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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 3, Issue 42AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 3, Issue 42


Inside AOPA

On Capitol Hill

Airport Support Network

Quiz Me!

2001 Bonanza

ePilot Calendar

Weekend Weather

FlightSafety sets record straight
Liberty trades Rotax for Continental
BRS chutes for certification
AOPA seeks break for insurance policies
Volume 3, Issue 42
October 12, 2001
GA News
AOPA President Phil Boyer joined other general aviation leaders Tuesday in calling for opening the entire national airspace system to all general aviation operations. "General aviation businesses have lost hundreds of million of dollars and thousands of Americans have been laid off as a result of flight restrictions placed on general aviation," Boyer said. "AOPA has offered countless solutions that would enable the government to lift the restrictions to visual flight that exist around major city centers. It's time to get on with it before more jobs and businesses are lost. Our main focus is restoring VFR flight in Class B airspace. We want to get back in the air." See AOPA Online.

AOPA offered the FAA and Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta additional recommendations and a plan to restore VFR operations in enhanced Class B airspace. The National Security Council (NSC), according to the FAA, wants to know the intent of the flight and to be able to track the aircraft through the airspace. AOPA's procedures would meet NSC's concerns without overburdening the air traffic control system or creating complicated new requirements for pilots. AOPA's proposal would incrementally return VFR flight to enhanced Class B (ECB) airspace and is not designed as a permanent fix. AOPA would like to see a return to normal Class B airspace. Under the AOPA plan, a VFR aircraft would fly the most direct route between the airport within the ECB and the edge of the airspace. There would be three new universal transponder codes, similar to the existing "1200 squawk" for VFR. One code would be for aircraft outbound from an ECB airport, a second for aircraft entering the ECB, and a third for aircraft staying in the pattern. Aircraft not equipped with transponders would be accommodated as well. AOPA's on-scene representative at FAA headquarters hand-delivered the plan to key decision makers. The plan was considered during a high-level FAA meeting late Wednesday afternoon. The FAA thanked AOPA for the input, noting that it came at exactly the right time. See AOPA Online.

AOPA presented a plan to the FAA on Thursday for security enhancements at airports located inside enhanced Class B airspace. The airport plan is a companion to AOPA's airspace plan that the FAA is already considering. It is a formal compilation of the ideas AOPA has shared with senior FAA officials in ongoing discussions since the September 11 attacks. The plan (which was presented to both security and air traffic officials) offers groundside security procedures that could satisfy National Security Council concerns without placing onerous burdens on pilots and aircraft owners. See AOPA Online.

AOPA is asking all pilots to redouble their efforts to fly professionally. "Through carelessness, thoughtlessness, and just plain ignorance, a few pilots are violating prohibited areas and pulling other stunts that make security officials and the public think that general aviation is a risk," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "AOPA and other GA organizations are working nonstop to restore our flight privileges, but every stupid pilot trick sets us back." See AOPA Online.

One month after Meigs Field was closed, the City of Chicago finally reopened it yesterday. No clear reason was given by city officials for the delay. Most of the airports in the Chicago area were reopened to limited operations shortly after last month's terrorist attacks. Meigs, like the other airports in the Chicago enhanced Class B, is only open to IFR general aviation flights. AOPA yesterday talked with Kirk Brown, Illinois Secretary of Transportation, to encourage the state to push for the reopening. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley intends to close the field in February to turn it into a park. AOPA continues its long-standing fight against the closure of the lakefront, FAA-designated reliever airport.

FlightSafety International issued a statement to set the record straight regarding inaccurate mainstream media reports that connected the school with training the airline hijackers. "These regrettable stories were incorrect and any connection has proved completely erroneous," said the company, referring to its Vero Beach, Florida, academy that was cited in the reports. "FlightSafety International was in no way connected to any of the participants in the terrible events of September 11."

Photo of LibertyXL2 Liberty Aerospace recently announced several changes to the XL-2, including a switch from the design's original Rotax 912S to a 125-hp Teledyne Continental IOF-240B. The new installation features FADEC (full-authority digital engine control) that provides automatic mixture control and maintenance data ports for easier servicing. "The demand for support and service was overwhelming. We let that lead the way for our decision," said company spokesman Skip Eavers. A gross weight increase of 175 pounds, to 1,575 pounds maximum gross weight, comes with the new engine, maintaining a 600-pound payload and 500-nm range for the two-seat airplane. The XL-2 also features a new panel layout, with a Vision Microsystems VM1000FX digital engine information display. The base price has been increased by $7,500 to $105,000 to reflect upgrades made to the XL-2. Liberty expects the XL-2 to be certified in May 2002. See the Web site.

