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Copyright ï¿½ 2001 AOPA.
| GA News |
| NOTAM RETURNS GA TO NEAR NORMAL LEVELS AT MOST AIRPORTS |
Less than 24 hours after their airports reopened for the first time since September 11, three Washington, D.C., airport managers were feeling a bit better about their futures. However, three other small airports closer in to the nation's capital remained closed. The long-term lobbying effort by AOPA to restore the nation's airspace system to pre-September 11 status was mostly fulfilled Wednesday with the issuance of a notice to airmen that rescinded enhanced Class B restrictions and modified temporary flight restriction areas around Washington, New York, and Boston. The notam allowed the reopening of Maryland Airport in Indian Head, Maryland; Suburban Airport in Laurel, Maryland; and Freeway Airport in Mitchellville, Maryland. Still closed are Potomac, Hyde, and College Park airports, also in Maryland. According to the owner of Freeway Airport, the field suffered a $675,000 loss with additional losses mounting at $7,500 per day before it was allowed to reopen. Just prior to the reopening, the owners of Suburban Airport were convinced that they would have to close their operation. Maryland Airport Manager Jack Crawford said he was losing $700 a day in fuel sales. Work to reopen the remaining three airports has not stopped. "AOPA will continue to work with the FAA to ensure that the remaining Washington restrictions are lifted," assured AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Our goal is the complete restoration of all flying privileges."
CORRECTION: The New York City temporary flight restriction (TFR) area is set at a 2-nm radius centered on the World Trade Center site. ePilot incorrectly reported the figure in Wednesday's special bulletin.
FAA RETRACTS PART OF OLYMPICS NOTAM
The FAA on Wednesday morning retracted sections of an unapproved and erroneous notam regarding airspace restrictions during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The FAA will issue new information about temporary flight restrictions, traffic management procedures, and affected airports only after approvals by security officials. The premature notam was published in printed (and online) Notices to Airmen dated December 27. AOPA urges pilots to frequently check FDC notams for the most current information regarding the Olympics. Meanwhile, AOPA continues to work with FAA officials to develop some sort of local procedures or relief from the security restrictions for local pilots and flight schools. See the notam on AOPA Online.
LIBERTY XL-2 DESIGN IS COMPLETE
Liberty Aerospace Inc. announced the design completion of the XL-2, with all standard features in place for the new, two-seat airplane. Final changes include increased fuel capacity, from 22.5 gallons to 28 gallons, reflecting the increased fuel consumption of the Teledyne Continental IOF-240 that replaced the Rotax engine in the original plans. This increase maintains the XL-2's range "well in excess of 500 nm," according to a company spokesman. Liberty is exploring optional avionics packages beyond the standard panel provided by Garmin; those details will be announced in a few weeks. A Vision Microsystems digital engine information display makes Liberty "the first two-seat manufacturer to offer side-by-side digital and analog displays," adds the spokesman. Liberty expects a demonstrator aircraft to be available in time for the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In 2002, with type certification next fall. Base price for the XL-2 is $105,000. See the Web site.
CESSNA SELECTS GARMIN FOR CARAVAN LINE
Cessna has selected Garmin avionics as optional equipment in its entire line of Caravan aircraft. The Caravan 675, Amphibian, Grand Caravan, and Super Cargomaster are available with the GNS 530 and 430 gps/nav/coms, GTX digital transponder, and GMA 340 audio panel.
CARTERCOPTER INCHES TOWARD ROTORCRAFT BARRIER
Flight testing continues for the team that aims to break the rotorcraft equivalent of the sound barrier. So far the CarterCopter test aircraft has hit 135 knots and remained aloft for 39 minutes. And that's with a Corvette engine. The CarterCopter uses a rotor for vertical takeoff and landing and a small wing for high-speed cruise. The aircraft is inching toward the Mu-1 barrier, the ratio between the forward speed of the rotorcraft and its rotor tip speed relative to the aircraft. The team is currently looking at a ratio of 0.6. CarterCopters L.L.C. plans to patent the technology and sell it to certified aircraft and kitplane manufacturers. See the Web site.
