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Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
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Copyright ï¿½ 2001 AOPA.
| A Message From AOPA's President |
|In the midst of this holiday season, and as the year comes to a close, on behalf of the 225 dedicated AOPA employees and myself, let me wish all AOPA ePilot readers a very Happy New Year. |
Never did we realize that this weekly communication would be so valuable. However, the tragic events of September 11, and the resulting effects on general aviation, proved that keeping members informed has been and always will be a key AOPA goal. Our aim in the new year will be the customization of this weekly electronic newsletter beyond its present geographic segmentation. In 2002 our editors hope to serve up news based on your type of flying, whether you own or rent the aircraft that you fly, and other feedback you give us in this regard.
A very happy new year to you all, as we continue to work on improving our services to AOPA members.
| GA News |
| BOWL GAME REMINDER: AVOID STADIUM AIRSPACE |
As the nation enters the year-end flurry of college "bowl" games, AOPA reminds pilots that the FAA is still enforcing a blanket restriction that prohibits all aircraft operations within a 3 nm radius and up to 3,000 feet agl above major professional and collegiate sporting events. In addition to this general restriction, the FAA is also issuing additional event-specific restrictions via notam. One example is the FAA's Rose Bowl notam, which outlines additional flight prohibitions for the event. "Just because most of our flight privileges have been restored, it doesn't mean pilots should assume security is no longer an issue," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Pilots must operate responsibly if they want to continue to enjoy their right to fly. Avoiding any open-air assembly of people by at least 3 nm and 3,000 feet agl is the right thing to do." AOPA reminds pilots to check notams prior to flying.
DIAMOND AIRCRAFT TESTS DIESEL ENGINE
Diamond Aircraft is flying a Diamond Star DA40 with the Thielert TA-125 diesel engine in tests from the company's Austrian factory at Wiener Neustadt. The engine uses a single-lever power control, reducing the workload for the pilot. By managing fuel flow automatically, it reduces fuel consumption. The diesel uses lower-priced fuel and allows greater endurance through improved fuel management. The aircraft will be certified for the European market, where the large difference in price between aviation gasoline and fuels suitable for the diesel engine makes economic sense. The DA40 will continue to be offered in North America with the Lycoming IO-360 engine until the market for diesel engines has been more fully evaluated, Diamond officials said. They also want to gain experience with the diesel engine in Europe before offering it to the North American market. Certification of the Diamond DA40 with the diesel engine is expected by mid-2002.
ELECTRIC AIRPLANE MAY DEBUT IN 2002
Commercial and private interests are moving toward the development of a piloted general aviation aircraft powered by an electric motor that derives its electric current from fuel cells. The questions are which will be first and when the first flight will occur. Advanced Technology Products, a Worcester, Massachusetts, firm that makes battery packs used to start aircraft, has received a $100,000 grant from NASA for a study of how to design and mount a fuel cell-powered electric motor onto a small aircraft. The study might pave the way for a $500,000 NASA grant in 2003 to build the aircraft. The company needs $600,000 to test-fly the aircraft, and has about half that amount now. The airframe to be used for the test is available–a French-built DynAero Lafayette III AGA–and was donated by American Ghiles Aircraft of Dijon, France. Another candidate is a motorglider that is already in testing using an electric motor. Early stages of the research call for the aircraft to be powered by batteries alone, but the goal is to have fuel cells–devices that combine hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, such as those in space vehicles–power an electric motor. For more, see the Web site.
...AND BOEING GETS A CHARGE OUT OF IT
At nearly the same time as the NASA grant was received by Advanced Technology Products, Boeing announced that it, too, wants to build and test an electrically powered demonstrator airplane at its new research center in Madrid, Spain. The goal is to test the technology on a small aircraft and develop it for large jets. Fuel cells and electric motors will not replace jet engines, but could one day replace gas-turbine auxiliary power units. Auxiliary power units are typically located in the rear of the fuselage and produce electricity and air for airplane systems while on the ground and for backup use in flight. Boeing's efforts also have NASA support. Test flights are expected to begin in early 2004.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA PUSHES FOR GA ACCESS DURING OLYMPICS |
AOPA has hand-delivered a detailed plan to top FAA officials that it believes would provide VFR access for general aviation users during the 2002 Winter Olympics without compromising security. The FAA's proposed airspace security plan would essentially shut down all of the airspace in the Salt Lake City area for 19 days, beginning February 6. "The primary concern for AOPA is the impact that this (the FAA's) security plan would have on local pilots and flight schools," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Given the specific nature, location, and timing of the Olympic venues, it is possible for the FAA to help the GA community by implementing AOPA's recommendations for local access." To read the plan, see AOPA Online.
