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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 3, Issue 28AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 3, Issue 28


Inside AOPA

On Capitol Hill

Airport Support Network

Quiz Me!

2001 Bonanza

ePilot Calendar

Weekend Weather

German company designs four-seat turboprop
Crew ditches in ocean after world air tour
P-51 flies in honor of Tuskegee Airmen
AOPA asks for FAA support in keeping Meigs open
Volume 3, Issue 28
July 13, 2001
GA News
Folks are busy at The Lancair Company. Since January, the company has named a new president, Bing Lantis; added 200 employees to the production staff; and there is talk of a new aircraft design. "By the time [today's buyers] are ready for their first engine overhaul, we'll have another model for them," Lantis said, although he did not elaborate. Last week three new Columbia 300 airplanes were completed. By the end of the year, the company plans to ramp up production to one airplane a week. Lancair has orders for more than 140 airplanes. About 30 percent of the orders are for the $329,000 turbocharged Columbia 400, which is now in the certification process. For more, see the Web site.

Photo of Grob G140TPAnother new airplane is about to fly–well, taxi by, maybe. The first flight of the new Grob Aerospace G140TP, a four-seat turboprop with an anticipated cruise speed of 213 knots, is scheduled to occur in September. The aircraft is aimed at business types and, because the aircraft is also aerobatic, the military and civilian training markets. A prototype was completed in June. The aircraft was designed only last February. Certification is expected in September 2002. A 450-shp Rolls-Royce Allison 250-B17F engine driving a five-blade propeller powers the composite aircraft. The price for the G140TP is $890,000. With pressurization and deicing equipment it will go for $1.1 million. Grob employs 150 workers in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany. The firm has sold 3,500 aircraft since it was founded in 1971, including gliders, motorgliders, high-altitude aircraft, and G115 and G120 trainers. For more information see the Web site.

It was supposed to be an uneventful journey. That was, until four people–one American and three Japanese–ditched at sea and spent 16 hours in a life raft. Pilot Mike Smith, Arinori Yamagata, Katsuyoshi Ida, and Haruko Kikukawa were rescued Monday by a Russian freighter off the coast of Russia when the engine died in the Pilatus PC-12 they were flying. Mike Smith told NBC's Today Show Thursday that he shut the engine down because of engine overspeed. As it came to a stop, he heard mechanical grinding noises and knew it would not restart. Smith immediately told the crew he was going to ditch. They donned survival suits and prepared for ditching after a 10- to 15-minute descent. The ditching was smooth and there was no apparent hull damage. They later caught the attention of a Russian cargo ship by firing a flare. They were part of a 16-person AOPA-Japan group flight that launched on an around-the-world pleasure flight on June 1. They completed the flight on July 5 in Japan, but the PC-12 was on its way back to Idaho where it was based. For more on the trip, see the Web site.

Sierra Flight Systems, manufacturer of synthetic-vision flight displays, has been acquired by Chelton Avionics of Prescott, Arizona. Chelton is a subsidiary of Cobham plc, a $1.5 billion international aerospace conglomerate. "The Sierra EFIS will form the cornerstone for a complete line of general aviation avionics products from Chelton," said Charlie Stuff, president of Chelton Avionics and now CEO of Sierra Flight Systems. The Sierra EFIS is shipping now for experimental and special-use applications. FAA certification for Part 23 aircraft is pending. Chelton is the parent company of more than 20 industry-leading avionics manufacturers including Northern Airborne Technology, Wulfsberg, FliteFone, and Artex.

Photo by Tony EvansFollowing an 11-year restoration effort, a rare P-51C Mustang was unveiled last week in Minnesota in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen. The airplane is one of two of this type flying in the world. It last flew in 1945 and was dedicated to the African American pilots who were known as the "Red Tails" of World War II. About half of the 1,000 pilots trained under the military program, served overseas, primarily as fighter escorts for bombers. The Tuskegee Airmen were so successful, they never lost a bomber to enemy aircraft–and were the only fighter group to be able to make this claim. Photo by Tony Evans.

In order to celebrate the legacy of women in aviation and to inspire women to become pilots in the future, a group of female pilots will once again fly to EAA AirVenture this year. Last year was the start of the "Women with Wings Caravan to Oshkosh." It will depart Rock County Airport (JVL) in Janesville, Wisconsin, on July 21 at 4 p.m. Openings remain for additional women pilots. For more, see the Web site.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Inside AOPA
The General Aviation Coalition (GAC), a group of 17 aviation organizations, is asking FAA Administrator Jane Garvey to support efforts to keep Chicago's Meigs Field open. "With airport capacity at a critical stage in the Chicago area, the FAA should make every effort to improve the region's aviation system. With everyone now focused on the critical need for more runways, does it make sense to close one in the city that is in the greatest need?" asked GAC chairman, and AOPA president, Phil Boyer in a letter to Garvey. While the coalition acknowledged that the FAA can't force Chicago to keep the field open, it asked Garvey to take every step to ensure that the airport's future is "fairly considered." See AOPA Online.

