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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 3, Issue 8AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 3, Issue 8


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2001 Bonanza
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Special report: Safire meets the press
Bede 17 makes maiden flight
Northern Lights team continues jet transition
AOPA opposes new user fee proposal
Volume 3, Issue 8
February 23, 2001
GA News
FAA CONSIDERS AIRWORTHINESS ACTION FOR CESSNAS
As reported in last week's edition of ePilot, the FAA is considering airworthiness action to correct an overly rich condition that could occur in Cessna 172, 182, and 206 airplanes manufactured since the company restarted production in 1996. Although the airplanes' mixture settings are set properly prior to customer delivery, the overly rich mixture condition reportedly develops within the first several hundred hours of aircraft operation. At press time, the FAA was considering several corrective airworthiness actions. AOPA will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates to members as it develops on AOPA Online.

SPECIAL REPORT: SAFIRE MEETS THE PRESS
In an effort to update readers on the competition to build a jet for the common pilot, the editors of AOPA Pilot engaged Safire Aircraft Company founder Michael Margaritoff in a question-and-answer interview. This follows a previous interview with Safire's competitor, Eclipse Aviation. From its conical nose to its cruciform tail, Safire wants to get people to their destination and allow them to arrive in style. See for yourself on AOPA Online how the company plans to offer jet performance for about the price of a new piston twin.

BEDE 17 MAKES MAIDEN FLIGHT
Jim Bede is at it again. Instead of pushing the sound barrier, he has gone the other way on the performance spectrum. His latest design, the BD 17 Nugget, made its maiden flight on February 11 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and reached an indicated airspeed of 113 knots. The metal single-place homebuilt has a 60-horsepower engine and burns three gallons of fuel per hour. It's designed to be assembled quickly and be environmentally friendly. The complete kit, including engine, propeller, and instruments, is expected to sell for $24,200. For more, see the Web site.

NORTHERN LIGHTS TEAM CONTINUES JET TRANSITION
The Northern Lights aerobatic demonstration team begins its first performances in four Czech-built Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatross jets this June in Quebec, Canada. The team, based in Montreal, previously used Extra 300 piston-engine aircraft. The team's plans for 12 performances this year were unaffected by the crash of an L-39 in Louisiana involving David Jeansonne, a former Northern Lights investor during the 1998-99 airshow season. Jeansonne, 40, CEO of Omni Energy Services, was killed in the crash along with Jennifer Girouard, 23. Even though Jeansonne had ended his direct involvement with the team, his aircraft, painted in Northern Lights colors, was available as a backup. Airshow audiences will see both familiar and new faces on the team this year.

TEST YOUR WRIGHT BROTHERS KNOWLEDGE
How much do you really know about the Wright brothers? Take the First Flight Centennial Foundation's monthly Wright Brothers Trivia Challenge and you may win a T-shirt. See the Web site.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.


Inside AOPA
AOPA FIGHTS FOR LEGISLATION IN MISSOURI
AOPA has launched a campaign to secure passage this year of the Missouri Airport Protection Act. The legislation, similar to AOPA-supported laws in 25 other states, would protect the state's airports from new communications towers and other obstructions. "Most people believe that FAA regulations prevent a tower from endangering an airport. They don't," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "The FAA can't stop someone from building an obstruction. State law and local zoning ordinances are the only regulations with teeth." The Missouri Airport Protection Act, introduced as Senate Bill 324 and House Bill 436, would create a state permit process for those communities that don't already have airport protection zoning regulations in place. In the past two weeks, AOPA Regional Representative Bob Dickens has testified in favor of the bill before House and Senate committees of the Missouri Legislature. For more, see AOPA Online.

AOPA QUESTIONS PROPOSED FAA POLICY
AOPA is opposing a proposed FAA policy on autopilot controls. Concerned about pilots inadvertently engaging or disengaging the autopilot during critical phases of flight, the FAA wants to remove or limit autopilot controls on the control wheel. But AOPA said that the FAA has not published any "supporting human factors research or accident/incident reports" to justify the change. AOPA asked the FAA to supply the data, and to allow more time for pilots to comment on the proposal. "I'm concerned about single pilots operating in the IFR environment," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We are constantly expressing concern about too much 'heads down' time. Using control wheel buttons cuts back substantially on looking down to activate an autopilot mode." Boyer pointed out that the military practice is to put multiple control buttons on the stick and throttle so that a pilot does not have to remove his hands from the primary flight controls to activate critical aircraft systems.

BOYER VISITS PALM SPRINGS AIR MUSEUM
As part of his Southern California Pilot Town Meeting tour this week, AOPA President Phil Boyer toured the expanding Palm Springs Air Museum. The museum contains one of the world's largest collections of flying World War II military aircraft, many provided by museum chairman and CEO Robert "Bob" Pond. Boyer evaluated it as a potential site for an evening member event during AOPA Expo 2002 in Palm Springs. See AOPA Online.

