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| GA News |
| PUSH CONTINUES TO SEAL MEIGS DEAL IN FEDERAL LAW |
Congressional leaders in Washington continue to push for federal legislation that would prevent Chicago-area airports from becoming constant political footballs between state and local officials. AOPA Legislative Affairs has confirmed that Rep. William Lipinski (D-Ill.) yesterday afternoon offered companion legislation to Sen. Dick Durbin's bill (S.1786), the National Aviation Capacity Expansion Act. Lipinski's bill is identical in content to S. 1786, which would legislate the historic agreement reached last week by Illinois Gov. George Ryan and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to continue the operation of Meigs Field for another 25 years, expand O'Hare International, and create a new airport at Peotone. AOPA Legislative Affairs will continue to work with Durbin and Lipinski and their staffs for passage of the legislation. Under the Ryan-Daley agreement, Meigs would stay open through at least 2026, but the Illinois Legislature could vote to close it after 2006. For more, see AOPA Online.
DEADLINE FOR ENHANCED CLASS B NEARS
The FAA has until next Wednesday (December 19) to either allow the remaining enhanced Class B (ECB) airspace restrictions to expire or issue a notice in the Federal Register justifying the continuance of the restrictions. The deadline was established at the request of AOPA in the recently enacted Aviation and Transportation Security Act. Although the end of ECB would be a significant step forward, AOPA has not forgotten those pilots who have been affected by the Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.-area TFRs that may not be covered by the law. A waiver process has permitted VFR operations at some of the airports, but a permanent reopening is needed. For the latest on the air traffic situation, see AOPA Online.
NORTH AMERICAN-BUILT DIAMOND STAR MAKES FIRST FLIGHT
Diamond Aircraft says it's "full steam ahead" for the IFR-equipped DA40-180 Diamond Star. The first North American-built aircraft recently made its maiden flight. The aircraft, which features a Garmin 530/430 stack with Honeywell KAP140 autopilot and KCS55A HSI, will be delivered to Empire Aviation of London, Ontario. Diamond is ramping up production of the Diamond Star to eight aircraft a month by July 2002. It expects to deliver 85 DA40s next year. See the Web site.
NEW CONCEPT PUZZLES REPORTERS AT NBAA
Skepticism ran rampant at a press briefing at the National Business Aviation Association convention in New Orleans this week where AeroCopter, a Massachusetts company, described a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft concept that has yet to fly. What is it? Suffice it to say that nothing like it has been seen before. The body of the Humming looks like a combination hovercraft and B-2 stealth bomber. The body is surrounded by a Frisbee-like set of outer rings that will be, when a real one is built, 80 feet in diameter. Airfoils are suspended between the two rings. The rings are spun by four jet engines to generate lift from the airfoils, which can be used for vertical takeoff and tilted in flight for forward speed. A flying scale model is to be built next year by a West Virginia university. For more NBAA news, see AOPA Online.
SOCATA UNVEILS FREIGHTER
Eads Socata has launched the TBM 700 freighter model, a cargo version of its six-passenger TBM 700 turboprop aircraft. So far it has six orders from customer Quest Diagnostics. The aircraft can carry a 1,600-pound payload 1,300 nm, and has a maximum speed of 300 KTAS at 26,000 feet. The cabin freight volume is 123 cubic feet. Quest Diagnostics is replacing its fleet of Cessna 310 aircraft that were used to support a national network of medical laboratories and patient service centers. Quest has taken delivery of three conventional TBM 700 aircraft that were converted into freight versions by Maine-based Oxford Aviation. The firm will receive three new freighter versions in 2002.
COMPANY UPDATES WEB SITE FOR RECALLED OIL
Answering concerns from AOPA members, Equilon Lubricants L.L.C. has assured AOPA that the lot numbers of recalled oil products are up to date and correct on its Web site. Equilon recalled some 90,000 cases of various Aeroshell oils on November 26 following the discovery of a blend plant mechanical problem that allowed 5- to 60-micron magnetic particles to contaminate quart and gallon bottles of the oil products. Starting at 8 a.m. Central time today, the company will host an online discussion about the oil situation. It is expected to last three hours. To participate or for the complete product list, see the Web site.
