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Copyright ï¿½ 2001 AOPA.
| GA News |
| MEIGS FIELD IS SAVED |
Chicago’s lakefront airport, Meigs Field, will remain open for another 25 years. Illinois Gov. George Ryan and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley inked the deal Wednesday night. “This historic political deal should send a message to pilots everywhere about saving airports,” said AOPA President Phil Boyer. “A strong local coalition, Friends of Meigs, with the support of national organizations like AOPA can succeed in overcoming unbelievable odds in favor of closing an airport.” The deal to keep Meigs open is part of a larger agreement between the city and state to expand O’Hare International Airport and to build a new airport south of Chicago at Peotone. Meigs will stay open until at least 2026, but the Illinois Legislature can vote to close it after that. “As Gov. Ryan said Wednesday night, ‘This is bigger than the both of us.’ Saving Meigs Field was bigger than any one organization. AOPA is proud to have been the national lead in this very important airport issue,” Boyer continued. AOPA waged a six-year battle to save Meigs. The association participated in lawsuits, lobbied both the Illinois Legislature and Congress, produced television commercials and newspaper ads to gain legislative and public support for the airport, and mounted an extensive behind-the-scenes effort.
FAA UNVEILS MAJOR RESTRICTIONS FOR OLYMPICS
The FAA has made official what AOPA first reported last week–Utah pilots along the Wasatch Front will be essentially grounded during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. "The primary concern for AOPA and its members is the impact that this will have on local pilots and flight schools," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. "We are continuing to talk to the FAA about developing some sort of local procedures or relief for local operators." AOPA staff attended the first of a series of public airspace meetings in Salt Lake City this week and confirmed that the FAA intends to implement a security plan that will severely restrict GA operations within a 45 nm radius of the SLC VOR. The temporary flight restriction area (TFR) will extend from surface to infinity for 19 days, beginning on February 6. In addition, nine smaller TFRs will be activated at various times throughout the games. AOPA has been working with the FAA for months and has argued for less onerous restrictions. See AOPA Online.
COMPANY RECALLS AEROSHELL OIL
Equilon Lubricants LLC, maker of Aeroshell oil for piston aircraft engines, has announced a voluntary recall. The company said a mechanical problem caused debris to enter some batches of its products, making them fall below their quality standards. While the company said it has fixed the problem, it will replace the recalled products at no cost with Aeroshell oil that does meet its standards. This recall also includes replacing the oil identified in the recall notice that is currently in an engine. "Oil is obviously a critical item for safe engine operation, so we're encouraging users of these batches of Aeroshell oil to treat this recall as an urgent 'safety of flight' issue," said Lance Nuckolls, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. For full details, see AOPA Online.
NEW PIPER TO LAY OFF MORE WORKERS
The New Piper Aircraft Company plans to cut jobs in first quarter next year because of a decline in sales. A New Piper spokesman told The Palm Beach Post that sales are off 45 percent and that the job cuts would be across the board. In September New Piper laid off 250 people. The company told the newspaper that it would not know the final tally of job cuts until it finishes its annual budget planning at the end of this month.
CIRRUS HIRES EMPLOYEES
Cirrus Design Corporation, meanwhile, has been in the hiring mode. In the past two months the company's workforce has increased by 16 percent to 595 people. The company is in the process of ramping up production after realigning the workforce. Helping Cirrus was a multimillion-dollar investment earlier this year by an investment bank. Cirrus recently delivered its 250th aircraft.
MICCO GOES UP FOR SALE
The Seminole Tribe, owner of Micco Aircraft Company, laid off 45 of its remaining 65 employees last week and put the company up for sale. The company previously laid off 25 workers in October. According to The Press Journal in Vero Beach, Florida, the moves were related to the ousting of James Billie, who served as tribal chairman. He was removed in May pending the outcome of a sexual harassment lawsuit and a financial audit, according to the newspaper. Billie is also being investigated by a federal grand jury looking into embezzlement allegations and is being sued, among others, by the tribe for allegedly losing more than $20 million of the tribe's money in unauthorized investments, the newspaper said. Billie has previously denied any wrongdoing. An experienced pilot, Billie founded Micco in 1994. The company produced 12 aircraft this year and was awaiting aerobatic certification. Production has ceased until a buyer is found.
