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| MOONEY DECLARES BANKRUPTCY |
Ten days after Chris Dopp resigned his post as Mooney Aircraft Corporation's president and CEO, the company filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Papers were filed July 27 in Texas. Mooney's day-to-day affairs are now being handled by Michael McConnell, Mooney's senior vice president of strategic planning; Tom Bowen, vice president of engineering; and Mike Baldridge, vice president of operations. Paul Dopp, who owned Mooney in the early 1970s, remains as chairman. McConnell said at AirVenture 2001 in Oshkosh, "This is our opportunity to finally right the ship," and emphasized that Mooney will continue to support Mooney customers and their airplanes. Funding for continued operations has been secured, the company will operate as a debtor in possession, and plans are reportedly in the works to rebuild the company and produce airplanes. A search is under way for a new president and CEO.
AIRPLANE MAKES SUCCESSFUL HITS FLIGHT
Avidyne Corporation announced the successful demonstration flight of its Highway in the Sky (HITS) technology last Friday. The 30-minute flight in a Lancair Columbia 400 departed EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh and flew a GPS approach into Fond du Lac Airport before returning for a VFR approach back into Oshkosh. The flight was conducted entirely with reference to the HITS display symbology developed by Avidyne as part of the Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiments (AGATE) program. "The HITS system was so easy to fly, even my 7-year-old grandson could have done it," said NASA's Sam Venerri, who acted as pilot on the mission. "It is easy to see how this technology can reduce training time for new pilots and increase competency of low-time pilots in IFR conditions."
CIRRUS ENHANCES SR20 AT NO EXTRA CHARGE
Cirrus Design announced a 100-pound gross weight increase, to 3,000 pounds, for the SR20 aircraft. Company officials said the increase improves utility by bumping up the useful load to 950 pounds. The airplane will also have a new look with the installation of an ultrabright high-intensity discharge (HID) landing light, pioneered on the SR22, in the lower cowl. Other options include traffic information for the avionics system and some interior refinements. No change in price is anticipated. The company plans to offer retrofit kits for the 140 SR20s already delivered. See the Web site.
SUPERIOR TO MARKET AIRCRAFT DIESEL ENGINES
Superior Air Parts Inc. has been named as the exclusive sales representative for two aircraft engines that run on jet fuel. The engines are produced by Thielert Aircraft Engines of Lichtenstein. Both engines, the TAE 110 and 125, are four-cylinder, four-valve turbodiesels that operate on Jet-A fuel. The TAE 110 has been certified in Europe while the TAE 125 has accumulated more than 1,000 hours in a Piper Cherokee. Plans are to install the 125-hp engine in a Cessna 172 later this year. Both engines feature 3,000-hour TBOs and full authority digital engine control (FADEC).
COMPETITION HEATS UP IN PERSONAL JET MARKET
The competition in personal jets is getting tighter. McCotter Aviation LLC, maker of the Maverick TwinJet kitplane, is pursuing certification of a new aircraft, the MC 2400. The six-place composite airframe is to be powered by two jet engines. The company is planning to achieve a maximum cruise speed of 413 knots with a range of more than 1,500 nm. Company officials are currently discussing engine options with manufacturers. The jet is expected to sell for $1.5 million. McCotter plans to receive certification in 2003. See the Web site.
AIR FORCE SET TO CONTINUE SEARCH FOR TRAINERS
An environmental impact study has found there will be no deleterious effects from noise on the Colorado Springs area, allowing the U.S. Air Force Academy's search for new trainer aircraft to continue. Plans to start a flight training program were put on hold when environmental concerns were raised last year. The academy, based in Colorado Springs, has agreed to realign training routes and select quiet trainers to mitigate possible noise problems. The Air Force will select a contractor and provide funds to the winning bidder to provide initial flight training to Academy cadets. The contract will be awarded by January 2002, and training will begin no later than June 2002.
See AOPA Online for more EAA AirVenture coverage, or for daily news updates.
| Inside AOPA |
| FAA MAKES RNAV CHARTING HIGH PRIORITY |
Pressure from AOPA and RTCA Inc. (a not-for-profit corporation that advises the federal government) for charted area navigation (RNAV) routes has resulted in the FAA's elevating the RNAV rulemaking to one of the agency's highest priorities. RNAV rulemaking will now receive internal FAA support from technical experts, attorneys, and economists needed to develop rules. The FAA team met this week to begin development of work plans and a timeline. AOPA is pleased that the FAA responded to its multiyear effort to secure charted RNAV routes, and has encouraged the FAA to commit allocated resources to making sure the rulemaking process does not impede progress of route charting. For more, see AOPA Online.
DON'T CLOSE OHIO AIRPORT, AOPA TELLS CANDIDATES
AOPA is warning mayoral candidates in Cleveland, Ohio, to keep their hands off Burke Lakefront Airport. "AOPA will work diligently to defeat any attempts to close this valuable community resource," wrote AOPA President Phil Boyer in a letter to all the candidates. "With the recent focus on the need for additional airport and runway capacity, closing Burke (a designated FAA reliever airport) could have a detrimental impact on delays at Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport. We doubt the FAA will be willing to accept the negative consequences associated with allowing Burke Lakefront to close." At least five candidates running for mayor of Cleveland want to close the airport and develop the property or turn it into a lakefront park. For more, see AOPA Online.
