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| GA News |
| SCHOOL DISAVOWS LYCOMING ENGINE SURVEY |
Western Oklahoma State College is disavowing a survey on Lycoming 540 engines that was sent out on the college's letterhead. The survey, sent to many Lycoming 540 engine owners, purports to gather owners' "real-life experiences with the Lycoming 540 engine series and to determine the extent and nature of all problems." School President Randy Cumby told AOPA, "Western Oklahoma State College has not authorized any surveys or research in relationship to the Lycoming engines. The Oklahoma Attorney General's office is looking into this situation at the request of Western Oklahoma State College." AOPA will provide more information as it becomes available.
ROBINSON TO OFFER LIGHTWEIGHT HELIPADS
Robinson Helicopter Company has a unique solution for traffic congestion on Los Angeles freeways: Lightweight helipads that can be installed on almost any industrial building. Robinson announced at the Helicopter Association International's HeliExpo 2001 in Anaheim, California, this week that it is in the process of hiring a civil engineer to design the helipads. While helipads for heavy helicopters can cost $100,000 or more, Robinson figures it will only cost a fraction for ones that are made specifically for the company's light helicopters. Robinson plans to include the helipads as part of a package deal for the four-seat R44 helicopters and use L.A. as a test market. For more, see the Web site.
EUROCOPTER INTRODUCES QUIET HELICOPTER
Eurocopter unveiled the EC 130 B4 at HeliExpo, a light single-engine helicopter that rounds out the successful AStar (Ecureuil) family. The new helicopter has 23 percent more cabin space than previous versions. Echoing the "quiet helicopter" theme at the convention this week, Eurocopter CEO Jean-Francios Bigay said the EC 130 B4 is the only helicopter in the world that can presently comply with the new Grand Canyon noise standards that are slated to go in effect on April 1. Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, a tourist flightseeing operator, is the first customer.
ROLLS-ROYCE MAKES HELICOPTER INDUSTRY FORECAST
The piston-engine helicopter market has been booming but concern over avgas contamination and availability will place increasing focus on turbines, according to Rolls-Royce's annual forecast of worldwide helicopter demand. Released at HeliExpo, the report projected that there will be 5,175 civil deliveries by 2010 with an annual growth rate of 1.1 percent, lead by singles that will hold 55 percent of the market share. The report also predicted that airport congestion will encourage helicopter use but there is a need for federal investment in heliports; there will be an increase in quieter helicopters driven by law enforcement and regulatory pressure; and the tilt-rotor segment is poised for liftoff, but there is public concern about the most recent crash of the military V-22.
PIPER LOOKS FOR NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
The New Piper Aircraft Company recently unveiled initiatives to move the company forward. Among the ideas being discussed are the establishment of a completion center that will give customers greater choices for interior appointments, the possibility of starting flight schools, joint ventures with other manufacturers and marketers, owning FBOs, and setting up a center for refurbishing aircraft. Piper CEO Chuck Suma told ePilot during a recent briefing that these and other initiatives will be fleshed out in coming years.
For daily news updates and more on HeliExpo 2001, see AOPA Online.
| Squawk Sheet |
| FAA TO PUBLISH EMERGENCY AD FOR NEW CESSNAS |
Late this week, AOPA received word that the FAA was proceeding with the issuance of an emergency AD, affecting all newly manufactured Cessna Skyhawks, Skylanes, and Stationaires. The AD is intended to prevent the occurrence of an overly rich mixture condition that, left unchecked, could result in engine failure. At press time, the emergency AD had yet to be published, however; AOPA anticipates that it may be published as soon as next Tuesday. Upon receipt, the AD will be posted on AOPA Online.
FAA EXTENDS COMMENT PERIODS ON PROPOSED ADs
In response to requests from AOPA and the Cessna Pilots Association, the FAA recently issued extensions to the comment periods on two proposed ADs for Cessna aircraft. One is regarding plastic control wheels and the other is for inspecting fuel lines and replacing map light switch insulators. Comments are now due by April 4 and April 13, respectively.
FAA MAY PROVIDE SOME RELIEF FOR BELL 47 OWNERS
A Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) for Bell 47 helicopters issued Monday indicates that the FAA is considering limited relief from an onerous AD regarding rotor blade grips. Thanks to AOPA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, Bell Helicopter, and Bell 47 users, the agency is considering revising the AD, possibly allowing longer periods between inspections of the blade grips. The FAA told AOPA a revised AD may be issued in about six weeks. See AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA PRESENTS HARTRANFT AWARD TO LOTT |
AOPA President Phil Boyer on Monday presented the 2000 AOPA Hartranft Award to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. The award recognizes Lott's leadership in securing passage of the landmark AIR-21 legislation last year. See AOPA Online. While on Capitol Hill this week, Boyer also initiated a series of meetings with the new leaders of the congressional committees important to aviation.
AOPA OPPOSES MINNEAPOLIS CLASS B EXPANSION...
AOPA has gone on record opposing a Class B airspace expansion at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The FAA proposes extending the existing 20-mile Class B lateral limit to 30 miles and raising the 8,000-foot ceiling to 10,000 feet msl. In comments to the FAA, AOPA said the changes would pose a serious operational limitation on pilots overflying the airspace, would hamper flight training activities, and would impact soaring activities at the Benson and Stanton airports. AOPA also objected to being excluded from early studies of the proposal.
