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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 14AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 14

Volume 4, Issue 14 • April 5, 2002
In this issue:
Mooney, Twin Commander take top spots in survey
Cirrus expands its horizons
FAA evaluates AOPA's photo ID proposal

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Pilot Insurance

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA CD Special

AOPA Aircraft Financing Program

Garmin International

AOPA Term life insurance

AOPA Legal Services Plan

AOPA Flight Explorer

King Schools

Got news? Contact ePilot . 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 � 2002 AOPA.

GA News
The FAA responded immediately to AOPA's demand that the agency rescind the temporary flight restriction (TFR) area over downtown Chicago. Less than 24 hours after AOPA sent a letter to the FAA administrator, FAA Deputy Administrator Monte Belger called AOPA President Phil Boyer and said that the restrictions over the city will be lifted "late this week or early next week." Belger said that the FAA is not planning to keep the Chicago TFR in place indefinitely. The City of Chicago had exerted pressure on the FAA for the TFR in the wake of September 11 because it claimed citizens were fearful of a "threat" from general aviation aircraft to downtown buildings. But FAA officials have acknowledged that there is no credible aviation threat to Chicago buildings or landmarks. "The FAA must maintain control of the nation's airspace and not abdicate responsibility to local authorities," said Boyer. "Keeping this TFR in force when there is no threat would set a troubling and unacceptable precedent." See the letter or a TFR graphic.

Mooney, Vans, and Socata, respectively, were ranked as the top three aircraft manufacturers by owners based on quality in the recently released results of an online survey. Conducted by Pilotreports Inc., a general aviation market research firm, the company's first Web-based survey was modeled after similar studies in the auto industry. Opinions were measured in six areas: comfort, performance, reliability, manufacturer support, and exterior and overall appeal. Each area was further broken down by several attributes to arrive at the ratings. Aircraft manufactured by Beech and Cessna were also in the top five. Overall, turbine airplane owners seemed more satisfied with their aircraft. Out of a total score of 100, Twin Commander received 94 points compared to Mooney with 89. Rounding out the top five for the turbines were Gulfstream, Mitsubishi, Pilatus, and Cessna. The survey covered aircraft manufactured since 1950 but most were built between 1976 and 1980. The survey, which ran from February 15 through March 29, was e-mailed to 9,000 aircraft owners and 2,060 responded. Complete results are available for free to anyone who completes the Initial Aircraft Quality Assessment Survey online. See the Web site.

Cirrus Design Corporation is now building aircraft to meet specific foreign regulations as the company works to increase its presence on the global scene. Recently, the company shipped two SR20s, one to Canada and the other to Australia, that were manufactured specifically to meet each country's type certificate requirements. Previously, Cirrus built its aircraft to FAA standards before shipping them overseas. "These deliveries are just the beginning of our efforts to produce aircraft to national specifications worldwide," said Alan Klapmeier, Cirrus president.

Diamond Aircraft will exhibit a special edition of its DA20-C1 Katana at the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida, next week. The special edition airplane includes a premium interior with redesigned plush leather seats, offering more shoulder and hip room; integral folding headrests; a larger, easily accessible luggage compartment; and improved ventilation. Exterior enhancements include streamlined wheel fairings, a silver lower fuselage, and high-visibility graphics. Depending on customer reaction, the modifications may be incorporated into future DA20 and DA40 two-place aircraft. For more information, visit the Web site or call Diamond Aircraft at 888/359-3220.

Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh, recently made his first cross-country flight in the "New Spirit of Saint Louis," a slightly modified Lancair Columbia 300. He made the 1,400 nm flight from Bend, Oregon, to St. Louis in seven hours. After two more practice long-distance flights, Lindbergh plans to retrace his grandfather's 1927 flights including the Atlantic crossing. Lindbergh is planning to fly the airplane to Sun 'n Fun on Sunday. See the Web site.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Squawk Sheet
The FAA this week issued an AD mandating inspection and replacement of faulty horizontal stabilizer reinforcement brackets installed on various Cessna 206, 207, and 210 airplanes. An April 2001 AD addressed these airplanes, but Cessna pointed out that some airplanes affected by the 2001 AD may have received faulty reinforcement brackets as replacement parts. For the new AD, AOPA recommended that the FAA include a provision to allow owners to do a simple logbook inspection in lieu of a visual inspection to determine whether suspect parts were installed. The FAA incorporated the logbook inspection into the final AD. Aircraft owners with brackets shipped from Cessna between February 27, 1998, and March 17, 2000, must inspect them to confirm the presence of seam welds. Brackets without proper seam welds must be replaced. Click here to download a copy of the AD.

