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| GA News |
| LANCAIR COLUMBIA 300 TO BE RESEARCH TESTBED |
NASA has bought a Lancair Columbia 300 to serve as a testbed for research on the general aviation airplane of the future. The aircraft was delivered Wednesday to Bruce Holmes, director of the NASA General Aviation Program office, during a ceremony at Lancair Company headquarters in Bend, Oregon. It was then flown to the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. There, it will be outfitted with a number of experimental technologies developed through NASA programs. To read a question-and-answer interview with Holmes, see AOPA Online.
AOPA ASKS FOR EXTENSIONS ON CESSNA ADs
Earlier this week, AOPA petitioned the FAA for extensions to the comment periods of two recently proposed airworthiness directives that would affect several popular models of Cessna airplanes. Proposed AD 98-CE-57-AD, published in late December, would require repetitive inspection and pull-tests for plastic control wheels installed in the most popular Cessna models. Proposed AD 2000-CE-26-AD, published Monday, would require repetitive inspection of the map light switch and the fuel line for chafing on certain model Cessna 172s. In two separate petitions, AOPA stated three reasons for the extension of the comment period: an inordinately short 30-day comment period, a lack of substantiating data available in the FAA's publicly available Service Difficulty Report database, and a clear need to gather pertinent service information from aircraft type clubs and owners/operators. AOPA asked the FAA to extend the comment period of each AD to 120 days. See AOPA Online for or more information, copies of the proposed control wheel and map light switch ADs and related service information, and copies of AOPA’s petitions.
AIR FORCE TO DUMP FIREFLY TRAINERS…
The Air Force has proposed options to the Pentagon for disposing of 110 two-passenger, all-composite T-3A Firefly aircraft, The Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colorado, reported. It bought them in 1994 from British manufacturer Slingsby Aviation for pilot screening programs. Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Cheryl Law confirmed to ePilot that a proposal has arrived in the Pentagon but would not discuss details. The Gazette said that the three options are to sell the aircraft for parts, sell them as used aircraft, or mothball the fleet at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and at the Air Force screening facility in Hondo, Texas. The Air Force lost six lives in T-3A accidents before the fleet was grounded. In all, about $30 million was spent on the T-3A aircraft, and an additional $10 million was spent trying to fix them. All the accidents occurred at the academy.
…AND SEARCHES FOR GA MOUNTS
With the end of the T-3A Firefly program, the Air Force will contract with a civilian flight school to operate a new fleet of general aviation aircraft. The aircraft will be provided under contract, and not directly owned by the military. The Air Force has evaluated 12 aircraft and will make its selection in March. The aircraft include the Cessna 182S, Cirrus SR20, Diamond DA20 and DA40, the Australian-built Eagle 150B, the Grob 115E, Lancair Columbia 300, Luscombe Spartan, Maule MT-7, Mooney Ovation II, Piper Archer III, and Zlin 143L. The Air Force has set specific standards that the new trainer must meet, including the capability to operate from the high-altitude airports. So far, the aircraft favored in the evaluation include the Cessna 182S, Cirrus SR20, Diamond DA20 and DA40, and Grob 115E, according to preliminary results. More information on the evaluations is available on the Web. A direct link could not be provided because the page "times out." First, go to the government Web site and select "FBO for Vendors." Then select "USAF, Offices." On the next Web page, choose "Direct Reporting Units, Location." Then choose "10ABW/LGC, USAF Academy, Posted Dates." Under "Dec. 19," choose "Introductory Flight Training." Then choose "Amendment 3, Posted Dec. 12, Aircraft Demonstration Results." Other documents on the site offer more information. Results of the Air Force flight demonstration tests are posted at AOPA online.
ADAM AIRCRAFT ANNOUNCES PRICE FOR M-309
Adam Aircraft will offer the first 20 production M-309 twin-engine aircraft at an introductory price of $695,000. The composite M-309's price includes a glass panel with IFR capability and seating for six in the pressurized cabin. A minimum deposit of $25,000 will secure a delivery position and is fully refundable with interest. At 20,000 feet, the airplane is proposed to have a maximum speed of 250 knots and a range of 1,500 nm. Company officials expect FAA type certification and delivery of the first production aircraft in 2003. For more, see the Web site.
S-TEC TEST PILOT DIES IN HELICOPTER ACCIDENT
S-TEC Corporation of Mineral Wells, Texas, reported that test pilot Ron Filler died Monday afternoon as a result of injuries suffered during an emergency landing of a Bell 206 JetRanger helicopter owned by S-TEC. Filler was familiarizing himself with the helicopter prior to resuming flight testing of a helicopter autopilot that the company is developing. Flight tests of the autopilot had been suspended for six to eight weeks at the time of the accident. Filler made the emergency landing in a wooded area about three miles south of Mineral Wells on his way back to the airport after a routine flight. An ATP with more than 12,000 flight hours in airplanes and helicopters, Filler was a 16-year FAA test pilot prior to working for S-TEC. No cause for the crash has been determined.
