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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 3, Issue 34AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 3, Issue 34


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Jury awards $480 million in Cessna suit
Company uses GA for computer emergencies
Fossett is forced down by weather
AOPA takes FAA official to task for statement
Volume 3, Issue 34
August 24, 2001
GA News
CIRRUS SHAREHOLDERS ACCEPT FUNDING PACKAGE
Photo of Cirrus SR22Cirrus Design Corporation has received shareholder approval for a $143 million financing package from an investment banking company. The transaction, first reported in ePilot last week, gives Crescent Capital 61 percent interest in Cirrus and virtually eliminates the aircraft company's debt. In effect, it provides better cash flow for picking up production and continuing product development, said company officials. Crescent Capital, based in Atlanta, is the U.S. arm of the First Islamic Investment Bank of Bahrain. It has made investments in other U.S. companies that it believes are poised for growth.

JURY AWARDS $480 MILLION IN CESSNA SUIT
A Florida jury last week awarded a record $480 million to three people hurt in the crash of a Cessna 185 in 1989. The award—$80 million in compensatory and $400 million in punitive damages—is the largest in aviation history, according to attorney Arthur Wolk, who represented the pilot and two passengers. Wolk said the accident occurred after the pilot's seat slipped backward during a balked landing. That caused the pilot to inadvertently pitch up the aircraft, which then stalled, crashed, and burned. Wolk said the seat-latching system was defective and that Cessna Aircraft Company had failed to correct the defects. Cessna's attorneys denied that and blamed the accident on pilot error, noting that the pilot had little experience or instruction in flying the tailwheel aircraft. Cessna is considering an appeal.

...AND AOPA COMMENTS ON JURY FINDING
AOPA members expressed concern over what effect the substantial award could have on a fragile industry. "AOPA is a consumer organization which, more than any other, represents pilots and aircraft owners," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We always have to weigh the balance between a consumer's right to sue and the health of an industry." That, Boyer noted, was the balance that was struck with the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA). The legislation enacted in 1994 put an 18-year limit on the right to sue an aircraft manufacturer for product defects. That limit also applies to new components installed in an older aircraft.

GULFSTREAM JET SALE BREAKS eBAY RECORD
The sale of a business jet for $4.9 million Thursday set a record for the online marketplace eBay. The Gulfstream II was one of several items that was listed in the company’s new aviation category that was launched last month. The jet sale tripled eBay’s previous sale record of $1.65 million. Texas-based Tyler Jet sold the airplane to a charter aircraft company located in Africa. See the Web site.

COMPANY USES GA FOR COMPUTER EMERGENCIES
A California company has found a new way to use general aviation aircraft. In this era of e-commerce, SourceWise Data Engineering Inc. of Loomis, California, is using a Piper Archer to respond to companies having computer system crises and to provide software development. Before using the airplane, SourceWise's client base was in Sacramento. But now the company has expanded throughout the state and beyond California's borders. "Geography is everything to us," said Stephen Conley of SourceWise. The program, called SourceWise On Time Anytime Response (SOAR), allows the company to guarantee (assuming California weather) the same response times as it did in the city. The program also offers big city services to rural communities. In the future, the company plans to expand the SOAR program to include Las Vegas by buying a faster airplane. See the Web site.

FOSSETT IS FORCED DOWN BY WEATHER
Global adventurer Steve Fossett failed once again in his quest to become the first solo balloonist to fly around the world. Because of bad weather Fossett landed the Solo Spirit last Friday near the Brazilian city of Bage, 13 days after launching from Australia. For more, see the Web site.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Inside AOPA
AOPA TAKES FAA OFFICIAL TO TASK FOR STATEMENT
AOPA President Phil Boyer fired off an angry letter to the head of the FAA's Office of Runway Safety after The Dallas Morning News quoted the regional runway safety program manager blaming general aviation for runway incursions at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. "I must relay to you the extreme disappointment our AOPA membership feels over the mischaracterization of GA," Boyer wrote. AOPA pointed out that GA pilots are no more likely to be involved in a runway incursion than airline pilots. A letter was also sent to the newspaper. See AOPA Online.

FAA CONSIDERS OPTIONS FOR NANTUCKET AIRSPACE
The FAA has now agreed to at least consider less restrictive alternatives to new Class C airspace around the island of Nantucket south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The FAA had previously said that establishing Class C airspace around the island was the only option for dealing with increased aviation activity during the summer. But at informal airspace meetings this week, the FAA conceded that it had not followed through on trying less restrictive options proposed by AOPA. See AOPA Online.