BRS Inc. is torture testing the venerable Cessna 172 fuselage by exerting more than 10,000 pounds of pull from various angles. The tests are part of the supplemental type certification (STC) process for a ballistic parachute system. "The test must show that the attachments of parachute to airframe will be able to withstand the load without causing the cabin structure to compromise passenger safety," said BRS chief engineer Tony Kasher. "Even though the Cessna 172 is a very strong structure, it was never intended for the point loads from a parachute attachment." Point loads occur as the parachute is attached in three locations on the Skyhawk. BRS engineers expect to use the leading edge spar/fuselage junction and a bulkhead aft of the baggage compartment. BRS already holds an STC for Cessna 150 and 152 aircraft.

The second aircraft in Bombardier Aerospace's Continental program made its maiden flight Wednesday, just eight weeks after the first Continental business jet lifted off. Bombardier said it's continuing on its rapid pace to win FAA certification in the new super-midsize business category. The aircraft took off from Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport and reached a speed of 250 knots on the two-hour flight.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Inside AOPA
The head of the AOPA Insurance Agency has asked the major aviation insurance companies to grant a premium credit to aircraft owners and aviation businesses whose aircraft are grounded inside enhanced Class B airspace. In a message to five major aviation insurance companies, AOPA Insurance Agency Executive Vice President Greg Sterling proposed granting a one-time credit of 10 percent of the current annual premium to aircraft owners and flight schools currently unable to fly VFR in Class B airspace. This would grant a small "lay-up" credit to aircraft owners in recognition of the reduced risk to the insurance company during the time the aircraft are grounded. Sterling said that several companies have already indicated that they are looking favorably at the proposal. See AOPA Online.

In a letter to House/Senate conferees on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2002 (S.1438), AOPA President Phil Boyer has requested the deletion of Section 1062 that authorizes the Secretary of Defense to require demilitarization of significant military equipment, including aircraft formerly owned by the Department of Defense. Identical to a provision AOPA successfully worked toward deleting in similar legislation last year, this provision, if enacted, could result in the destruction of vintage military aircraft--destroying an important part of our nation's aviation history. Boyer told members of the House/Senate conference, "We realize this section originated from the discovery that certain surplus military equipment was being improperly coded, resulting in some potentially sensitive equipment being sold. However, this reachback provision is so broad that it could easily lead to the destruction of vintage military aircraft. We would be pleased to work with the conferees to draft a provision that addresses the problem—the accidental sale of militarily sensitive equipment—as an alternative to the overly broad provision now contained in the legislation."

The FAA has extended the validity period of aeronautical knowledge test scores that expired on September 30 and could not be followed by flight tests when the general aviation fleet was grounded. The knowledge test score deadline has been extended to November 30, 2001, at the request of AOPA. This gives students a chance to reschedule and practice for checkrides that were prohibited by emergency mandates on or after September 11. AOPA has requested additional extensions of renewal deadlines that affect flight reviews, aircraft inspections, flight instructor certificates, and ground instructor certificates.

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On Capitol Hill
Congressional leaders continue firing off letters to the National Security Council, demanding that the prohibitions on VFR in enhanced Class B airspace be lifted. In a letter to Condoleezza Rice, Rep. Mac Collins (R-Ga.) wrote, "General aviation plays an integral role in our nation's transportation system, economy, and way of life, and any information that you can provide regarding the rationale behind the prohibition and an expected time table for lifting this ban would be appreciated." And Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo.) stated in his letter to Rice, "The grounding of over 1,500 aircraft and nearly 5,000 pilots in Missouri alone is having a tremendous negative economic impact, which will cause lasting damage to the infrastructure that supports general aviation." AOPA members have deluged Congress with calls about the effects of the restrictions on them and their businesses. And Congress is responding.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) has introduced legislation in the Senate requiring the Bush administration to justify immediately to Congress the continued airspace restrictions imposed on VFR pilots in Class B airspace. Inhofe—a pilot, AOPA member, and one of general aviation's strongest supporters—has also filed the legislation in a way that allows for it to be offered as an amendment to pending Senate legislation pertaining to aviation security. AOPA President Phil Boyer had met with Inhofe last week to give information and AOPA's encouragement for this amendment.
Airport Support Network
AOPA ASN Volunteer Victor Young has led the opposition to a proposed Wal-Mart store and shopping center to be built 1,100 feet north of the end of Runway 16 at Pierce County-Thun Field (1S0) in Puyallup, Washington. He has rallied local pilots and airport businesses to oppose the plan by encouraging the filing of comments with local, state, and FAA officials and gathered signatures calling for a safety corridor along the runway centerline, the movement of a proposed roadway, and an aviation easement.

