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| GA News |
| COLORADO MOUNTAIN PASSES GET AWOS |
Colorado officials have taken steps that should help pilots nationwide—especially those inexperienced in mountain flying. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) recently installed six automated weather observation system (AWOS) units at key locations in Colorado's high country. The project got the green light last year after the state legislature passed H.R.1069, authorizing a total of 12 AWOS sites on mountain passes along commonly traveled routes. Weather reporting in mountainous areas is notoriously difficult, as until now most reporting stations have been located at widely scattered airports in valleys—making ceiling estimates and en route weather determination challenging, if not impossible. AOPA Regional Representative Bill Hamilton worked with CDOT on the project. "In Colorado, we're unique in the fact we have so many high mountain passes where aircraft operate at their maximum performance [combined with] a high pilot population," notes T.K. Gwin, director of the project for CDOT. "We hope the stations save lives." The AWOS information can also be accessed by telephone. CDOT expects all 12 sites to be active by next summer. For a list of the sites, see AOPA Online.
INVESTIGATION OF AALIYAH CRASH CONTINUES
Civil Aviation Department authorities in the Bahamas say they will travel to Florida to visit the office of Blackhawk Aviation, the operator of a Cessna 402B in which singer and actress Aaliyah died on August 25. A police official in the Bahamas said there are "unresolved issues" that he could not discuss. Nine people were aboard the plane when it crashed after taking off from Marsh Harbour Airport on Abaco Island. Inspector Randy Butler of the Bahamian Civil Aviation Department was expected to travel to Abaco Island this week to supervise the shipment of the wreckage to Florida, where it can be torn down for inspection. Butler focused on the loading of the aircraft as a possible cause, and said in a press release that the plane has an empty weight of 4,117 pounds and was carrying 574 pounds of baggage and 804 pounds of fuel. The weight of the passengers has not been determined. The authorized takeoff weight for the aircraft, N8097W, is 6,300 pounds.
SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS REPLICA
TO BE BUILT
The Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum is building a flying replica of Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis for the 2002 airshow season, the seventy-fifth anniversary of Lindbergh's epic flight. For more information see the Web site.
CARBONAERO PRICE SET AT $750,000
Adam Aircraft announced a price of $750,000 for the next 10 CarbonAero orders placed. The first 20 aircraft were priced at $695,000, and the next 10 at $725,000. Thirty-three positions had been sold—three at the new price—as of press time. "The $750,000 price is really a wash, as it includes an autopilot system that wasn't accounted for in the previous price," according to company spokesman Tom Wiesner. The CarbonAero is a six-place, all-composite, centerline-thrust piston twin with a 2,300-pound useful load and a fuel capacity of 250 gallons. At 20,000 feet, the airplane is expected to reach a maximum speed of 250 knots and economy cruise of 190 knots. The range is estimated at 1,500 nm when operating at the economy power setting. A prototype is currently flying. For more, see the Web site.
AIR TRACTOR TO BUILD 10-PLACE AMPHIB
Air Tractor, located in Olney, Texas, is designing a 10-place S-22 Surveyor amphibious single-engine turboprop aircraft under a Department of the Interior contract. The contract calls for delivery in 2004, and includes an option for 10 to 15 of the aircraft.
BROWSE THE INTERNET IN FLIGHT
Pentar Avionics, located in Seattle, Washington, plans to reveal on September 17 during the National Business Aviation Association convention in New Orleans that it has new products to increase the ability of business jet passengers to link to the Internet while in flight. In addition, it connects to corporate servers, so being in the jet can be just like a day in the office. The company says that it has tripled the storage capacity of its JetLan equipment so that Web pages and entire presentations can be downloaded and shared with others in flight. The company has also doubled the speed of the onboard server.
WEB SITE OFFERS TRAVEL INFO ON FOREIGN COUNTRIES
Pilots bound for foreign countries can now find helpful information online on everything from fuel availability to local attractions. The Web site contains entries written by experienced ferry pilots and private pilots who have been to the places. For more, see the Web site and click on the "flight info" section.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA BLASTS ABC PRIMETIME VACUUM PUMP STORY |
ABC-TV's Primetime news magazine provided viewers with a sensationalized, biased, and inaccurate story last week on the nature of GA vacuum pump failures. In its story about "Why unsuspecting pilots and passengers can be in danger in single-engine airplanes," ABC producers declined offers of an on-camera interview with the top authorities on general aviation safety: AOPA and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. "It's maddening," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "They mislead their audience. I'm disappointed that ABC didn't grant us the opportunity to explain the issue on camera to the American public. I have no idea why ABC attributed a quote to AOPA saying 50 percent of the pilots failed a simulator test. We can only guess that the reference was about an Air Safety Foundation/Flight Safety International study where 50 percent of the pilots failed a simulator test prior to being trained. It was not mentioned that once trained, all pilots were able to land the simulator after a simulated vacuum pump failure." In a subsequent and more realistic study by the Air Safety Foundation in an actual single-engine aircraft, all pilots tested were able to recognize the condition and land successfully after a real vacuum failure.