BOHANNON GOES FOR FL400
Bruce Bohannon's altitude record for maintaining horizontal flight has now been made official by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. Bohannon broke the Class C-1.b record after holding 35,497 feet for 90 seconds during the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In in April. Now Bohannon and his crew plan to go after an even more ambitious record in the "Exxon Flyin' Tiger"; the absolute record of 36,188 feet. In order to claim the record he has to beat it by at least 3 percent, or attain 37,274 feet. But because Bohannon likes round numbers, he has set the goal at 40,000 feet. To accomplish it, Kelly Aerospace is custom making a turbocharger and intercoolers. "There's absolutely nothing routine about it. You don't just grab the phone, order a turbo kit, and slap it on an airplane," Bohannon said. He plans to go for the record at next year's Sun 'n Fun. What's after Flight Level 400? There's always the absolute altitude record for piston-engine aircraft of 56,046 feet that was set in 1938. "Talk to me again after we get to 40,000," he said.
FAA ISSUES GARMIN AD
The FAA issued on Monday a final rule AD for Garmin GNS 430 nav/com/gps units. AD 2001-23-17 requires circuitry modifications to the unit's deviation and flag outputs. The FAA said the AD resulted from reports of inaccurate course deviation indications. The AD is effective December 28. AOPA pointed out to the FAA that most of the owners have already complied with the AD through the manufacturer's warranty program. AOPA recommended a nonmandatory special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) instead of and AD.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Restoring GA |
| WASHINGTON-AREA FLIGHT SCHOOL FACES DEADLINE |
The owner of a flight school at Washington Executive/Hyde Field in Clinton, Maryland, which has been closed since the September 11 terrorist attacks, says he has only enough funds to continue operation until January 1. His airport, like five other small airports in the Washington, D.C. area, lies under a temporary flight restriction area where most routine flight operations remain prohibited. Larry Kelley, 71, said he estimates his losses at $50,000. He operates five airplanes and has 150 customers. Kelley said a maintenance shop on the field might also go out of business. "This is killing me," Kelley said. AOPA has been working around the clock with FAA and security officials since September 11 to return flight activities to normal.
ST. MARY'S AIRPORT FINALLY REOPENS
Thanks to AOPA's efforts and those of many others within the state and local communities, St. Mary's Airport in southeast Georgia is once again open for flight operations. Since the events of September 11, the airport has been closed by a notam establishing a 5-mile TFR area protecting the Kings Bay Naval Station, home to several nuclear submarines. The new notam reduces the size of the TFR to 2 nm extending from the surface up to, but not including, 3,000 feet.
FAA ISSUES NOTAM TO CORRECT INTERCEPT PROCEDURES
The FAA has finally published a notam correcting the intercept procedures in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). On September 28, AOPA staff discovered that the AIM was incorrect–several columns on the charted depiction for intercepting and intercepted aircraft had been transposed. Given the critical nature of this information, particularly because U.S. military aircraft now have authority to shoot down aircraft in U.S. airspace, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation published a corrected version of the chart on its Web site. AOPA contacted the FAA and the agency published a notam correcting the error on November 29. Pilots should note that the latest printed version of the AIM still shows the incorrect procedures. However, both AOPA and the FAA's online AIM are correct. AOPA urges pilots to familiarize themselves with the intercept procedures before flying. See AOPA Online.
ASF CREATES INTERCEPT POCKET CARD
One way to keep the intercept information handy is to In-flight Intercept Procedures Pocket Carddownload ASF's . It contains all the information you need should the military or law enforcement decide to intervene with your flight.
For the latest on the air traffic situation, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA'S BOYER HELPS TURN TIGERS LOOSE |
AOPA President Phil Boyer helped commemorate Tiger Aircraft LLC's delivery of three new production AG-5B Tigers from its factory in Martinsburg, West Virginia, on Monday. The popular four-place, single-engine Tiger returns to the marketplace after an eight-year production hiatus. "Some would say this is not the time to produce a new general aviation aircraft," said Boyer. "We think it is the time because we see the market getting better." Boyer also praised the efforts of West Virginia Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.V.) for his support of last year's national AIR-21 legislation and for his support of general aviation in his home state.