LANCAIR CLARIFIES TURBINE KITPLANE FIGURES
In a recent report on Lancair's in-the-works turboprop option for its Lancair IV-P, ePilot incorrectly quoted the price. The Walter M601E turboprop engine will cost around $92,000 and the propeller will be another $15,000. The engine mounts, cowling, and firewall assemblies will cost $7,500. The basic IV-P kit is $102,900. The Walter will be furnished as a factory-remanufactured engine with 2,000-hour TBO or 2,250-cycles-within-five-years maintenance limits. It will also have a 1,000-hour/two-year warranty, according to Lancair. A spokesman said the Walter was chosen after test flying the IV-P airframe with a 600-hp Orenda V-8 engine. "It was too complicated," said one company official. "And it cost the same as the Walter."
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
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| Inside AOPA |
| FAA AGAIN DELAYS GRAND CANYON RULES |
The FAA has once again delayed the implementation of the new Grand Canyon Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) final rule and commercial air tour routes, this time until April 1. The new rules were originally to go in effect on December 1, 2000, but were pushed back twice while the FAA reexamines safety issues. The new rules would primarily affect commercial air tour operators. AOPA had successfully objected to parts of the rule that would have imposed greater restrictions on transient GA aircraft crossing the canyon. For more, see AOPA Online.
FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS SET FOR BUSH INAUGURATION
The inauguration of President-elect Bush next Saturday will create a few complications for pilots in the Washington, D.C. area. With the flood of aircraft expected for the festivities, the FAA will require IFR slot reservations for Washington Dulles International (IAD), Manassas Regional (HEF), and Leesburg Executive (JYO) airports. Reservations will be required for IFR arrivals and departures from January 17 through January 22. The FAA will also implement temporary flight restrictions within a 7-nautical-mile radius of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Andrews Air Force Base. Sightseeing flights will be prohibited, but the FAA says that pilots will still be able to access nearby airports. For more, see AOPA Online.
AOPA COMMERCIALS REACH 18 MILLION
AOPA's cable TV commercials on The Weather Channel over the holidays reached a record number of people, thanks in part to unusually harsh winter weather. More than 18 million people saw at least one of the 30-second commercials from December 22 through January 3, promoting the value of community airports. In addition, there were more than 5,000 "click through" visits to AOPA Online accessing Web versions of the commercials. "AOPA’s timing for purchase of these 160-plus commercials wasn't an accident," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "With the congestion at major airports and airline passenger disgruntlement, the reminder of the value of local airports couldn't be more appropriate." For more, see AOPA Online.
| On Capitol Hill |
| HOUSE GOP NAMES NEW COMMITTEE MEMBERS |
A House rule limiting committee chairmen to six years was implemented late last week and will change the leadership of key committees and subcommittees with jurisdiction over general aviation issues. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) was, as expected, named the new chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. A long-time supporter of AOPA, Young was previously chairman of the House Resources Committee and second-ranking Republican on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He was also a member of the House aviation subcommittee and of the Republican Steering Committee. Young strongly supported AIR-21 and co-sponsored H.R.3661, the General Aviation Access Act, a bill that would ensure general aviation aircraft access to federal land and airspace over the land. Young is sensitive to the GA community's needs as Alaskans rely heavily on aviation. The author of H.R.3661, Rep. James Hansen (R-Utah), has now been named the chairman of the House Resources Committee. Hansen is a GA pilot and an AOPA member. In 1994 Hansen won AOPA's Hartranft Award in recognition of his efforts on behalf of general aviation product liability. Finally, on Saturday three new members of Congress, Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Dennis Rehberg (R-Mont.) and Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), supported by the AOPA Political Action Committee, were named to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. AOPA-PAC generates its funding through voluntary contributions and not through membership dues.
CHAIRMAN FOR FAA FUNDING PANEL ALSO NAMED
Late last week, Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) was named chairman of the House transportation appropriations subcommittee. Rogers replaces Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.). The subcommittee is responsible for the annual funding of the FAA and is key to ensuring continued funding of the AIR-21 agreement. For the past six years, Rogers has been a member of the transportation panel while also chairing the House appropriations subcommittee that funds the departments of Commerce, Justice, and State. The naming of chairmen to the House and Senate aviation subcommittees and ranking member of the Senate transportation appropriations subcommittee is expected in the coming weeks.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK–ALBERT WHITUS |
Albert Whitus of Madison County Executive Airport (M82) in Huntsville, Alabama, has been working with the airport for years to keep it alive and interesting to the local government. This was a private strip that was bought by Madison County only a few years ago and with Whitus' encouragement of the local airport authority, it is growing. The latest addition is the new runway that is scheduled to open this spring. The airport authority members are all AOPA members, and give new meaning to the word "aggressive."
