSTRIPS BILL
The fight to protect backcountry airstrips continued on Tuesday with the reintroduction of legislation by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Rep. Butch Otter (R-Idaho), and Rep. James Hansen (R-Utah), also an AOPA member. The bill would block efforts by federal agencies to restrict or arbitrarily prohibit general aviation's use of backcountry airstrips by requiring approval from state aviation officials before closing landing sites on federal land. Last year, AOPA supported Crapo, who successfully attached an amendment to the Interior Appropriations Conference Report for fiscal year 2001, prohibiting federal funds from being used to close any airstrips on lands administered by the Department of the Interior. For more, see the AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK–WENDY ROSS BEYE |
Ravalli County Airport (6S5) in Hamilton, Montana, is fighting a well-organized antiairport group that is petitioning to close the facility. In her one-month tenure, AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Wendy Ross Beye has provided AOPA with the recent airport history dating back to 1997, including past guest editorials that she wrote for the local paper. Beye has begun working with the airport manager to complete written documentation of the airport's economic value. And she has provided the airport authority with AOPA's Local Airports--Access to America and Flying Friendly videos to be used at speaking engagements to educate the public about the airport. Pending forest fires and local flying conditions, 6S5 may be hosting Airport Appreciation Days again this summer.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| ASF SEMINARS INTEND TO CURB MIDAIR COLLISIONS |
Having a midair collision is a possibility every time a pilot takes to the air. The good news is that a pilot in VFR conditions can reduce this possibility to practically zero. How? Find out by attending the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's new Collision Avoidance Safety seminars now being offered around the country for free. For information on these and other seminars, see AOPA Online.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: What does DEWIZ stand for?
Answer: According to the FAA's Aviation Safety Data Aviation Glossary, DEWIZ stands for distant early warning identification zone. This is an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the coastal waters of Alaska. ADIZ locations and operating and flight plan requirements are specified in FAR Part 99. It's available on 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].
| AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza Update |
| SWEEPS BONAZA GETS SAFETY UPGRADES |
How would you like to be warned if you try to land gear up or let the speed get near the V NE? Learn in the latest project update about the steps that have been taken to not only make the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza technologically advanced, but safer. See AOPA Online.
| Coming Up In AOPA Pilot |
|Fly the Cirrus SR22, learn about Lindbergh's triumph over sleepiness, and fly over famous Civil War battle sites in the May issue of AOPA Pilot. It will be mailed April 16. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|AOPA Online now has links to air route traffic control centers, control towers, automated flight service stations, automated international FSSs, and tracons that have web sites. See the Web site. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Lakeland, Florida. The annual Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In takes place at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport April 8 through 14. Call 863/644-2431 for event information, or visit the Web site.
Appleton, Wisconsin. The 2001 Wisconsin Aviation Conference takes place at Paper Valley Hotel April 9 and 10. Call 608/267-9592 for event information.
Burnet, Texas. The Blue Bonnet Airshow takes place at Burnet Municipal Airport (BMQ) April 14. E-mail for event information.
For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see 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 San Diego, Denver, Chicago, and Boston, April 7 and 8. Clinics are scheduled in Tampa, Florida; Indianapolis; and Salt Lake City, April 21 and 22. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.
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 April 8 in Denver. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie S. Walker at [email protected].
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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Copyright ï¿½ 2001. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
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