AOPA RALLIES STRONG OPPOSITION TO RALEIGH CLASS B
Local FAA officials got an earful from an AOPA representative and more than 100 local pilots Tuesday night at a "fact-finding" meeting concerning its plan to implement Class B airspace at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) in North Carolina. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the regional FAA office called the meeting and considering the controversial nature of the subject, no one from the regional office showed up to listen to overwhelming opposition to the proposal. "The RDU user group process was flawed," said Melissa K. Bailey, AOPA vice president of air traffic services. AOPA has recommended that the entire proposal be reevaluated and a new user group process must follow to ensure that the regulatory process has not been violated. "With the shutdown of Midway Airlines, RDU might not meet the establishment criteria for Class B airspace," said Bailey. See AOPA's online guide to participating in user groups.
FAA DELAYS IMPLEMENTING GRAND CANYON FLIGHT RULES
This week the FAA delayed the implementation of final changes to the airspace and air tour routes on the east side of the Grand Canyon Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA). Initially slated to go in effect December 1, the rule will instead undergo further review. Final airspace and route modifications now will not go in effect until February 20, 2003. This is the latest in a series of delays dating to April 2000. AOPA is a vocal advocate for general aviation access to airspace over national parklands, including the Grand Canyon. The association has successfully mitigated all significant effects that the Grand Canyon SFRA changes would have had on transient general aviation. Further, AOPA has secured acknowledgement by the FAA, National Park Service, and Congress that GA overflights do not have a negative impact on noise or the national park environment and should not be further restricted at the Grand Canyon or other national parks.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| SENATE APPROVES KEY AVIATION FUNDING |
The Senate approved on Tuesday transportation appropriations legislation (H.R.2299) by a vote of 97 to 2, which would provide some $13.3 billion in FAA spending for the 2002 fiscal year. The bill, passed by the House of Representatives on November 30, will now go to the president for signature. AOPA worked with conferees on the transportation appropriations bill to provide a number of GA-related provisions. These include requiring the FAA to disseminate the database of airport diagrams to manufacturers at no cost as a first step in reducing runway incursions and enhancing aviation safety; an increase in funding for research on general aviation unleaded fuels; and modernizing the notams platform. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) opposed the legislation. See AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK—LILLIAN LeBLANC |
Airport Support Network volunteer Lillian LeBlanc, of Auburn Lewiston Municipal Airport (LEW) in Maine, has been working in an effort to convince local leaders and airport management of the need for compatible land-use zoning around the airport. Currently, there is no special local zoning designation for an airport. The area is zoned for light industrial use. Last year, a Ford dealership was constructed near the departure end of the main ILS-equipped runway, effectively hampering any future expansion of that runway. When LeBlanc recently learned of a proposed expansion of a retail store in that same area, she quickly worked to counter the proposal. She contacted airport management, which determined that the expansion would fall in the airport protection zone. Store owners were talked out of the expansion.
To learn more about ASN, 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: At the moment, I do not have a current medical. Can I still log pilot-in-command (PIC) time?
Answer: The answer is "yes" under certain circumstances. According to 14 CFR 61.51, a pilot may log PIC time any time in which he/she is sole manipulator of the controls of an aircraft. A pilot without a current medical must be accompanied by another pilot who is rated in that appropriate category, class, and type of aircraft being operated and who will be serving as PIC. The pilot serving as PIC must have a current medical. A full explanation of logging PIC is 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 |
| Wouldn't the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza make a nice holiday gift? Of course it would, but you'll have to wait until early next year to see if you've won. See our latest project update on AOPA Online. |
| Picture Perfect |
|Did you know you can create a personal e-card using the images from the AOPA Online Gallery? Send one to a friend today. See AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|' NEVER AGAIN' IS ONCE AGAIN |
What's the most popular feature in AOPA Pilot? It's the "Never Again" column written by AOPA members about instructive–and often frightening–flight experiences. Now, never-before-published "Never Again" features are available on AOPA Online. A new installment of "Never Again Online" was just posted on AOPA Online.
| ePilot Calendar |
| Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online. |
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Richmond, Virginia. The Virginia Aviation Museum at Richmond International Airport (RIC) hosts a Wright Brothers Celebration December 15. Call 804/236-3622 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 in Orlando, Florida, and Reston, Virginia, December 15 and 16. 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 December 16 in Orlando, Florida. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie S. Walker at [email protected].