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| CESSNA LAYS OFF WORKERS AT PISTON-ENGINE PLANT |
Citing sluggish sales in a withering economy, Cessna Aircraft Company laid off nearly 30 percent of its workforce this week at the Independence, Kansas, facility where it makes piston-engine airplanes. Cessna cut 280 of the 1,000 jobs at the factory. "It's something we certainly didn't want to do," said Cessna spokeswoman Marilyn Richwine. Cessna was planning to build 1,100 airplanes this year but is now shooting for 900. Cessna noted a drop in sales after the first of the year as potential buyers became more sensitive about discretionary spending, she said. But the turbine market remains strong for both the Citation and Caravan lines.
GOLDEN KNIGHT TO JUMP FROM 130,000 FEET
The first female member of the U.S. Army's famed Golden Knights parachute team told The Washington Post that she will attempt next spring to jump from a balloon flying at 130,000 feet. If Army reservist Cheryl Stearns is successful, she will exceed the highest known jump to date of 102,000 feet by Air Force Capt. Joe Kittinger Jr. in 1960. Stearns, a member of the current Golden Knights team, is also a pilot for U.S. Airways. After jumping from a balloon that she will pilot, Stearns will accelerate to 695 knots, exceeding the sound barrier. Stearns told the newspaper that she hopes her efforts will help scientists design escape mechanisms for astronauts.
POLEN SPECIAL TO ATTEMPT WORLD SPEED RECORD
Dick Keyt, owner of the Polen Special aircraft designed and built by Dennis Polen, will attempt a world speed record in the single-seat tailwheel aircraft this summer at Oshkosh. Keyt said he is making the record attempt to honor Polen, who suffered a stroke following completion of the aircraft. Keyt will attempt the 500-kilometer (270-nautical-mile) closed course record for aircraft in the C-1.b category. He must exceed 285 mph (248 kt) to achieve the record. A Questair Venture aircraft set the current record. The sporty red Polen Special, powered by a 180-hp Lycoming O-360 engine, is expected to reach 260 kt in level flight. It is currently being modified and will use a Mattituck engine and a Hartzell propeller.
ITALIAN COMPANY OFFERS AIRPLANE TO U.S. MARKET
Tecnam Costruzioni Aeronautiche, located in Naples, Italy, is offering its two-passenger, 124-knot, all-metal high-wing P92-2000RG to the U.S. kitplane market. The fast-build kit will cost $32,100. Completed with a 100-hp Rotax 912ULS engine and cockpit instrumentation, the average aircraft will cost $45,000 to $55,000. The factory claims a build time of 350 hours for experienced builders. The aircraft features side-by-side seating and uses pneumatically retractable tricycle landing gear. There are thousands of older fixed-gear models of the aircraft flying worldwide. The aircraft can operate in the United States under the Experimental category. The aircraft is marketed in America by Pacific Aerosystem; telephone 800/844-1441 or 858/571-1441; e-mail.
COMPANY BUYS ORBCOMM SATELLITE SYSTEM
International Licensees LLC announced that it has bought all the business assets of Orbcomm Global LP, the world's first commercial low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite-based data and communications system. Orbcomm had been under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since last September. International Licensees is a consortium of Orbcomm licensees and other investors. Orbcomm contracts services to Echo Flight, which provides weather data and other services to light aircraft. Although it now appears that Echo Flight can look toward a more certain future, there was no interruption in service because of the bankruptcy.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA FIGHTS FOR THREATENED AIRPORTS |
AOPA and AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers are fighting developments and restrictions that threaten airports. AOPA is supporting local pilot groups and others who are resisting development proposals around airports that would violate laws, regulations, or agreements that prohibit incompatible land use with airport operations. Most recently, AOPA has lodged formal protests with local authorities considering housing and other development proposals close to airports at Kenosha, Wisconsin; Chico, California; and McCall, Idaho. See AOPA Online.
AOPA JOINS CHICAGO TO CURB AIR TRAFFIC DELAYS
The City of Chicago and FAA officials have asked AOPA to help them find solutions for regional airline delays. AOPA will join the 2001 Chicago Delay Task Force, a group of technical experts that will recommend solutions for reducing aircraft delays at O'Hare International Airport and its surrounding airspace. "We want to make sure that the solutions take general aviation into account," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. Over the weekend, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) warned that Congress would intervene if Chicago didn't take action to reduce airline delays by July 1. Meanwhile, an AOPA-produced TV commercial is airing on Illinois TV stations, reminding politicians and the public that Meigs Field is part of the solution.