AOPA REWARDS FAA OFFICIALS
AOPA presented special citations and recognition awards to 18 FAA employees last week for their roles in restoring the national airspace system following the September 11 terrorist attacks. FAA Administrator Jane Garvey attended the ceremony that took place in her conference room at FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C. "With nearly all airspace and airport operations restored across America, it is fitting to recognize the relationship AOPA has had with the FAA since the September 11 tragedy," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It was the hard work of many people at the FAA throughout the ensuing period that allowed AOPA staff to advocate positions on behalf of our members, provide data and ideas to the FAA for solutions, and to maintain a vital information link with our members through our Web site and e-mail alerts." See AOPA Online.
SHOULD YOU FLY YOUR AIRCRAFT FOR BUSINESS?
AOPA offers information to help both individuals and company managers weigh the pros and cons of what can be a beneficial arrangement. Whether or not an employee should use a private aircraft in the conduct of company business can be approached in the same manner as other management decisions; that is, weighing the benefits against the liabilities and making an individual determination as it relates to a particular company. Some management personnel are unfamiliar with the facts about general aviation. Our online report highlights the benefits and liabilities of flying your own aircraft for business. See AOPA Online.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| FAA REPORT: GA 'CRITICAL COMPONENT' |
Meeting a 30-day deadline established by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, the FAA last week forwarded a report to Congress stating that "general aviation is a critical component of the nation's transportation system." The FAA document defined general aviation, assessed security objectives, and outlined security measures used in the wake of September 11. The FAA report made it clear that the agency "must develop, assess, and deploy measures that can effectively increase security of general aviation without unduly restricting general aviation operations." Labeling the overall findings from the FAA as "fair," AOPA President Phil Boyer pointed to the need for educating government policy makers on GA. "With the recent release of recommendations for general aviation security by AOPA and others in the general aviation community, we have stepped forward as representatives of general aviation," said Boyer. The recommendations complement other efforts such as the AOPA General Aviation Restoration Fund for educating the public about GA, and the association's daily work with federal officials. Click here to download a copy of the FAA's report.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK—SUSAN McALLISTER |
The Steamboat Springs Airport-Bob Adams Field in Colorado came under attack in October from a small group of citizens who were seeking to turn the airport property into a racetrack and affordable housing development. AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Susan McAllister, who is also the owner of Steamboat Soaring Adventures, swung into action. At a December 11 city council meeting at least 40 members of the flying and business community showed their support for the airport. Local doctors also spoke about the critical nature of air ambulance service. No members of the public spoke in opposition to the airport. The city council voted unanimously to continue operating the airport that serves as an important gateway for general aviation into Steamboat Springs and northwest Colorado.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| ASF ADDS SKYSPOTTER TO SEMINAR PROGRAMS |
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has added SkySpotter information to its Weather Strategies and Weather Tactics seminar-in-a-box programs. SkySpotter is a new program that teaches pilots how to provide clear and accurate pilot reports (pireps). Weather Strategies and Weather Tactics will include the SkySpotter program on compact disc along with presenter notes. 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: What are the aircraft type designators for experimental aircraft?
Answer: The answer lies in Appendix C of the Air Traffic Control Handbook (FAA Order 7110.65M). There are three designators for experimental aircraft. For aircraft with indicated airspeeds of 100 knots or less, the designator is HXA. HXB is used for aircraft with indicated airspeeds of greater than 100 knots, up to and including 200 knots. For aircraft with indicated airspeeds greater than 200 knots, use HXC.
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].
| 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 |
|Learn how to obtain an FAA operations waiver on 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].