TENNESSEE AVIATION MUSEUM OPENS
The new Tennessee Museum of Aviation opened its doors this week. Guests can walk back in time in 50,000 square feet of space. The museum covers everything from the beginnings of flight to the war years. Most of the museum's aircraft are airworthy and there will be impromptu flight demonstrations. A last-minute addition was the Medal of Honor presented to famed aviator Jimmy Doolittle in 1942. The museum is located at the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport (GKT) in Sevierville. See the Web site.
AUNT BEE TO SOLO ON CABLE TV
A rerun of an Andy Griffith Show episode that favorably portrays general aviation is scheduled to air December 28 on the cable network TV Land. The episode is part of a long-running series titled "Aunt Bee's Big Moment." Aunt Bee seeks personal fulfillment by taking flight lessons, despite the guffaws of other cast members. The 1968 show was the subject of an editorial by AOPA President Phil Boyer in the November 2001 issue of AOPA Flight Training magazine. Several AOPA members had asked to be notified when it was scheduled to air again. "After several bad portrayals of GA on television over recent months, like ABC's story on vacuum pumps, ‘Aunt Bee's Big Moment' portrays general aviation in a good light," said Boyer. "Aunt Bee learns to fly with a friendly, well-qualified flight instructor and eventually solos a well-kept Cessna 182A." Check your local listings for the time and channel.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Squawk Sheet |
| FAA RESCINDS CESSNA CONTROL WHEEL AD |
The FAA officially withdrew on Thursday a proposed AD that would have required owners of some Cessna aircraft to repetitively inspect plastic control wheels for cracks, replace the wheels if needed, and conduct pull tests. After evaluating AOPA and industry comments, the FAA determined that the cracking was not a safety hazard and that a special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) would be more appropriate. Most of the affected airplanes–Cessna 150, 172, 175, 180, 182, 206, 210, and 336–have two wheels with two handles each, providing alternate means of control, the FAA further pointed out. The proposed AD would have affected about 12,592 U.S.-registered airplanes. In lieu of an AD, the FAA has issued a non-mandatory SAIB as suggested in AOPA and type club comments. For more information, see AOPA Online.
FAA PROPOSES HORIZONTAL STAB AD FOR CESSNAS
The FAA is proposing to adopt an AD that would affect certain single-engine Cessnas. It requires the visual inspection of horizontal stabilizer attachment reinforcement brackets for the existence of seam welds on Cessna P206, TP206, TU206, U206, 207, T207, 210, P210, and T210 series airplanes. Any brackets that do not have seam welds would have to be replaced. The FAA said the proposed AD resulted from a report that certain parts were manufactured without the welds. Continued use of the brackets could result in structural failure, the FAA said. Comments are being accepted until February 11.
| Inside AOPA |
| PRESIDENT APPROVES AOPA WISH LIST FOR GA |
What does the FAA's 2002 budget mean for you as a general aviation pilot? How about a better notam distribution system, new computers for flight service stations, and further research into alternatives for leaded aviation fuel? Selected provisions of the FAA's $13.3 billion budget, which were lobbied for by AOPA, will help improve GA's contribution to the economy and enhance safety. President Bush signed the transportation appropriations bill on Tuesday. It represents a 5.7-percent increase over last year's budget. The funding is consistent with levels prescribed by AIR-21 legislation that unlocked the airport and airways trust fund. "It was a long and hard battle to put that trust fund money to use as intended for all aviation interests," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It's especially pleasing to see noteworthy sums spent in areas that directly benefit GA." See AOPA Online.
...WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
Something's wrong when the computers at flight service stations are older than the aircraft you're flying. Full funding for the OASIS program (Operation and Supportability Implementation System) has been approved. The $34 million will replace 20-year-old computers with new ones that work on a Windows-based expandable platform. Briefers will be able to integrate flight data processing with upgraded weather graphics. September 11 revealed the importance of immediately disseminating notams. The FAA received $1 million to use toward developing a Web-based notam system that should allow pilots to more easily obtain all the notams that pertain to their flights. A joint effort by the FAA and NASA for alternatives to leaded fuels will receive $400,000 more funding. Total 2002 funding for the project is now $8.6 million. And there is also funding for other areas advocated by AOPA. These include more nonprecision GPS approaches, another wide area augmentation system (WAAS) satellite, and more studies for advanced electronics in the cockpit.
