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| GA News |
| FINANCIAL WOES STRESS MOONEY, CEO RESIGNS |
While Mooney Aircraft Company representatives are in Oshkosh to sell airplanes, more than $300,000 in overdue local taxes await them in Kerrville, Texas, where the company is based. In addition, Mooney President and CEO Chris Dopp has resigned; no reason was given for his departure. A company official told ePilot that Mooney has reduced its workforce from 220 to 150 employees through furloughs. But the local newspaper, The Kerrville Daily Times, reported Wednesday that 85 percent of the workforce was furloughed, citing anonymous company sources. The official said the company plans to negotiate a tax repayment plan by a July 31 deadline, and that Mooney will continue to build and sell airplanes.
ECLIPSE ANNOUNCES AIRPLANE, SCHEDULE CHANGES
Eclipse Aviation ended several months of public silence on the progress of its six-place Eclipse 500 light twinjet with several announcements at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, including some exterior refinements, updated instrument panel and interior configurations--and a revised timetable for first flight, FAA certification, and first customer deliveries. First flight of the Eclipse 500 is now scheduled to take place in July 2002, one month later than originally planned. FAA certification slips to December 2003, with first customer delivery in January 2004. "What we've done is restructure the program to get the first airplane in the air," said Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn. Eclipse will start cutting metal for the first airplane this September and begin assembly in November. For more on this story, see AOPA Online.
PIPER REVAMPS CUSTOMER SERVICE SYSTEM
The New Piper Aircraft has launched an initiative to revamp how the company treats its customers. The first phase of the eight-step program was implemented July 16. It is a computerized customer response system called PULSE, for Piper Unlimited Liaison via Standards of Excellence, and is based on a software tracking program developed by Seibel Systems. "What we are launching today is nothing less than the new face of Piper, as it will be seen in the future by our customers and the world," Piper President and CEO Chuck Suma said. The system will be expanded over the course of the next year. Every Piper employee will have access to data on any individual customer's requests or service problems. Eventually each customer will have a customized Web page. Officials said the system will bring service levels in the general aviation aircraft industry up to the standards seen at many large automobile manufacturers.
UPSAT ADDS JEPP APPROACH CHARTS TO MX20
UPS Aviation Technologies (UPSAT) announced upgrades to its popular MX20 multifunction display that will let pilots view Jeppesen instrument approach charts, terminal area charts, and airport surface charts on the MX20's moving map display. These new display functions, called Chart View, will automatically display charts appropriate to various phases of flight. The Chart View upgrade—available September 1—is priced at $2,495, but early subscribers will get a $500 discount. Jeppesen database updates to support Chart View will have an initial cost of $126; the annual revision service (a CD-ROM update every 14 days) is priced at $839 per year. The CD-ROM will also let subscribers print hard copies of approach charts and surface charts.
eBAY CREATES AVIATION SECTION
eBay, which claims to be the world's largest online marketplace, has realized the importance of aviation. The company announced that it is creating an aviation category on its Web site for airplanes, parts, and memorabilia. Also, eBay said that a special auction will take place on August 6 that will include a Cessna 182 once owned by the late John F. Kennedy Jr., a de Havilland Vampire owned by John Travolta, and the helicopter that was used in the TV show "Airwolf." For a preview, see the Web site.
COMM1 LAUNCHES AVIATION SCHOLARSHIPS
Planning for a career in aviation? Need scholarship money? E-publishing Group has announced the new Comm1 Aviation Scholarship Program for aspiring aviators. Two $1,000 scholarships are being offered to raise awareness of the importance of pilot communication skills by the company, which produces interactive radio communication simulators. The application deadline is October 1. The winners will be announced at AOPA Expo 2001 in November. For more information and an application, see the Web site.
See AOPA Online for more EAA AirVenture coverage, or for daily news updates.
| Inside AOPA |
| FAA REWRITES AIRPORT SECURITY RULE |
The FAA recently completed a 15-year effort to revise FAR Part 107, which covers security requirements for airports. Generally, the rule's security access control mandates affect AOPA members based at or conducting operations to the nearly 300 airports served by airlines using passenger aircraft of 60 seats or more. It is important that GA aircraft operations not be adversely impacted as the revised regulation and the associated requirements for badges, security training, and background checks are incorporated into airport security programs over the next two years. AOPA staff is working to educate the FAA about the differences in the use of GA areas at Part 107 airports compared to those used by the airlines, and will respond at specific airports where attempts are made to inappropriately restrict GA access.
AOPA CONTINUES FIGHT AS UWB DECISION NEARS
In the latest effort to curb an onerous rulemaking proposal, AOPA has joined a coalition of 38 other groups from a wide range of industries to oppose a Federal Communication Commission (FCC) proposal to allow unlicensed uses of ultra-wideband (UWB) radio technology. The coalition recently submitted a letter to top government officials urging them to mitigate any harmful effects. AOPA recently learned that the FCC intends to issue a final rule by the end of the year for UWB. The proposal would allow for the further expansion of wireless communications where UWB developers would not need to obtain licenses. But the aviation, cellular, and satellite communications industries have raised concerns about potential interference with communication and navigation frequencies if there isn't adequate regulation. Of particular concern is the possible effect on GPS signals that could present dangers for pilots.
FAA COMMITS TO PHASED APPROACH FOR DRVSM
In response to concerns expressed by AOPA and other representatives of the general aviation community, the FAA has agreed to phase in domestic reduced vertical separation minima (DRVSM) operations and airspace. The first phase will commence by December 2004, impacting aircraft that fly between Flight Level 350 and FL390. Although the ultimate goal is to lower DRVSM to FL290, AOPA was concerned that doing so would create a hardship for many operators who wouldn't have time to comply. The FAA has not set a date for the second phase that includes altitudes of FL290 and above. See AOPA Onlline.