AOPA ASKS FAA TO INVESTIGATE ISLIP, NEW YORK
AOPA is getting tough with the town of Islip, New York, over Long Island Mac Arthur Airport (ISP) after town officials proposed a $50,000 nighttime landing fee. "Islip has tried to bend the law on several occasions," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "We've tried to work with them. They've ignored us. Now let's see if they can ignore the FAA, which controls some of their airport funding." AOPA has asked the FAA to investigate the town's operation of the airport. The proposed $50,000 landing fee, to be imposed on all aircraft operations between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., is just the latest in the town's attempts to restrict general aviation. Earlier this year, for example, the town sent a letter to all airport tenants saying there is an ordinance that "essentially prohibits aircraft operations at Long Island Mac Arthur between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m." That, at best, was a misrepresentation.
AOPA PROTECTING MEMBER ACCESS
With more than 50 national parks slated for restrictions on air tours by the FAA and the National Park Service, AOPA is using its position as a member of a select National Parks Overflights advisory committee appointed by FAA Administrator Jane Garvey to defend the rights of general aviation to continue flying over national parks and certain Native American tribal lands. The committee met for the first time last week. AOPA was represented by AOPA Senior Vice President Andy Cebula, who expressed AOPA's position that the effort to regulate air tours does not place limits on GA aircraft and the principle that the FAA has sole jurisdiction over the airspace.
IAOPA WORLD ASSEMBLY TO MEET IN SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
The Twenty-First World Assembly of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA), originally scheduled to be held September 23 to 27, 2002, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has been rescheduled for September 30 to October 4. The event is sponsored by the Brazilian Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (Associacao de Pilotos E Proprietarios de Aeronaves Brazil). Every two years, IAOPA board members and other interested parties meet to evaluate the state of world general aviation and to plan future courses of action. IAOPA represents 400,000 pilots in 56 nations.
1,000 VOLUNTEERS DEFEND GENERAL AVIATION AIRPORTS
AOPA's Airport Support Network (ASN) reached an important milestone in August when its nationwide corps of ASN volunteers topped 1,000. ASN volunteers work to support and defend general aviation airports. A mere four years after its creation, ASN has enlisted a volunteer at about one in every five public-use airports. Volunteers act as early warning monitors, alerting AOPA, local airport support groups, and airport management to potential problems. For more information, see AOPA Online.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| AVIATION BUDGETS FACE THREAT |
Congress returned this week to an uncertain fiscal atmosphere due to a shrinking budget surplus. On its agenda are 13 spending bills, including one that funds the FAA, which the House, Senate, and president must approve before September 30, the end of the current fiscal year. The Senate approved the transportation appropriations bill, which included a number of AOPA recommendations that would benefit GA, on August 1. The final bill will be developed in a House-Senate conference early this month. A controversy in the transportation bill surrounding a safety issue involving Mexican trucks may prevent the entire funding bill from being passed. If this happens, there is the threat that the transportation appropriations bill will be grouped with other spending bills into a last-minute "omnibus appropriations bill" which could leave the AIR-21 funding levels vulnerable to a last minute budget "deal." AOPA will closely monitor the development of the FAA's funding bill for next year to ensure that the AIR-21 agreement continues to be fully implemented. For more information see AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK—BOBBY WALTON |
Plum Island Airport, Massachusetts, was closed in November 2000 because the lease with the existing private operator was due to expire. Airport Support Network volunteer Bobby Walton, a current member of the Plum Island Community Airfield Board of Directors, worked with other pilots and helped rally the community to support its airport. Finally, a deal was cut with the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, which owns the airport property, and a new five-year lease was granted. Looks like another win for the community and for AOPA's Airport Support Network.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit 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 was reading through a publication on various weather services the other day and came across the term PATWAS. What does this stand for and was does it mean?
Answer: PATWAS stands for Pilot's Automatic Weather Telephone Answering Service. When you dial 1-800-WX BRIEF and choose to listen to the recorded observations and forecasts, PATWAS is what you are listening to. For more information, see AC 00-45E Aviation Weather Services 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 |
| Labor Day has come and gone, but the work on the sweepstakes Bonanza goes on. For the latest project updates, visit 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 Gallery. |
| 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. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Reno, Nevada. The National Championship Air Races take place September 13 through 16 at Reno/Stead Airport (4SD). Call 775/972-6663 for event information or visit the Web site.
Salinas, California. The California International Airshow takes place September 14 through 16 at Salinas Municipal Airport (SNS). Call 831/754-1983 for event information or visit the Web site.
Washington, D.C. Dulles Day Family Festival takes place September 15 at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). Call 703/572-2710 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 Sacramento, California, and Richmond, Virginia, September 15 and 16. 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 September 16 in Richmond, Virginia. 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] Due to the large volume of mail received, we regret that we are unable to individually answer all correspondence.
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