AOPA has donated AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training magazine subscriptions to 50 school and public libraries across Alaska. "The children of Alaska are vitally interested in being pilots," said AOPA member Erin Hall Meade of Anchorage, who helped coordinate the donation. "Because many of their villages are serviced only by airplane, they understand the important role a pilot can play in the life of a community. They also understand that this is a career path that will allow them to remain in Alaska, yet give them a decent lifestyle." The state even subsidizes "school planes" that, just like school buses, ferry children to and from school each day. AOPA President Phil Boyer announced the donation yesterday during a Pilot Town Meeting in Anchorage. For more, see AOPA Online.

AOPA is supporting proposed changes to the Los Angeles special flight rules area (SFAR) that will make life a little easier for instrument pilots. The changes are to have minimal effect on VFR pilots, who would still be able to use the VFR route through the Class B airspace just east of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). But a small change in the description of the SFAR area will allow controllers to give north and southbound IFR pilots more direct routes past LAX, and change the IFR routes so that they aren't crossing the VFR routes. The Southern California Users Group (of which AOPA is a member) worked with FAA on the airspace changes.

Recognizing that what works in the lower 48 states may not work in Alaska, AOPA presented this week a $5,000 grant to the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation (AASF). It illustrates AOPA's long-running support for improved air safety in Alaska. AASF conducts specialized safety seminars, has developed weather cams that allow pilots to view weather conditions at specific airports and mountain passes over the Internet, and produces a weekly TV program that is seen by more than 260 Alaskan communities. The foundation also has been involved in the development of Project Capstone, a program that provides weather information, terrain avoidance, and traffic information on a cockpit display in GA aircraft. For more, see AOPA Online.

Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
On Capitol Hill
The Senate Transportation Appropriations subcommittee has completed action on FAA funding for the upcoming fiscal year. The legislation would fund the FAA at $13.3 billion, a level consistent with last year's AIR-21 agreement. (AIR-21 unlocks the aviation trust fund and includes a number of AOPA recommendations.) The bill would provide AOPA-supported levels of funding for flight service station modernization; funding and specific instructions to the FAA in order to accelerate programs for making satellite navigation systems more useful to general aviation pilots; and would increase funding for research into unleaded fuels for GA. The Senate is expected to consider the bill next week.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) on Tuesday named a number of Democrats to committees. After Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.) switched from Republican to independent, Democrats were given one additional seat on each committee–except the Senate Ethics Committee–to reflect their new majority status. Freshman Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) will serve on the Senate Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over aviation issues, and Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) will serve on the Appropriations Committee. For more Capitol Hill news, see AOPA Online.
Airport Support Network
Thanks to ASN volunteer David Houk of Ohio, Wadsworth Municipal Airport (3G3) is safer. Houk contacted AOPA and the FAA after he discovered that there was a T-ball diamond on a piece of airport land designated for aeronautical use. Because of Houk's efforts, the airport and the FAA have worked together to reduce hazards.

To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
Quiz Me!
Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.

Question: Can a controller clear me to land on a runway at a towered airport while another, just-landed airplane is still on the runway and will not have taxied clear before I touch down (we both would have been on the same runway at the same time)?

Answer: The Air Traffic Controller's Handbook states that the controller must separate an arriving aircraft from another aircraft using the same runway by ensuring that the arriving aircraft does not cross the landing threshold until the other aircraft has landed and is clear of the runway. However, if between sunrise and sunset, the controller can determine distances by reference to suitable landmarks and the other aircraft has landed, it need not be clear of the runway if the following minimum distance from the landing threshold exists: (a) When a Category I aircraft (small aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or less, with a single propeller driven engine, and all helicopters) is landing behind a Category I or II--3,000 feet separation. (b) When a Category II aircraft (small aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or less, with propeller driven twin engines) is landing behind a Category I or II--4,500 feet separation.

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
bonanza logoLearn more about flying the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza when AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne once again takes the controls. See AOPA Online for our latest project update.
On The Road To Expo
Attention student pilots: If you're looking for some great seminars to improve your flying, try AOPA Expo 2001 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The huge list of seminars includes: "Seven Cardinal Rules for Total Awareness Flying," "Dead Reckoning--Navigating without Navaids," "ATC and You," "Pilot Training in the Twenty-First Century," and "What does it take to be a Pilot?" See AOPA Online or call 888/GO-2-EXPO for complete information on the event that runs from November 8 through 10.
What's New At AOPA Online
Online ordering from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's assortment of aviation-theme holiday cards is now available.
ePilot Calendar
Bloomington, Illinois. The Prairie Air Show takes place July 20 through 22 at Central Illinois Regional Airport at Bloomington-Normal (BMI). Call 309/661-6546 for event information.

Iola, Wisconsin. The Great Cessna Fly-In takes place July 21 at Central County Airport (68C). Call 888/692-3776 for event information.

For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see Aviation Calendar of Events

The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in Oshkosh, July 25 ("Single Pilot IFR"); July 26 ("More Never Again"); July 27 ("Operations at Towered Airports"); and July 29 ("GPS for VFR Operations"). See AOPA Online for more information.

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in San Diego; Jacksonville, Florida; and Memphis, July 21 and 22. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.

(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground School will take place July 22 in Jacksonville, Florida. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

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

Contacting ePilot
Got news ? Contact ePilot at [email protected] Due to the large volume of mail received, we regret that we are unable to individually answer all correspondence.

Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

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Copyright � 2001. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.


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