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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 3, Issue 6AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 3, Issue 6


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Boeing proposes satellite ATC system
Piper production rate increases tenfold
Project plans glider flight to 100,000 feet
AOPA asks Bush to reconsider FAA budget cut
Volume 3, Issue 6
February 9, 2001
GA News
ANNE MORROW LINDBERGH DIES
Author and pilot Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the widow of Charles Lindbergh, died Wednesday at her home in Vermont. She was 94. Lindbergh flew as copilot for her husband on their global jaunts and was the first American woman to earn a glider pilot's certificate in 1930. The couple had six children.

GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES FOR CIRRUS
Cirrus Design Corporation said that it plans to improve efficiency by slashing 20 percent of its workforce. The company announced Tuesday that 127 employees across all departments have been laid off, leaving 512 to build the SR20 and SR22 aircraft. As the production rate increased to one aircraft a day in December, spokesman Ian Bentley said the company saw inefficiencies in management and labor. Bentley said the situation would have caused cash flow issues in a month or two. Cirrus currently has an order backlog of 661 SR20s. The employees will be called back once the production process is improved. Twenty-four hours after Cirrus announced the layoffs, the first 310-horsepower SR22 was delivered. Just last week, Cirrus increased the base price of the SR20 by 4.9 percent.

BOEING PROPOSES SATELLITE ATC SYSTEM
The Boeing Company has formed a small air traffic management unit and is developing a proposal for a GPS-based air traffic control system that will be presented to the Bush administration in May. Boeing officials stressed to AOPA that the proposal is a system design model, not a management or revenue (user fee) model. Fresh operational concepts are needed to break away from the FAA's current 1950s-era system, Boeing said. The company said its ATC unit will grow to a few hundred people in a year and that the company is ready to advance the government billions of dollars to implement the new plan. Boeing has manufactured most of the GPS satellites built to date, and will build and launch a new generation of 33 GPS satellites starting in April.

GA AIRPLANE MAKERS SET RECORD
General aviation manufacturers set an all-time record last year for billings and airplane shipments following a six-year upward trend. Billings for 2000 reached $8.6 billion, a 9.1-percent increase, and 2,816 GA aircraft were shipped, up 12.5 percent from the previous year. The biggest increase was in the turboprop segment. The numbers were presented at a General Aviation Manufacturers Association meeting Wednesday in Washington, D.C. GAMA Chairman Mike Smith predicted 2001 will be another good year for the piston and turbine markets.

PIPER PRODUCTION INCREASES TENFOLD
Photograph of Piper ArcherAircraft deliveries at The New Piper Aircraft Company last year increased tenfold from a decade ago when the company's predecessor struggled for survival. Last year New Piper delivered 421 aircraft. During the same decade, revenues increased from $27 million to $200 million and employment grew from 45 to 1,450. This year, the company plans to produce 542 airplanes, led by 120 Archers and 114 of the new Meridian turboprops. The turbo Saratoga TC will see 89 deliveries; 32 of the normally aspirated HP models are planned. Piper plans to build 30 Mirages, most in the second half of the year, as well as 50 Seneca V twins and 47 Seminoles. In the single-engine trainer market, Piper plans to build 40 Warriors and 20 Arrows. See the Web site.

PROJECT PLANS GLIDER FLIGHT TO 100,000 FEET
An ambitious team with help from NASA is planning to build a glider capable of soaring to the far reaches of the stratosphere. The aim is to double the current world altitude record of 49,009 feet that was set in 1986 by riding wind-generated mountain waves. Called "Perlan," the 95-foot-wingspan glider is named after rare mother-of-pearl clouds. It will require a pressurized cockpit, an autopilot to keep it on course in thin air, and a drogue chute to allow it to descend to a lower altitude so that it can regain control if it gets upset by turbulence, Soaring magazine reported. Record-setting adventurer Steve Fosset will put up funding and act as chief pilot for the first phase. The team plans to modify an existing two-place Flugzeugbau DG-505 glider and use it to shatter the current altitude record. The team hopes that by drumming up enough attention, it will ensure funding for "Perlan."

CESSNA CELEBRATES SINGLE-ENGINE MILESTONE
Cessna Aircraft Company celebrated a milestone last week, the delivery of its 3,000th single-engine aircraft from its Independence, Kansas, facility. A new Cessna 182 Skylane was delivered to USAU Inc., managers of United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG). The tail number, N72US, reflects the number of years USAIG has been providing insurance to the aviation industry.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.


Inside AOPA
AOPA ASKS BUSH TO RECONSIDER FAA BUDGET CUT
AOPA is asking President Bush to reconsider a decision to cut the FAA's budget. AOPA has learned that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is ignoring congressional mandates in preparing next year's FAA budget. Congressional sources said that OMB has cut more than $300 million from the $6.1 billion that Congress directed, through AIR-21, be spent on improving airports and modernizing the ATC system. See AOPA Online.

AOPA'S BOYER RECEIVES 'SPIRIT OF FLIGHT' AWARD
AOPA President Phil Boyer was honored with a special 'Spirit of Flight' award last Friday at a Friends of Meigs Field benefit in Chicago. The award recognized Boyer's long-time support of the general aviation airport that has been threatened for years and was closed in 1996. An AOPA-supported last-minute compromise in early 1997 allowed the field to operate for five more years. That extension expires in February 2002. See AOPA Online.

