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| GA News |
| AUSTRALIAN COMPANY TO BUY SATELLITE NETWORK |
An Australian company will buy out Orbcomm Global L.P. under a pending deal, sources said. A formal announcement is expected next week. The company owns low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites that provide coverage throughout the world except for the polar areas. Orbcomm and its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall, but there has been no interruption in service. Orbcomm contracts with Echo Flight that provides weather data and other services to light aircraft. Echo Flight users can even send e-mail by using the company's StratoCheetah system. Through a deal with Garmin, the imagery can also be displayed on the GNS 430 and 530. There was no word yet as to what the Orbcomm deal means for Echo Flight. For more information, see the Echo Flight or Orbcomm Web sites.
MOONEY ENHANCES EAGLE
Mooney Aircraft Corporation has unveiled its newest aircraft, the M20S Eagle2, an enhanced model of the Eagle. The new airplane has improved takeoff performance, greater useful load with a maximum gross weight increase, and some interior enhancements. Cruise speed remains the same at 180 KTAS at 7,500 feet. The base price with standard IFR avionics is $360,000. Mooney also announced a new financing program through AirFleet Capital Inc. called Mooney Capital. Mooney Capital is currently offering a 7.99 percent interest rate with a 20-year amortization on new Eagle, Ovation, and Bravo purchases. For more on Mooney, see the Web site or check out Mooney Capital's new site.
ADAM M-309 MOVES TOWARD CERTIFICATION
Adam Aircraft Industries planned to file its application for an FAA type certificate late this week for its M-309. If all goes well, the Englewood, Colorado, company will begin producing parts for its first certification airplanes in June. The company is settling into a new 55,000-square-foot office and hangar complex where the certification aircraft will be assembled. A manufacturing facility will be built elsewhere on Centennial Airport near Denver. Certification and deliveries of the centerline-thrust piston twin are scheduled for the third quarter of 2003. The six-seat, pressurized graphite twin is powered by a pair of Continental TSIO-550 300-horsepower engines. Cruise speed at 20,000 feet will be about 220 knots. The introductory price is $695,000, including an all-glass cockpit. But, say Adam officials, a number is not a name. So, they have announced a name-the-airplane contest, set to begin at the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In next month. Entries may be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to the company or they may be dropped off at the company's booth at Sun 'n Fun (LD-2). For more, see the Web site.
MERCURY AIR GROUP TO SPIN OFF FUEL DIVISION
Mercury Air Group Inc. announced that it plans to spin off all the common stock from its fuel sales and services subsidiary to its shareholders. The move will create a new publicly traded company, MercFuel Inc. Under the plan, Mercury Air Group shareholders will own shares in both companies. "The primary reason for this move is to unlock what we believe to be hidden shareholder value within our current corporate structure," Mercury CEO Joseph Czyzyk said. "The creation of separate public companies is expected to enhance recognition in our respective target markets and enable financial markets to value each company independently." The deal is expected to be completed by August. For more on the company, see the Web site.
DISNEY WORLD PLANS AVIATION EXHIBITION
An announcement is expected from Disney World next month about a new temporary exhibition that will be of interest to pilots. A 17-day air and space exhibit starting in late June is on the drawing boards at the Orlando attraction, targeting the July 4 holiday crowd. If it is popular with the public, it will become an annual event. The exhibit will have a half-dozen pavilions, each with a different air and space theme. Most are space related, but one will focus on airplanes.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA LEADS CHARGE FOR BUILDING MORE RUNWAYS |
AOPA is leading the initiative to get the public and politicians to focus on runway capacity as the solution to air travel delays. AOPA President Phil Boyer's March editorial in AOPA Pilot, titled "It's more runways, stupid!" was sent to key members of Congress, government officials, and publishers and editorial writers of the nation's major newspapers. It's a message that is hitting home. FAA Administrator Jane Garvey told Boyer that she would use the information in her speeches. And John L. Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, told Boyer that he agrees with the editorial.
'DON'T FORGET GA,' BOYER TELLS EUROPEAN OFFICIALS
Phil Boyer, president of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA), will tell European air traffic control officials today that airliners aren't the only aircraft in the sky. In a keynote speech scheduled for the second annual IAOPA Eurocontrol Aviation Day in Brussels, Boyer will tell key officials that they must not forget general aviation and aerial work aircraft. Eurocontrol, which is hosting the event for GA pilots, provides ATC services for 30 European countries and is in the midst of an ambitious plan for improving services for its member countries. Planning so far has largely concentrated on airline needs. Boyer will point out that there are four times as many GA aircraft in Europe as airliners, and that they serve a multitude of purposes. See AOPA Online.