...AND NASHVILLE CLASS B PROPOSAL
AOPA also opposes Class B airspace for Tennessee's Nashville International Airport (BNA), where it would replace less restrictive Class C airspace. While the agency hasn't yet issued a formal proposal, AOPA filed a policy memo with the FAA noting that a Nashville ATC tower staff study had not demonstrated a need for Class B airspace, nor had it considered the operational impact on VFR traffic around BNA. AOPA asked the FAA to stop the proposed airspace change and work with local pilots to resolve air traffic concerns without resorting to regulatory action. For more on either airspace issue, see AOPA Online.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| BUSH RESCINDS FAA BUDGET CUTS |
The Bush administration has rescinded proposed cuts to the FAA's budget, AOPA has confirmed. Over the weekend, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) agreed to restore the FAA's budget request to the level mandated by Congress. OMB has agreed to honor AIR-21, passed last year to unlock the aviation trust fund. For more, see AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK—DEBORAH M. LAKE |
Deborah M. Lake of Norwalk-Huron County Airport (5A1) in Ohio provided AOPA's Local Airports–Access to America video to the local cable channel. It evolved into a one-hour show featuring the importance of general aviation to the local economy. Lake also completed an economic impact study for the airport that showed for every 33 cents spent in taxes to support the airport, Huron County residents get $48.29 back as an economic benefit.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| FAA ADDS NEW TERM FOR PILOTS IN URGENT SITUATIONS |
There has been a small but important change to the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), designed to help pilots communicate an urgent situation without declaring an emergency. When in contact with ATC, pilots can use the word "immediately" to avoid an imminent situation. The change was based on the analysis of accidents by ASF and the FAA. Weather situations such as icing, heading changes near thunderstorms, and weather where an IFR clearance is needed quickly may all qualify for some extra ATC consideration. ASF recommends using the "I-word" as required, but realize that by then you may have let things go too far. ASF also recommends that pilots file a NASA ASRS report so that others can learn.
PLACE A BID TO IMPROVE GA SAFETY
Be a fighter pilot for a day, have your airplane captured in an air-to-air photo shoot, and load up on aviation safety videos. The opening gavel has sounded for the 2001 ASF Online Silent Auction. Proceeds go toward improving general aviation safety. It runs until November 30. 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: Is there a suggested altitude for flights over wildlife areas?
Answer: According to Paragraph 7-4-6 of the Aeronautical Information Manual, pilots are requested to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above the surface of national parks, monuments, seashores, lakeshores, recreation areas, and scenic riverways administered by the National Park Service; national wildlife refuges, big game refuges, game ranges, and wildlife ranges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and wilderness and primitive areas administered by the U.S. Forest Service. FAA Advisory Circular 91-36, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Flight Near Noise-Sensitive Areas, defines the surface of such areas as the highest terrain within 2,000 feet laterally of the route of flight, or the uppermost rim of a canyon or valley.
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 IS READIED FOR FLIGHT TO CHICAGO |
Despite spending 15 years near the coast, the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza only suffered minor corrosion. Simple repairs took care of the problem. An AOPA Pilot editor will soon get checked out in the turbonormalized airplane and fly it to Chicago for the avionics installation. For the latest on the project, see AOPA Online.
| What's New At AOPA Online |
| IS YOUR AIRPORT ON THIS LIST? |
Does your local airport want to release airport property for nonaeronautical uses? In some cases the airport benefits from such a divesture–but changes made to achieve a short-term objective without considering the long-term effects can cause problems in the future. The airport sponsor must seek FAA approval to release airport property, and last year's AIR-21 legislation mandates a 30-day public comment period. Input from local pilots is very important. AOPA Online provides a list of pending requests–check it often for your airport.
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
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.
Aptos, California. A fundraising dinner for the Watsonville Regional Airport Promotion organization's Political Action Committee will take place at the Seascape Golf Club February 23, featuring AOPA President Phil Boyer. Watsonville Regional Airport (WVI), 831/728-6075, serves the area. Information on the event may obtained by e-mail.
Albuquerque, New Mexico. A Poker Run sponsored by the Albuquerque Chapter of The Ninety-Nines will take place February 23 through March 3. Participating airports include Alexander Municipal (E80), 505/864-4302; Coronada (4AC), 505/821-7777; Double Eagle II (AEG), 505/352-0292; Santa Fe Municipal (SAF), 505/955-2900; Moriarty (0E0), 505/832-2222; and Albuquerque International (ABQ), 505/842-4366. Call 505/265-2865 for event information, or visit the Web site.
Puyallup, Washington. The eighteenth annual Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show takes place February 24 and 25 at the Western Washington Fairgrounds. 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.
Fort Myers, Florida. Aviation Days will take place at Page Field (FMY), 941/936-1443, February 24 and 25. Call the airport 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 Las Vegas and Reston, Virginia, February 24 and 25. Clinics are scheduled in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Norfolk, Virginia, March 3 and 4. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in Mesa, Arizona, February 21; Tucson, Arizona, February 22; Waco, Texas, February 26; West Houston, Texas, February 27; and San Antonio, Texas, February 28. For more information see Web site.
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 February 18 in Dallas. 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].
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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