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On Capitol Hill
MINETA ASKS FOR HELP TO BOLSTER AVIATION FUNDING
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta asked last Friday for help from industry and government officials to convince Congress "to strengthen the funding mechanism for aviation." Highway funding through the highway trust fund is guaranteed while aviation funding through the aviation trust fund is not. "I need your help to be able to convince the Congress about why the trust fund, the aviation trust fund, should be treated in the same manner as the highway trust fund," Mineta said, speaking at an aviation summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Mineta also stated that "we're woefully short of where we should be" in looking at the preliminary budget he received from the Office of Management and Budget.

Airport Support Network
VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK—ROBERT H. WEINBERG
Robert H. Weinberg alerted AOPA to a proposal by the city to fine and/or terminate the leases for pilots based at Schaumburg Regional Airport (06C) in Chicago who do not adhere to voluntary noise abatement procedures. Other restrictions have been proposed for transient aircraft. After Weinberg provided meeting minutes, AOPA wrote a letter expressing opposition to the proposal to convert a voluntary program into mandatory one. Without an FAA-approved noise study, noise procedures are voluntary. After conducting public hearings and listening to all sides of the issue, the Schaumburg Transportation Committee has put the proposal on hold to await more information. Weinberg's efforts on this issue and the city's willingness to explore options shows what can occur when such parties work together. He will continue to update AOPA.

To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
ASF SAFETY FACT
In 1999, there were 66 fuel mismanagement accidents, five of which were fatal. ASF recommends a minimum one-hour fuel reserve. For more safety facts, download the ASF's 2000 Nall Report from AOPA Online.

Quiz Me!
Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.

Question: With tax time fast approaching, what are my tax obligations as a pilot?
Answer: Over the years, AOPA has fielded numerous questions related to tax issues affecting aircraft owners and pilots. We have prepared The Pilots Guide to Taxes as an attempt to review the basics related to income, sales and use, and personal property taxes that might affect AOPA members. Download this publication from 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
SWEEPS BONANZA GETS A NEW PROP
bonanza logoWondering if you won the 2000 AOPA Millennium Mooney? We'll be announcing the winner soon. In the meantime, there's more to chew on about this year's Sweepstakes V35 Bonanza. With the installation of a more powerful engine came the need for a newfangled propeller. See the latest project update on AOPA Online.

What's New At AOPA Online
LATEST AOPA MEMBERSHIP GUIDE IS NOW ON WEB
For information about all the privileges you'll enjoy as a member, look no further than the 2001-2002 AOPA Membership Guidebook. It's your key to everything AOPA has to offer. The guidebook is categorized by pilot rating or interest. See the Web site.

ePilot Calendar
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Buena Park, California. The Aviation Maintenance Technicians Symposium takes place February 15 and 16 at the Sequoia Conference Center. Long Beach Airport (LGB), 562/570-2678, and Fullerton Municipal (FUL), 714/738-6323, serve the area. Call 562/420-1755 for event information.

Miami, Florida. The annual Florida International Aero Expo takes place February 21 through 23 at Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport (TMB), 305/869-1700. Call 941/379-2275 for event information, or visit the Web site.

Romeoville, Illinois. Annual General Aviation Maintenance Seminar, sponsored by the Illinois Department of Transportation's Division of Aeronautics and the FAA. Lewis University Airport (LOT), 815/838-9497, serves the area. Call 217/785-8516 for event information.

Tacoma, Washington. The eighteenth annual Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show takes place February 24 and 25. Featuring Bill Lishman, the ultralight pilot who taught geese to migrate and was featured in a Disney movie; AOPA President Phil Boyer; aviation humorist Rod Machado; and Women in Aviation President Peggy Baty. Call 206/764-4131 for event information.

Yuma, Arizona.
The Yuma Air Show takes place February 17 at Yuma International Airport (YUM), 520/726-5882. Call 520/341-3245 for event information.

For more airport details, see AOPA’s Airport Directory Online . For more events, see the 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 Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Nashua, New Hampshire; and Dallas, February 17 and 18. Clinics are scheduled in Las Vegas and Reston, Virginia, February 24 and 25. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic .

ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in New Orleans, February 12; Mobile, Alabama, February 13; Birmingham, Alabama, February 14; Mesa, Arizona, February 21; and Tucson, Arizona, February 22. For more information see Web site.

ASF PINCH HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
(Pinch Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground School will take place February 11 in Melbourne, Florida. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see Pinch Hitter Ground School Schedule.

AOPA PILOT TOWN MEETINGS
Featuring AOPA President Phil Boyer
(7:30 p.m.; admission is free)
The next Pilot Town Meetings are in Van Nuys, California, February 20; Ontario, California, February 21; San Diego, February 22; Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 13; and Austin, Texas, March 15. For more information on Pilot Town Meetings, see Pilot Town Meetings.

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

Contacting ePilot
Got news tips? Contact ePilot editor Nathan A. Ferguson at [email protected] Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

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