MASSACHUSETTS PILOTS GET TAX BREAK
Massachusetts pilots will see more money in their wallets, thanks to AOPA's two-year crusade for aviation-tax relief in the state. In March aircraft and aircraft parts sold in the state will become exempt from a 5-percent sales and use tax. An amendment to the state's just-approved 2002 budget carried the precise intent of H.B. 3207, which eliminated the tax. Now Massachusetts is in line with neighbors Delaware, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, which provide aviation tax relief at different levels. "It was common for aircraft to travel out of Massachusetts to be based, sold, or repaired to take advantage of lower tax rates in neighboring states," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "Now Massachusetts can compete economically with the other states by promoting sales of both replacement parts and aircraft, resulting in additional jobs and an increased economic benefit for the state." See AOPA Online.
FCC DELAYS DECISION ON ULTRA-WIDEBAND
Based on concerns about interference with other radio devices, including critical systems used for navigation in the aviation industry, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has postponed a decision making meeting to determine how ultra-wideband (UWB) technologies are implemented safely. In September 2000, AOPA submitted comments regarding potential interference with GPS. And earlier this year the association joined a coalition of aviation and communication interests expressing concerns about the proposal to permit UWB devices in a manner that would not regulate them appropriately. AOPA continues to monitor the FCC actions and is ready to provide additional insights to the government should the opportunity arise. AOPA encourages members to express GPS interference concerns to the FCC in writing: Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20554. The subject line on the letter should reference "ET Docket number 98-153."
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| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK—STEPHEN REITOFF |
One of the benefits of AOPA's Airport Support Network program is the role our volunteers play in providing AOPA with early detection of potential issues that may affect an airport. A good example is the recent activity by ASN volunteer Stephen Reitoff of Teterboro Airport in New Jersey (TEB). He alerted AOPA that the Teterboro control tower is proposing to initiate a reclassification of TEB's current Class D airspace. This information was passed on to our air traffic services division that will be tracking the issue. While these types of issues tend to be a one- to three-year process, it is vital that airspace users are part of the process early on. Thanks to Reitoff the TEB airspace users will be more involved.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| ASF AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS |
Seven college students in 2001 received separate scholarships totaling $11,500 from programs administered by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Entries are now open for aviation students seeking scholarships in 2002. 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: How long after refueling should I wait to sump the tanks on my aircraft?
Answer: According to industry standards, the minimum safe settling time for aviation fuel is 15 minutes per foot of tank depth. Therefore, if your aircraft has fuel tanks that are 6 inches in depth, the minimum wait time to check for water should be 7.5 minutes. For more information on fuel and fuel contamination, see AOPA Online. In addition, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has a new safety advisor on fuel awareness that is available to members. Click here to download.
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 |
| See AOPA Online for the latest installment on what could soon become YOUR airplane–the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza. |
| 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 |
|Check out the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's SkySpotter quiz to see how much you know about giving accurate pilot reports (pireps). See AOPA Online. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online. |
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Chino, California. "The Air War over North Africa" is a featured presentation at the Air Museum Planes of Fame January 5. Call 909/597-3722 for event information.
Lawrenceville, Georgia. A pancake breakfast takes place January 5 at Briscoe Field (LZU). Call 770/613-9501 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 Long Beach, California; Charlotte, North Carolina; and San Antonio, Texas, January 5 and 6. 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 January 6 in Long Beach, California, and San Antonio, Texas. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Oakland, California, January 7; Santa Rosa, California, January 8; Sacramento, California, January 9; and Fresno, California, January 10. The topic is "Spatial Disorientation." See AOPA Online.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie S. Walker at [email protected].