TEXAS AIRPORT BILL IS CLOSE TO BECOMING LAW
The Texas legislature is supporting the construction of a new general aviation airport in central Texas. The Senate this week approved House Bill 2522 and sent it back to the House for concurrence. The governor has said that he will sign the bill. The bill requires the state to build a new general aviation airport to replace facilities lost after the City of Austin closed downtown Austin-Mueller Airport. AOPA and the Texas Aviation Association lobbied extensively for the bill, and AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers helped rally Texas pilots to contact state legislators to push for the bill's passage.
FULL RAMP SLATED FOR AOPA FLY-IN
More than 50 aircraft are planned for the static display at the eleventh annual AOPA Fly-In and Open House on June 2 at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland. Fresh out of the avionics shop with a cutting-edge all-glass panel, the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza is scheduled for its first public display. See AOPA Online.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| DEMOCRATS REGAIN SENATE CONTROL |
Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords announced Thursday that he is leaving the Republican Party to become an Independent. This decision gave Democrats control of the Senate for the first time since 1994. Pilot Tom Daschle of South Dakota is now the majority leader of the Senate. Sen. John McCain of Arizona must relinquish the chairmanship of the Senate Commerce Committee to user fee opponent Ernest Hollings of South Carolina. And AOPA member Ted Stevens of Alaska will no longer chair the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. AOPA will continue to monitor the ramifications for general aviation. See AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK–DAVID FAILE JR. |
David Faile Jr. of Igor Sikorsky Memorial Airport (BDR) in Connecticut advised AOPA that he has been working to improve runway safety. He has created a multimedia presentation tailored to the unique characteristics of BDR. Faile and the local FAA FSDO manager will make a regional presentation at the New England Runway Safety Seminar this month.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| STILL TIME TO APPLY FOR ASF SCHOLARSHIPS |
ExxonMobil Lubricants and Petroleum Specialties and the Koch Corporation are offering scholarships to mechanics and people in other aviation fields. The application deadline is July 31. For complete information and applications on scholarships administered by ASF, 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: Are multifocal contact lenses approved by the FAA for pilot medical certification?
Answer: No, according to the Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners. The guide states, "Contact lenses that correct near vision acuity only or that are bifocal or monofocal, are not considered acceptable for aviation duties. Similarly, the use of a contact lens in one eye for distant visual acuity and a lens in the other eye for near visual acuity (monovision) is not acceptable." For more, see 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 |
| It's amazing what a sloped windshield can do for an old Bonanza's appearance. See what this mod has done for the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza in our latest project update. See AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|A new medical report is available on AOPA Online about FAA certification for pilots with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and related conditions. See AOPA Online. |
| On The Road To Expo |
|Richard Jarvis of Haverhill, Massachusetts, flew 2,248.5 miles to Long Beach, California, to attend an event last year. What would make him do that? AOPA Expo. Jarvis picked up the award for the pilot who flew the farthest in a general aviation aircraft. See why AOPA Expo 2001 will be even better in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on AOPA Online. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Matawan, New Jersey. The twenty-ninth annual Garden State 300 Proficiency Race takes place June 2 at Marlboro Airport (2N8). Call 732/446-9759 for event information.
Dallas, Texas. The Dallas Air Show takes place June 2 and 3 at Love Field (DAL). Call 214/350-3600 for event information, or visit the Web site.
Fallon, Nevada. The Fallon Air Show takes place June 2 and 3 at Fallon Municipal Airport (FLX). Call 775/426-2411 for event information.
Teterboro, New Jersey. The Wings and Wheels Exposition takes place June 2 and 3 at Teterboro Airport (TEB). Call 201/288-6344 for event information.
Burlington, North Carolina. The Burlington Balloon Festival and Air Show takes place June 3 and 4 at Burlington Alamance Regional Airport (BUY). Call 336/227-1278 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 Frederick, Maryland, June 2; Denver, June 4; Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 5; and Grand Junction, Colorado, June 6. 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 Clinic is scheduled in Austin, Texas, June 2 and 3. 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 10 in San Jose, California. 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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