FAA TO ISSUE FINAL RULE FOR REPAIR STATIONS
Next week, the FAA will publish its first major revision to FAR Part 145, which covers approved repair stations. "While the FAA responded to many of AOPA's concerns that should make implementation of the final rule less costly than the previous version, there is still going to be an impact on the cost of maintenance resulting from this rule," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. AOPA submitted formal comments to the FAA in December 1999 citing many needed changes to the proposed rule that would reduce the rule's economic impact without compromising safety. And last week, AOPA presented oral arguments to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget as to the rule's overly burdensome economic impact on small repair stations.
AOPA CONTINUES NANTUCKET AIRSPACE FIGHT
AOPA is continuing to oppose the FAA's proposed new Class C airspace around Nantucket Memorial Airport on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts. The FAA has scheduled two informal airspace meetings for August 20 and 21 to gather input from pilots on the proposal. AOPA encourages local pilots to attend. "The FAA refuses to consider simpler, less restrictive options," said Melissa K. Bailey, AOPA vice president of air traffic services. "Almost a year ago, AOPA proposed a solution that would have cost the taxpayer next to nothing and could have been implemented immediately. We were ignored." Because of the summer seasonal peak in air traffic on the island, the FAA wants the current Nantucket Class D airspace changed to the more restrictive, radar-based Class C operation. For more, see AOPA Online.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| CONGRESS MAY PRESSURE CHICAGO TO SAVE MEIGS |
As a direct result of AOPA legislative efforts, Congress may step in to save Chicago's Meigs Field. After AOPA met with Illinois Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, he added an amendment to the Department of Transportation fiscal 2002 appropriations bill. The Senate passed the bill Wednesday night. The amendment states that area reliever and general aviation airports like Meigs must be preserved and utilized as part of a plan to solve congestion at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Bill Deere, AOPA's senior vice president of legislative affairs, helped craft the amendment language. Meanwhile, Illinois Gov. George Ryan announced that he will present an alternative to Chicago's current O'Hare plans which includes extending the life of Meigs Field. It is slated to close in February 2002. For more, see AOPA Online.
REPORT INDICATES PROBLEMS IN SHOOT-DOWN POLICY
The Bush administration will release this week the State Department's report on its investigation of the U.S.-Peru drug interdiction program and the April 20 incident in which a civilian aircraft was shot down in Peru by a Peruvian Air Force fighter jet, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. The State Department inquiry "characterizes the program as having limited U.S. oversight and having evolved over the years into lax adherence to procedures by both the United States and Peru," said sources familiar with the report. After the April 20 incident, AOPA President Phil Boyer was invited to submit testimony for the House criminal justice, drug policy, and human resources subcommittee hearing on U.S. drug Interdiction efforts in South America. Boyer condemned the use of deadly force against civilian aircraft. See AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
|AOPA started the Airport Support Network to provide a coordinated effort to reduce antiairport sentiment. ASN volunteers keep AOPA headquarters abreast of political and public opinion developments that may affect their airports. They attend public meetings dealing with airport matters and report to AOPA on the proceedings. ASN volunteers help promote local airport activities to enhance the airport's public image. They also act as the AOPA liaison with local pilot associations, user groups, airport advisory commissions, and airport officials. Does this sound like something your airport has? If not, your airport needs an ASN volunteer. Below are just a few airports in your area where an ASN volunteer could make a difference. |
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: It is common knowledge that most small airports with control towers are Class D airspace. However, when the tower closes this airspace changes to either Class E Surface Area or Class G. What determines the change to either Class E Surface Area or Class G?
Answer: The Airport/Facilities Directory (A/FD) shows which type of airspace will exist at an airport after the closing of a tower facility. The airspace determination depends on the weather observation facilities on the field. In order to qualify for a surfaced-based Class E airspace the following conditions must exist: There must be a federally certified weather observer or system (AWOS, ASOS, etc.) on the field; this observer or system must have the ability to report to ATC via phone line or other means; and the airport must meet the above requirements after the tower ceases to operate. Otherwise, it will revert to Class G airspace.
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 |
| After its first public appearance at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh to the delight of thousands, the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza is in Ohio having its new leather installed. See our latest project update on AOPA Online. |
| On The Road To Expo |
|Seeing live product demonstrations is one of the many reasons to attend AOPA Expo 2001. That's right, you can actually see how the products perform before you buy. To get a glimpse of what to expect from November 8 through 10 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, see AOPA Online. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Cape May, New Jersey. Airfest 2001 takes place August 11 at Cape May County Airport (WWD). Call 609/886-8787 for event information.
Moffett Field, California. NASA's e-Air Expo takes place August 11 and 12. Call 650/604-2162 for event information.
For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see Aviation Calendar of Events
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in Rockford, Michigan, and Little Rock, Arkansas, August 13 ("Fuel Awareness"); Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Memphis, Tennessee, August 14 ("Fuel Awareness"); Anderson, Indiana, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, August 15 ("Fuel Awareness"); Chattanooga, Tennessee, August 16 ("Fuel Awareness"); and Maryville, Tennessee, August 17 ("Fuel Awareness"). See AOPA Online for more information.
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 Long Beach, California; Boulder, Colorado; and Reno, Nevada, August 11 and 12. 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 August 12 in Reno, Nevada. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie S. Walker at [email protected].
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Copyright ï¿½ 2001. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
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