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On Capitol Hill
AOPA OPPOSES NEW USER FEE PROPOSAL
The Reason Public Policy Institute, the think tank advocating a nonprofit corporation to manage the air traffic control system, unveiled its controversial plan yesterday. It wants to revamp the ATC system with a user-fee funded system similar to Canada's. First reported by AOPA in December, the study is at least partly funded by four major airlines and a cargo carrier. The author of the report, Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation, is also the author of previous proposals to charge user fees for basic ATC services. AOPA will continue to oppose the "commercialization" of the ATC system. For more, see the Web.

AOPA KEEPS EYE ON BUDGET PROCESS

President Bush will be addressing a joint session of Congress next Tuesday night where he is expected to lay out the priorities of his administration. The next day he will release a "top-line" budget for fiscal year 2002, focusing on general themes and totals rather than specific line items, to Capitol Hill. This is a standard operating procedure for a new president. While specifics of the FAA budget may not be available until late March, AOPA expects the FAA budget proposal for next year will total approximately $13.3 billion, meeting the requirements of AIR-21. In order to finance its proposed tax cut and spending priorities, the administration must control what it considers lower priority spending, such as the FAA. So despite the AIR-21 agreement, AOPA will be closely tracking FAA funding through the entire budget process.

Airport Support Network
VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK—DIANE KAY BALLWEG
In an effort to reach the community, the Friends of Morey Airport (FOMA) in Middleton, Wisconsin, publish weekly FOMA Facts. This weekly ad program, for which Ballweg is chairwoman, offers aviation information and statistics. Readers also see the names of neighbors and community leaders who are interested in the success of the city airport.

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

AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
ASF SAFETY REVIEW FINDS CESSNA SKYLANE SAFE
The latest AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Highlights report analyzed the safety record of the Cessna 182 Skylane in relation to a group of six similar aircraft. The 20-page report found that the aircraft type was safe and popular. The booklet is being distributed free to all registered Cessna 182 owners and will be available to others on request. The report can be downloaded from AOPA Online or by calling 800/USA-AOPA (800/872-2672).

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

Question: What is the significance of military training routes (MTRs) identified with only two digits, such as IR62 and VR86? Paragraph 3-5-2.d.1 in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) describes the significance of those routes identified with three- and four-digit numbers, but overlooks two.
Answer: The answer is found in the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide. MTR route designators are shown in solid black on the route centerline, positioned along the route for continuity. There are IFR (IR) and VFR (VR) routes. Routes at or below 1,500 feet agl (with no segment above 1,500 feet) are identified by four-digit numbers: VR1007, etc. These routes are generally developed for VFR flight. Routes above 1,500 feet agl (segments of these routes may be below 1,500 feet) are identified by three or fewer digits: IR21, VR302, etc. These routes are developed for IFR flight.

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 FLIES WITH NEW ENGINE
bonanza logoThe 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza was scheduled to fly Thursday afternoon. Not toward the avionics shop yet, but in the skies above Ada, Oklahoma. The engine is reported to sound "marvelous." Read the latest on this project on AOPA Online.

What's New At AOPA Online
AOPA'S HANDBOOK FOR PILOTS IS BACK
AOPA's popular Handbook for Pilots has long been out of print. But it's back, and only on AOPA Online. The handbook is a compendium of aeronautical information, regulations, procedures, and reference material intended to simplify and enhance your preflight planning. See AOPA Online.

ePilot Calendar
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA. The Upper Midwest Aviation Symposium, Kitty Hawk on the Horizon, takes place March 3 through 6 at the Ramada Plaza Suites and Convention Center. Hector International Airport (FAR), 701/241-1501, serves the area. Call 701/663-0669 for event information.

KALISPELL, MONTANA. The Montana Aviation Conference takes place March 1 through 3. Glacier Park International (FCA), 406/257-5994, and Kalispell City Airport (S27), 406/758-7703, serve the area. Call 406/444-2506 for event information.

BOISE, IDAHO. The 2001 Idaho State Aviation Conference takes place March 1. Call 208/334-8780 for event information.

CASA GRANDE, ARIZONA. The forty-third annual Cactus Fly-In takes place March 2 at Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ), 520/426-3616. Call 480/987-5516 for event information.

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS. Air Fiesta Wings Over the Valley will be held March 3 at Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport (BRO), 956/542-4373. Call 956/541-8585 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 Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Norfolk, Virginia, March 3 and 4. Clinics are scheduled in Birmingham, Alabama; Phoenix; and San Mateo, California, March 10 and 11. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic.

ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in Waco, Texas, February 26; West Houston, Texas, February 27; San Antonio, Texas, February 28; Austin, Texas, March 1; Nashville, March 6; and Atlanta, March 8. 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 March 4 in Philadelphia. 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 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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