DOT LOOKS AT CURBING FLIGHT DELAYS
The Department of Transportation has published a notice in the Federal Register seeking comments on the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing "pricing systems" that could be put in place at airports experiencing significant airline delays. The initiative—clearly targeted at air carriers, but which also could apply to general aviation—includes congestion fees, auctions, or flat fees. The notice, however, is not an actual proposed rule and the airports most likely targeted are not those heavily used by general aviation. When GA does use these airports the airplanes are often on smaller runways and do not take up a slot that could have been used by a 300-seat airliner. AOPA absolutely opposes any pricing initiative that disproportionately applies to GA.

Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
On Capitol Hill
BUDGET PROJECTION PUTS PRESSURE ON FAA BILL
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its midyear budget projections Wednesday, which stated that the surplus is $123 billion less than the $284 billion surplus OMB projected in April. This plummeting surplus projection comes at a time when appropriations bills, such as those that fund the FAA, will continue to be debated next month when Congress returns. The lower surplus will put pressure on all parts of the budget. AOPA will closely monitor the development of the FAA's funding bill for next year to ensure the AIR-21 agreement continues to be fully implemented. See AOPA Online.
Airport Support Network
ASN OFFERS RESOURCES FOR SAVING AIRPORTS
The AOPA Airport Support Network program provides its volunteers with several resources to help them fulfill their responsibilities as AOPA's "eyes and ears" at airports around the country. How can you make your community leaders aware of the value of your airport to the community? You can find the answer in AOPA's Guide to Obtaining Community Support for Your Local Airport. Section three outlines how to figure out the economic impact, both direct and indirect, of your airport on the local community. Another resource is the AOPA pamphlet It's Your Airport. It outlines the various ways that even nonpilots are helped by the airport and discusses the economic progress, worldwide connection, and emergency services that the airport offers to the community.

To learn more about ASN, visit AOPA Online.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
ASF PUBLISHES BONANZA, DEBONAIR BOOKLET
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has published its latest booklet on aircraft-specific safety data. Sponsored by United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG), Beechcraft Bonanza/Debonair Safety Highlights is the fourth in a series. The publication will be mailed to all Bonanza and Debonair aircraft owners or it can be downloaded from AOPA Online. For a hardcopy of the book, call 800/USA-AOPA.
Quiz Me!
Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.

Question: On the Los Angeles Sectional there are a few Victor airways south of the border that are dashed. It seems that they are solid within the Tijuana (Mexico) Class B airspace but dashed outside. What does it mean when they are dashed?

Answer: The United States and Mexico do not use the same system of airspace control. In the America, for example, federal airways are Class E (controlled) airspace. In Mexico, airways are not necessarily controlled. When airways in Mexico pass through uncontrolled airspace, the airways are uncontrolled. A dashed line is used to depict uncontrolled airways on U.S. VFR charts that cover Mexico. The chart legend does not include the dashed-line symbol, because space permits only symbols common in the United States to be depicted in the legend.

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
bonanza logoThe effort to convert the interior of the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza from 1960s cloth to modern leather continues at Air Mod in Ohio. For the latest project update on the airplane that could be yours, see AOPA Online.
Picture Perfect
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. See AOPA Online Gallery.
On The Road To Expo
AOPA's efforts to save GA airports will be showcased in an exciting multimedia event on November 9 at AOPA Expo 2001 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The hour-long general session, sponsored by The New Piper Aircraft Inc., will provide an inside look at how AOPA and the nearly 1,000 Airport Support Network volunteers work to prevent access restrictions, curfews, and excessive fees at airports around the nation. See AOPA Online.
ePilot Calendar
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Chesterfield, Missouri. The St. Louis County Fair and Airshow takes place August 31 through September 3 at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport (SUS). Call 636/530-9386 for event information.

Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland National Airshow takes place September 1 through 3 at Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL). Call 216/781-0747 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 Phoenix; Minneapolis; and Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 8 and 9. 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-Hitter� Ground School will take place September 9 in Phoenix. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

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

Contacting ePilot
Got news? Contact ePilot at [email protected] Due to the large volume of mail received, we regret that we are unable to individually answer all correspondence.

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 � 2001. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.


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