FAA ISSUES CIRRUS AD
The FAA has issued a final rule AD for Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft. AD 2001-25-03 requires the one-time inspection for understrength rivets on the elevator torque tube and rudder hinge. It requires the replacement of any understrength rivets. The AD was issued after Cirrus Design Corporation notified the FAA that understrength rivets were mixed into production supplies. The action is intended to prevent the failure of control surfaces. The AD is effective December 17, but the FAA will be taking comments until January 24.
RAYTHEON LAUNCHES USED-AIRCRAFT SITE
Raytheon Aircraft Company has launched a Web site that features a real-time inventory of Raytheon's used business aircraft. Searches can be conducted for the model and year of the aircraft desired. Aircraft categories are jets, turboprops, pistons, and airliners/cargo. There is a host of other information on the site as well. Raytheon plans to soon offer aircraft auctions.
ATTENTION ePILOT READERS: We have received many e-mails regarding problems downloading the pdf file of the ASF Intercept Procedures Pocket Card. If you were unable to download this card or other pdf files because of the error message "Could not find the Color Space named Cs8," you need to download a more recent version of Adobe Reader. This free software is available for download from Adobe.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| GA GROUPS CREATE PLAN TO ENHANCE AVIATION SECURITY |
A group of general aviation organizations is offering the new Transportation Security Administration an action plan for enhancing aviation security. AOPA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and the National Business Aviation Association worked with nationally recognized security expert Admiral Cathal Flynn, former head of security for the FAA, to develop a set of practical recommendations to reduce domestic security risks. "This plan could improve security without impeding the personal mobility that general aviation provides American citizens or diminishing the $65 billion contribution that GA makes to our nation's economy," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "These recommendations would further ensure public confidence and raise additional barriers to terrorist use of general aviation."
...AND THE SECURITY RECOMMENDATIONS ARE
The Aviation and Transportation Security Act, passed last month, requires the Transportation Security Administration to prepare a report on airspace and other security measures concerning GA. The recommendations by the GA groups include issuing new, difficult-to-counterfeit pilot certificates; requiring the government to review all existing and new pilot certificates to ensure that the pilots are not on any terrorist "watch lists"; having aircraft owners take steps to prevent aircraft theft; asking pilots to report suspicious activity at airports; and requiring the federal government to develop a profile to identify individuals that should receive additional scrutiny before being permitted to buy or rent aircraft, receive pilot training, or work in areas that provide access to GA aircraft. See AOPA Online.
FAA CLARIFIES WORDING IN SPORTING EVENTS NOTAM
The FAA this weekend cancelled the "sporting events" temporary flight restriction (TFR) notam, and then on Monday reissued the notam with exactly the same wording. But AOPA has learned that there was a behind-the-scenes change in interpretation that will benefit general aviation pilots. The notam, FDC 1/3090, requires pilots to remain clear of "any major professional or collegiate sporting event or any other major open-air assembly of people" by 3 nm horizontally and 3,000 feet vertically. The FAA has now internally defined "open-air assembly" as a gathering of 10,000 people or more. That means most high school games and other smaller athletic events aren't covered by the TFR. "This change of interpretation removes some of the restrictions on pilots," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. "However, we will continue to believe that these kinds of TFRs should be date- and location-specific. Local pilots might be aware of major events, but transient pilots have no reasonable way to obtain this information. We will continue to push the FAA to eliminate this generic TFR."
FLIGHT EXPLORER OFFERS HOLIDAY DEAL FOR AOPA MEMBERS
A special holiday sign-up bonus providing a free month of AOPA Flight Explorer Personal Edition service is now available. The "free month" bonus is exclusively for AOPA members who subscribe to the personal flight tracking service by December 31. The free month will be provided after two months of continuous subscription to the service, which costs just $8.95 per month for AOPA members and offers up to 10 hours per month of tracking virtually all airline and many general aviation flights that use the U.S. air traffic control system. (Earlier versions of the tracker service remain available to the public, but at a higher cost.) Provided by tracking industry leader Flight Explorer, the new AOPA service graphically displays real-time position, speed, altitude and other aircraft information. See AOPA Online.