AOPA ONLINE DUE FOR SERVER CAPACITY INCREASE
Because of extraordinary growth in traffic, AOPA Online users may have noticed performance problems--such as slow response–at times during the past several Fridays, when traffic is 1.5 to two times its normal weekday level. We are examining network issues with our hosting provider, and are in the process of increasing the capacity of our servers. We hope to have the service enhancements completed by March 30, but will continue to monitor the situation and take whatever action is necessary to make your visit a pleasant and productive one. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
AOPA PREPARES FOR ANNUAL FLY-IN
More than 100 exhibitors and display aircraft have been confirmed for AOPA's eleventh annual Fly-In and Open House from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 2 at Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK) in Maryland. Some 700 aircraft and nearly 7,000 attendees are expected to attend the festivities. There will also be a full slate of safety and educational seminars. For more, see AOPA Online.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| AVIATION BILLS GO TO SENATE FLOOR |
The Senate Commerce Committee reported three bills to the Senate floor late last week. Two of the bills concern the airline industry and are intended to help passengers over air travel bumps and restore competition at large airports between major airlines and their smaller competitors. The committee also approved a bill raising the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots from 60 to 63, with the requirement that those pilots undergo additional medical and cognitive testing. This bill is opposed by the FAA and the Air Line Pilots Association. For more Capitol Hill news, see AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK–DONNA FORSYTH WILT |
When the local Boy Scouts' third annual Family Fun Day was threatened with cancellation this May because of airport land rental costs at Florida's Melbourne International (MLB), Airport Support Network Volunteer Donna Forsyth Wilt jumped in. She worked with the Grumman Corporation, a major airport tenant, to organize sponsorship of the event. Because of the funding, the Boy Scouts are getting to host an educational event that promotes positive interaction between the airport and the community. It also helps the airport remain more self-sustaining. Everybody wins.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| NTSB STATS SHOW IMPROVING SAFETY RECORD |
Preliminary statistics released last week by the NTSB show that 2000 was the safest year yet for general aviation. "Even though there was a 4-percent increase in the number of hours flown, the total number of general aviation accidents declined 4 percent to a record low of 1,835," said Bruce Landsberg, AOPA Air Safety Foundation executive director. "The total accident rate and the fatal accident rate were each the lowest recorded since government record-keeping began in 1938." According to the data, the fatal accident rate declined to 1.11 accidents per 100,000 hours flown. That represents a 44-percent improvement from the 1982 fatal accident rate of 1.99. There were 591 fatal accidents then, compared with 341 in 2000. For more, see AOPA Online.
ASF TO PRESENT SEMINARS AT SUN 'N FUN
ASF will present more than eight hours of critical aviation safety information from April 8 through 12 at the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida. Seminar topics include collision avoidance, weather strategies, and single-pilot IFR. The seminars are free and are being cosponsored by the FAA and the State of Florida. For a complete schedule, 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: Is there someplace I can find a list of medications that are acceptable to the FAA for flying?
Answer: FARs 91.17 and 61.53 briefly address the use of medications while flying. AOPA maintains a list of commonly prescribed medications that are acceptable to the FAA. The list is available 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 |
| SWEEPS BONANZA FLIES ON AND ON |
Read how the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza will be able to cruise for 1,250 miles nonstop, even with IFR reserves, thanks to a new fuel management system and the refurbished Osborne wing tip tanks in the latest project update. See AOPA Online.
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Borrego Springs, California. Borrego County Airport (L08), 760/767-7415, hosts an International Aerobatic club event March 29 and 30. Call 714/778-5244 for event information.
San Diego, California. The Society of Experimental Test Pilots Association hosts its annual symposium March 29 through 31 at Catamaran Resort. Call 858/539-8700 for event information.
Cherry Point, North Carolina. Wings Over Carolina Air Show takes place on the flight line March 30 through April 1. Call 252/466-2430 for event information.
Leesburg, Florida. A Fly-In Breakfast will be held March 31 at Leesburg Regional Airport (LEE), 352/787-2211. Call the airport for event information.
Glendale, Arizona. Wings Over Arizona Air Show takes place March 31 and April 1 at Glendale Municipal (GEU), 623/930-2188. Call 760/727-3604 for event information.
For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see 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 Fort Myers, Florida, and Baltimore March 24 and 25. Clinics are scheduled in San Diego, Denver, Chicago, and Boston April 7 and 8. 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 April 8 in Denver. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie S. Walker at julie.wa[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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