| Departments |
On Capitol Hill
Airport Support Network
| GA News |
| MOONEY CLEARS THE AIR ON ITS FINANCIAL STATUS |
In a statement to ePilot this week, Mike McConnell, Mooney Aircraft's senior vice president of strategic planning, adamantly denied rumors that his company is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy protection. Over the past few weeks some had portrayed the Kerrville, Texas, company as being both broke and bloated with excess inventory. "Just to be crystal clear: We are not planning to halt production or working to avert Chapter 11 [bankruptcy] proceedings. We absolutely have not held those discussions internally." Mooney officials said they have been organizing the company to be profitable over the next year to "hedge against softer market conditions" and have decided to reduce output–by 40 percent compared to the past two years–to improve its sales and service support networks. Mooney plans to produce about 70 airplanes this year, down from 100 units last year. "As a result of this effort, residual aircraft values should remain the highest in the industry," McConnell said.
GLASTAR KIT PRODUCTION TO RESUME UNDER NEW FLAG
Thomas W. Wathen, who ended months of legal wrangling in bankruptcy court when he bought the assets to the Glasair kitplane line, is once again in the buying mode with his latest: the GlaStar assets. "After the purchase of the Glasair assets, it quickly became evident to us that the overhead necessary to operate the business would be better spread over more than one product line," said Mikael Via, chief operating officer of New GlaStar LLC and New Glasair LLC. Wathen said his companies have placed top priority on shipping parts to grounded builders. He bought the assets from Arlington Aircraft Development Inc., which once had a licensing agreement with the now-bankrupt Stoddard-Hamilton Aircraft Inc. More than 800 of the high-wing GlaStar aircraft have been sold since 1995. See the Web site.
PARIS AIR SHOW: DASSAULT ANNOUNCES FNX JET
Dassault Aviation announced at the Paris Air Show last week that it was launching a new business "tri-jet" called the FNX, capable of flying as far as 5,700 nautical miles and at cruise speeds in the range of 0.85 Mach. This fills the niche between Dassault Falcon Jet's Falcon 2000 and the 6,500-nm global business jets (the Bombardier Global Express and Gulfstream's G-V and G-VSP). Engines have yet to be selected. The FNX will have fly-by-wire controls. First flight of the FNX is set for 2004. For more Paris Air Show coverage, see AOPA Online.
WOMEN RACERS READY FOR ADVENTURE
The twenty-fifth annual Air Race Classic, an all-women coast-to-coast air race, starts in San Diego next Tuesday. You can follow along with our own Elizabeth A. Tennyson, managing editor of AOPA Flight Training magazine, as she posts daily dispatches about the race on AOPA Online. She will be flying a Cessna 182RG along with pilot Gretchen Jahn. The race is scheduled to end in Batavia, Ohio, on June 29. See AOPA Online.
WORLD AIR GAMES GET UNDER WAY
The opening ceremony for the World Air Games 2001 commences tomorrow in southern Spain. More than 5,000 air athletes and officials from 80 countries will compete in the Olympic-style event in sports ranging from formation skydiving to glider aerobatics. This is the second year the event has taken place. The closing ceremony will be on July 1. To follow the competition, see the Web site.
NTSB GIVES NOTICE OF FINAL GA CRASH REPORTS
The NTSB has added a new feature to its Web site to let the public know when final general aviation accident reports are nearing completion. The pending reports will be listed by accident number, date, location, and aircraft registration number. See the Web site.
CLARIFICATION: Contrary to what was reported last week in ePilot, Jerry Michael Warren was alone when the Cessna 150 he was flying became entangled in high-voltage wires.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| FAA REPORT SUPPORTS AOPA ON RUNWAY SAFETY |
The FAA released Wednesday a report that proves what AOPA has been saying for some time, "that the majority of runway incursions are minor, particularly those involving general aviation aircraft." The study, which looked at the years 1997 through 2000, also showed that the number of runway incursions among aircraft operations is proportional to the activity levels–GA represents 60 percent of the incursions and nearly 60 percent of all aircraft operations. For the first time the FAA report categorized the severity of runway incursions, something that AOPA has been calling for in order to develop appropriate responses to the problem. Next week AOPA President Phil Boyer will testify before Congress, saying that "education, rather than expensive technology is the best means to prevent runway incursions for GA." AOPA and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation have been leaders in educating GA pilots on preventing incursions. Airport taxi diagrams are available free to all pilots on AOPA Online, and ASF recently pioneered an innovative online runway safety program.
AOPA OBJECTS TO FAA HIGH-ALTITUDE PLAN
AOPA has objected to an FAA plan to accelerate domestic reduced vertical separation minima (DRVSM). The plan could cost owners of turbine aircraft as much as $300,000 in testing and modification if they want to continue flying above Flight Level 290 over the United States. In order to increase system capacity, the FAA wants to reduce vertical separation between aircraft from 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet above 29,000 feet. (2,000 feet is used today at high altitudes because of the inaccuracy of conventional altimeter systems.) While the FAA wants to change the standards by 2004, AOPA wants the agency to stick to a phased introduction plan that would start DRVSM above FL350 in 2004, then add the lower altitudes at a later date. See AOPA Online.