To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
The tragic accident in Milan, Italy, on Monday fits the profile of most of the ground collisions that have taken place in this country, said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The common denominators in these accidents are night or low visibility. ASF has worked closely with the FAA to put the focus where the real danger is. Many runway incursions occur in day/VFR conditions but the accidents and the close calls are much more likely to occur in the dark or instrument conditions. Recent near-collisions have occurred in Dallas, Chicago, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island, all at night or in fog. ASF offers a Safety Advisor and an online course that qualifies for the ground portion of the FAA's Wings program. Click here to download the advisor, or click here to take the safety course.

ASF is pleased with recent numbers from the NTSB that have shown a reduction in midair collisions in the United States. From January through August of this year, accidents are down from 15 to 6 while fatal accidents are down from 7 to 4. For general aviation overall, accidents are down from 1,314 to 1,262 while fatal accidents are up just one from 232 to 233. This follows a major effort on collision awareness that ASF began last year. This consisted of national seminars, a videotape, and safety advisors. For more, see AOPA Online.

After careful consideration, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation decided to cancel the Score for GA Safety golf tournament that was scheduled for November 7 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Several of the sponsors had economic concerns following last month's terrorist attacks. ASF plans to reschedule the event when conditions are more favorable for the general aviation industry. AOPA Expo, however, will continue as planned and will feature new ASF seminars. Be sure to stop by the ASF booth when you attend Expo. See the Expo section below for more details.
Quiz Me!
Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.

Question: If I'm a private or commercial pilot without an instrument rating, can I operate on an IFR flight plan if I plan on conducting the flight entirely in VFR conditions?

Answer: The answer is no. According to 14 CFR 61.3(e), "no person may act as pilot in command of a civil aircraft under IFR...unless that person holds: (1) the appropriate aircraft category, class, type (if required) and instrument rating on that person's pilot certificate for any airplane, helicopter, or powered-lift being flown." In addition, even if you are instrument rated, you must be current under 14 CFR 61.57(c) in order to file an IFR flight plan and receive an IFR clearance. 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
bonanza logoThe 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza flies off to attend the American Bonanza Society convention in Mobile, Alabama. See our latest project update on AOPA Online.
Picture Perfect
Jump to the AOPA Online Gallery to see the featured airplane of the day. Click on the link for details on how to capture wallpaper for your work area. See AOPA Online.
On The Road To Expo
Don't miss AOPA Expo 2001, November 8 through 10, in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For complete information on this spectacular aviation event, see AOPA Online.
What's New At AOPA Online
Is "Never Again" one of the first articles you turn to when your new issue of AOPA Pilot arrives each month? Since its introduction in 1983, reader surveys indicate that it is one of the most read sections in the magazine—the AOPA Air Safety Foundation even named a seminar after it. Now you can read "Never Again" twice as often. Beginning today, a previously unpublished story will be posted each month on AOPA Online. Never Again Online features a companion online forum and links to many of the "Never Again" articles published in Pilot over the years.
ePilot Calendar
Some events have been rescheduled or cancelled in the wake of last month's terrorist attacks. We strongly suggest that you confirm plans with event organizers before departing, as changes may have been made after ePilot verified this information.

Raleigh, North Carolina. An international symposium They Taught the World to Fly: The Wright Brothers and the Age of Flight, takes place October 22 through 25 at North Carolina State University's McKimmon Conference Center. Call 919/733-2003 for event information.

Lafayette, Louisiana. The Sertoma Cajun Air Festival takes place October 27 and 28 at Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT). Call 337/984-0347 for event information.

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

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Wichita; and Reston, Virginia, October 27 and 28. 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 takes place November 18 in Cincinnati and Albuquerque. 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? Contact ePilot at [email protected] Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

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Tel: 800/USA-AOPA or 301/695-2000
Copyright � 2001. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.


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