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| ASF's SAFETY EFFORT SETS RECORDS IN 2000 |
More than 76,000 pilots and flight instructors received safety information from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation in 2000, a new record that coincided with ASF's fiftieth anniversary. Traditional ASF safety seminars last year drew 33,161 pilots, an increase of more than 650 over 1999. ASF Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics (FIRCs) helped 7,538 certificated flight instructors, with many revalidating their certificates at the clinics. FIRC attendance was up nearly 5 percent from the year before. Another 5,800 pilots took advantage of ASF's Seminar in a Boxï¿½, which offers nine of ASF's most popular safety seminars in a do-it-yourself format with videos, slides, and printed materials shipped to pilots who can’t attend live seminars. But the most innovative ASF safety outreach was Project V (for Video), which by mid-January had delivered one of two original ASF safety videos to some 30,000 pilots across the country. The free distribution was funded by a $200,000 grant from AOPA.
PILOTS SIGN UP IN DROVES FOR ASF STUDY
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation was looking for a few good pilots and found plenty in a hurry. ASF received hundreds of responses from pilots interested in volunteering for a study to evaluate twenty-first century avionics in the foundation's Piper Archer. The Web link that was previously published in ePilot has been removed. ASF would like to thank all the pilots who showed an interest in evaluating these products and ultimately improving the safety of general aviation.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: ATC has requested me to report “procedure turn inbound." When am I considered to be procedure turn inbound on an instrument approach?
Answer: According to the Pilot/Controller Glossary, procedure turn inbound is defined as "that point of a procedure turn maneuver where course reversal has been completed and an aircraft is established inbound on the intermediate approach segment or final approach course. It is normally used by ATC as a position report for separation purposes.
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 |
| TIME TO TURBONORMALIZE SWEEPS BONANZA |
What's blue and silver and red-hot to go? The new Superior Air Parts Certified Millennium engine for AOPA's 2001 Sweepstakes Bonanza, of course. The engine, built by Western Skyways of Montrose, Colorado, was delivered to Tornado Alley Turbo in Ada, Oklahoma, this week. It's an IO-550B set to generate 300 horsepower, replacing our 1966 V35 Bonanza's stock 285-hp IO-520. The Millennium engine will be mated to a Tornado Alley turbonormalizing system over the next few weeks. Read the details on AOPA Online. Also take a look at the differences between turbocharging and turbonormalizing and the list of products and modifications we plan for this airplane.
| What's New At AOPA Online |
| INSTRUMENT APPROACH CHARTS NOW ONLINE |
A major enhancement debuted yesterday on AOPA Online. AOPA members can now view and download for free all current government-published instrument approach charts. Some 9,400 National Aeronautical Charting Office (NACO, formerly NOS) instrument procedure charts, including instrument approach procedures (IAPs), standard terminal arrivals (STARs), departure procedures (DPs, formerly called SIDs), and all U.S. change notices, are available on AOPA Online. The charts are updated according to the aeronautical charting cycle, and are current for instrument flight. The charts are available in the Portable Document Format (PDF) for members to view online and download.
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Palm Springs, California. A celebration of outdoor painting, Desert Plein Air, takes place January 21 through 28. Bermuda Dunes Airport (UDD), 760/345-2558; Desert Resorts Regional Airport (TRM), 909/955-6735; and Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), 760/323-8161, serve the area. Call 760/564-1244 for event information.
Naples, Florida. Authentic Celtic music is served up at the Celtic Festival on the Gulf January 20 and 21. Naples Municipal Airport (APF), 941/643-0404, serves the area. Call 941/774-3267 for event information.
West Palm Beach, Florida. A Young Eagle Rally takes place January 20 at Palm Beach County Park Airport (LNA), 561/965-6400. Call the airport for event information.
Corona, California. A holiday recovery party takes place January 20 at the Corona Municipal Airport (AJO), 909/736-2289. Call 909/736-2289 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 Portland, Oregon; Rochester, New York; and San Jose, California, January 20 and 21. Clinics are scheduled in Baltimore and Pensacola, Florida, January 27 and 28. For complete details, visit the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in Denver, January 16; Colorado Springs, Colorado, January 17; Albuquerque, New Mexico, and San Jose, California, January 22; Oakland, California, January 23; Mesa, Arizona, and Santa Rosa, California, January 24; and Sacramento, California, and Tucson, Arizona, January 25. 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 11 in Melbourne, Florida. For more information, see the 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 Tallahassee, Florida, January 30; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, January 31; and Tampa, February 1. Click for more information on 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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