SPORTY'S OFFERS NEW PATRIOTIC LOGO ON AOPA APPAREL
AOPA's new patriotic logo is available now as an option when ordering embroidered apparel from Sporty's Pilot Shop. Selecting the colorfully designed Stars and Stripes logo for shirts, jackets, and caps will directly benefit AOPA's General Aviation Restoration Fund because a portion of the sales will be contributed to the effort. The Restoration Fund is a public education program to calm Americans' fears about GA. Proceeds will be used specifically to reach the public and elected officials with public-service advertising on television and radio stations along with display ads in major metropolitan newspapers. To order clothing with the AOPA logo, call 800/SPORTYS or see the Web site.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE APPROVES GA RELIEF BILL |
The House Aviation subcommittee yesterday unanimously approved H.R. 3347, the General Aviation Industry Reparations Act, moving Congress one step closer to providing economic relief for the general aviation businesses that have struggled economically in the wake of the September 11 attacks. H.R. 3347 would provide $2.5 billion in direct grants and $5 billion in federal loan guarantees. Rep. Robin Hayes of North Carolina praised AOPA for the “work it has done to inform the Congress and the public of the vital role that general aviation plays” in the national economy. AOPA has pledged its support to subcommittee Chairman John Mica of Florida, who drafted the legislation. The bill’s sponsors now hope to have it included in legislation that will be passed before Congress recesses for the year. See AOPA Online.
HOUSE/SENATE CONFEREES DELETE WARBIRD PROVISION
House/Senate conferees on Wednesday removed the "warbird provision" from the National Defense Authorization Act (S.1438). Thursday morning, the House passed the conference report accompanying the bill by a vote of 382 to 40, ratifying the conference committee action. The Senate could vote on the report as early as this morning. AOPA has been working with the conferees, in particular Chairman Bob Stump of the House Armed Services Committee (R-Ariz.), Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), and AOPA member Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) to remove this section that could have resulted in the destruction of vintage military aircraft. See AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| SIGN UP TO SAVE YOUR AIRPORT |
What would you do if your airport closed tomorrow? Ask yourself these questions: Has my flying been affected by development near, restrictions on, or negative public relations about my local airport? Have local issues or political pressures affected my use and the efficiency of my local airport? If the answer is yes to either question, you may be just the sort of person we are looking for to help ensure the health and availability of your airport. Every day, more than 1,100 Airport Support Network volunteers work with AOPA headquarters on a local level to help save their airports. That's a lot but not enough. Below are just a few airports in your area where an ASN volunteer could make a difference.
To nominate a volunteer–which can be yourself–see AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| SKYSPOTTER RISES IN POPULARITY |
Just days after going public on the Web, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's SkySpotter online class to encourage pilots to file more pilot reports (pireps) is quickly growing in popularity and recognition. ASF reports that more than 1,300 course-completion certificates have been granted in the first week. Among them was David Faile, the 1999 Flight Instructor of the Year, who e-mailed, "Your organization is to be congratulated on an extremely well done interactive program. What a great resource for general aviation." The National Aviation Weather Center homepage already features the SkySpotter logo, which links directly to the course. 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: I went to a ground school program and received the training to take the FAA written exam. A week later I passed the test. The problem is I have the lost the certificate. I want to start the flight training but am not sure what I can do without that certificate. I was hoping you could give me some suggestions.
Answer: Don't worry, you can write to the FAA and request a copy of your written test results. You can download a form from AOPA Online. Don't forget to include a check/money order for the replacement. By the way, this [is the] same form that may be used to replace a lost or destroyed pilot's certificate.
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 |
| Check out AOPA Online for our latest project update on the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza. Yes, it could be yours come early next year. 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. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|AOPA General Counsel John Yodice has posted an updated version of AOPA's Overview of FAA Enforcement. With the airspace restrictions continually changing, this is important information for pilots. See 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].