AOPA, SPORTY'S TEAM UP ON LEARN TO FLY CAMPAIGN
AOPA and Sporty's Pilot Shop are again sending some 2,000 free "Learn to Fly Here!" highway directional signs to flight schools nationwide to mark the way to local flight training. "When we sent this same sign a few years ago, it was such a success at boosting flight training that we decided to send it again," said Sporty's Chairman Hal Shevers, who also operates a flight school at Sporty's home base airport in Batavia, Ohio, and is this year's Be A Pilot program chairman. "We know from our own experience that these signs really can help boost a school's business." The reflective, white-on-green metal signs are traffic sign quality for durable mounting on standard signposts. The design also features the silhouette of a general aviation aircraft to help define the concept of flight training. The signs were sent to all flight schools registered with the Be A Pilot program. For more, see AOPA Online.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| HOUSE FUNDING BILL INCLUDES AOPA INPUT |
The House Appropriations Committee approved Wednesday the annual funding bill for the Department of Transportation for the 2002 fiscal year that begins on October 1. The bill that recommends $13.3 billion for the FAA includes input by AOPA, such as a provision to retain the language prohibiting the funding of work on unauthorized user fees. Programs key to general aviation that are currently set to receive funding include: OASIS ($33.9 million), the program designed to modernize flight service stations; Safe Flight 21 ($35 million), a program that will evaluate several GPS-based solutions to help reduce controlled flight into terrain accidents, runway incursions, and midair collisions; Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS, $76 million) and the Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS, $42.45 million), which enhance the accuracy of current GPS signals; and notams ($1 million). The full House is expected to consider the bill next week. To learn more about the FAA funding process, see AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| ASN WORKS TO SAVE NATION'S AIRPORTS |
What would you do if your airport closed tomorrow? Every day 925 AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers work with AOPA headquarters on a local level to help save their airports. That's a lot, but not enough. Ask yourself these questions: Has my flying been affected by development, new restrictions, or negative public relations about my local airport? Have local issues or political pressures affected my use and the efficiency of my local airport? If the answer is "yes" to either question, you may be just the kind of person we're looking for to help ensure the health and availability of your airport.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| ASF, JEPP LAUNCH ONLINE CFI REFRESHER COURSE |
A fast-paced, highly interactive certificated flight instructor refresher course that allows a CFI to renew his or her FAA teaching certificate without leaving home is now available online. The innovative 16-hour course, a cooperative effort of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation and Jeppesen Sanderson Inc., is FAA-approved and may be used to renew all valid and current FAA flight instructor certificates and ratings. (Flight instructor certificates, unlike other pilot certificates, expire every two years.) In addition, the new $149 course allows chief instructors for FAA-approved flight schools to renew their designations yearly. 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: As an airline pilot, I am current to carry 200 passengers across the North Atlantic. Can I take a member of my family for a ride on Sunday afternoon in our 172?
Answer: Not necessarily. FAR 61.57(a) and (b) require three takeoffs and landings in the preceding 90 days in the same category, class, and type (if a type rating is required) to act as pilot in command carrying passengers. Category and class require the pilot to complete three takeoffs and landing in both single-engine airplanes and multiengine airplanes if the pilot is rated in both and is exercising the privileges of carrying passengers in both.
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 |
| Read about how Beryl D'Shannon's products will make the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza safer, especially during the takeoff and landing phases of flight. See the latest project update on AOPA Online. |
| On The Road To Expo |
|The Sweepstakes Bonanza will be the centerpiece of the static display at AOPA Expo 2001, which takes place November 8 through 10 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Don't miss this opportunity to see your dream airplane. See AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's new Safety Advisor publication, Fuel Awareness, is now available. Click here to download. Printed copies are also available by calling 800/USA-AOPA. There's also a fuel awareness quiz. See AOPA Online. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Rockton, Ontario. 2001 Canadian National Soaring Championships take place June 27 through July 6. Call 905/793-9849 for event information, or visit the Web site ( http://www.sac.ca/nationals ).
Niagara Falls, New York. The Niagara Falls Air Force Base presents an airshow June 30 and July 1. Call 716/236-2136 for event information.
Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Scott AFB presents an air show June 30 and July 1. Call 618/628-8838 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 Queens, New York, June 25; Long Island, New York, June 26; Poughkeepsie, New York, June 27; and North Branch, New Jersey, June 28. 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 Columbus, Ohio, and Reston, Virginia, June 23 and 24. Clinics are scheduled in San Mateo, California; Portland, Maine; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 14 and 15. 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 June 24 in Columbus, Ohio. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
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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Copyright ï¿½ 2001. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
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