AOPA WELCOMES CORLISS EFFECT
AOPA has appointed Brian H. Corliss as its Northeast regional representative. Corliss will represent AOPA in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. "Brian comes from a New England aviation family," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "His passion for aviation and the region, plus his experience working with government agencies and state legislatures, make him uniquely qualified to represent the interests of general aviation pilots in the Northeast." A former pilot for the FBI, Corliss currently owns and operates Corliss Associates, which provides commercial aviation services including aerial survey and photography services. Corliss owns a Cessna Cardinal RG and has more than 4,000 hours flying experience.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| SHOOTDOWN RESTRICTIONS ARE ADDED TO BILL |
Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) added an amendment this week to the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill (H.R.2506), cutting $65 million from the bill's $676 million for expected aid to Peru unless the secretary of state submits to Congress a full report on the April 20 shootdown of an aircraft carrying American missionaries in the country. The provision also stipulates that the secretaries of state and defense and the director of the CIA certify to Congress that the force-down program will include safeguards to prevent the occurrence of any similar incident. Over the past 15 years, AOPA has opposed proposed changes in policy authorizing the shoot-down or force-down of civil aircraft here and abroad. After the April 20 incident, AOPA President Phil Boyer submitted testimony to Congress condemning the use of deadly force against civilian aircraft. See AOPA Online.
AOPA, CONGRESSMAN OPPOSE BAN ON FISH SPOTTERS
Responding to a proposed amendment to the Senate Commerce-Justice-State (C-J-S) Appropriations bill (S.1215) that would prohibit the Department of Commerce from issuing licenses for aerial fish spotters, AOPA sent a letter Monday requesting that senators resist adding this provision to the bill. Rep. James Hansen (R-Utah), an AOPA member, also sent a letter to the C-J-S subcommittee, asking its chairman to oppose any efforts to add such language to any Senate appropriations bill. The proposed amendment would maintain the prohibition against use of aircraft in Atlantic bluefin tuna fishing. The amendment's intent is to reduce competition among fishery participants. AOPA, along with some environmental and conservation groups, believes that spotter aircraft play a crucial environmental role by directing fisherman away from undersized tuna. See AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK—PAUL DeVORE |
Paul DeVore is taking to the air to promote general aviation. DeVore, who is the AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer for Morgantown Municipal-Walter L. Bill Hart Field in West Virginia, departs September 7 on his solo flight to 34 states, a distance of 7,778 nautical miles. At each airport, he will talk with other ASN volunteers and airport managers about ways to promote GA. He also will be promoting Scholarship Challenge, a program designed to create aviation education and training scholarships.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| ASF BOXES TWO POPULAR SEMINARS |
Two of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's most popular live safety seminars, "Collision Avoidance" and "GPS for VFR Operations," are now available as prepackaged Seminar-in-a-Boxï¿½ programs for small groups. ASF Seminar-in-a-Box programs provide fast-paced, riveting safety information for pilots who are unable to attend ASF safety seminars that take place regularly throughout the country. Programs include the same information presented in the live seminars, and features videos, safety pamphlets, and a presenter's guide. Evaluation forms and door prizes complete the package. Although all Seminar-in-a-Box programs are free to aviation safety counselors, flying clubs, and other organized aviation groups, there is a $24.95 charge for shipping and handling. These seminars satisfy the safety meeting requirements of the FAA's "Wings" safety program. To order, 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: I'm planning a flight that will take me through restricted and alert airspace. What do I have to do for clearance through the restricted airspace and do I have to do anything, besides staying extra vigilant, when flying through the alert airspace?
Answer: To gain clearance through restricted airspace, a pilot should contact the controlling agency that is listed in the border of the sectional chart, which will grant or deny access depending on what activities are taking place. In alert airspace, the pilot should exercise extreme vigilance because of the high volume of aerial activity. AOPA offers information on the status of special use airspace (SUA) on 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 |
| AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Thomas A. Horne flies the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza to Oshkosh in our latest project update. Take a look at the gauges to see for yourself how this aluminum rocket performs. See AOPA Online. |
| On The Road To Expo |
|The AOPA Air Safety Foundation will host a golf tournament on November 7 called "Score for GA Safety." The tournament will take place at the Palm Aire Country Club in Pompano Beach, Florida, one day prior to AOPA Expo 2001 in nearby Fort Lauderdale. It begins with lunch at noon, followed by a 1 p.m. shotgun start. There are several prizes and all proceeds will directly benefit ASF's mission of promoting general aviation safety, education, research, and training. For more on Expo, see AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|The AOPA Airport Support Network's Protecting Your Local Airport brochure is now available on AOPA Online. Click here to download. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Broomfield, Colorado. The Jeffco Airport Open House Fly-In 2001 takes place August 4 at Jeffco Airport (BJC). Call 303/466-2314 for event information.
Fort Wayne, Indiana. The sixtieth annual Air Expo takes place August 4 and 5 at Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA). Call 219/747-4146 for event information.
Norridgewock, Maine. The "Everything That Flies" Fly-In takes place August 4 and 5 at Central Maine Regional Airport (OWK). Call 207/634-5351 for event information.
For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see Aviation Calendar of Events
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
The next AOPA ASF Safety Seminars are scheduled in East Windsor, Connecticut, August 6 ("Fuel Awareness"); Andover, Massachusetts, August 8 ("Fuel Awareness"); Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 9 ("Fuel Awareness"); Troy, Michigan, August 10 and 11 ("Single Pilot IFR," "Weather Tactics," and "Weather Strategies"). See AOPA Online for more information.
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 Newark, New Jersey; Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Dallas, Texas, August 4 and 5. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.
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 August 5 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie S. Walker at [email protected].
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Copyright ï¿½ 2001. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
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