The FAA on Wednesday proposed an AD requiring installation of inspection openings and repetitive inspection of the wing center section of Ercoupe airplanes for corrosion. The proposal is the result of several reports of corrosion throughout the wing center section structure. The FAA believes that the wing center section is an oft-neglected part of the airframe, and that it is prone to corrosion. The proposed AD requires repair or replacement of any parts that show outward signs of corrosion, and requires owners to submit inspection results to the FAA. Comments must be submitted by June 3. Click here to download a copy.
Inside AOPA
The FAA has responded to AOPA's proposal to require pilots to carry a valid government-issued form of photo identification when flying. The photo ID could be a driver's license, passport, state ID card, or government agency photo ID card. The FAA called the AOPA proposal "a positive short-term measure to enhance security throughout the general aviation community." The FAA told AOPA that it has begun drafting a regulatory document that considers the specifics of the proposal. See AOPA Online.

Under a federal mandate, the FAA is requesting public input on cockpit security enhancements, such as isolating flight decks with rigid doors and locks, for smaller non-Transport category airplanes. The FAA several weeks ago solicited AOPA's expert opinion on potentially onerous cockpit security requirements for aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds and having fewer than 19 passengers seats that are used in commuter operations. AOPA was quick to point out that the ideas under consideration were not only unnecessary and impractical, but potentially hazardous during emergency situations. The new request includes Part 135 aircraft that may also be used in some Part 91 operations. The FAA is also considering ideas for securing the flight decks, without using rigid doors, of commuter aircraft that have nine or fewer passenger seats. AOPA will be providing formal comments to the FAA and encourages others to do likewise; the deadline is May 25. See AOPA�Online.

The Iowa House of Representatives late Wednesday night refused to fully fund aviation spending. On a straight party line vote, lawmakers provided only $500,000 for the state's aviation programs. Now it's up to the Iowa Senate to put the money back into aviation. AOPA encourages members in Iowa to contact their state senators and urge them to restore aviation funding to historical levels. Fully funded, Iowa's aviation program would cost $2.2 million. Calling the appropriation "paltry," Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of regional affairs, decried the action in the House. "Now, more than ever this is critical because federal legislation has substantially increased funding that is available to airports, including Iowa airports," he said, pointing out the federal matching dollars available through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

AOPA members bound for the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In, which begins Sunday in Lakeland, Florida, will have a better chance of avoiding aerial traffic chokepoints thanks to a special Flight Explorer real-time display of GA traffic in central Florida during the event. The Flight Explorer aircraft position display will be available at no charge on AOPA Online, April 5 through 15. It will accurately show positions of all GA aircraft operating under IFR, as well as some VFR aircraft receiving VFR traffic advisories. The display will be updated once a minute, and will include moving "tags" for each aircraft showing identification, speed, altitude, and additional information. See AOPA Online.

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On Capitol Hill
AOPA told Congress's investigative arm that general aviation is not a security threat and again offered to provide realistic solutions for aviation security concerns. The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) is taking a look at how the newly created Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is working and asked AOPA to participate in a "roundtable discussion" held late last week. "General aviation is not the threat. The appropriate focus for aviation security is the commercial airlines," Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs, told GAO during the discussion. AOPA pointed out that the TSA needs to better understand the aviation community. See AOPA Online.
Airport Support Network
Complaints about noise from locals prompted AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Wayne Manning, along with residents and airport users, to study the alleged problem at Auburn Municipal Airport (AUN) in California. They found that of 152 observed departures only 10 went straight over the residential area at an altitude low enough to create excessive noise. Residents who participated in the study were pleased to learn that 93 percent of the departures were in compliance with the recommended procedures. Manning submitted a letter with the results to the local homeowners association and will continue to improve an already positive situation.

To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
EADS Socata will unveil a specially equipped and painted "Spirit of Liberty" Trinidad GT next Wednesday at the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida. The airplane will be auctioned and the proceeds will help fund safety and education programs for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The airplane will be the subject of an upcoming feature in AOPA Pilot magazine. The online auction is open to all pilots and will run from May 1 through August 31. The winning bidder will be announced at AOPA Expo 2002 in October.
Quiz Me!
Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.

Question: I am interested in getting my high-altitude endorsement. Where can I get training in an altitude chamber?

Answer: The FAA and many military installations have altitude chambers where you can obtain the necessary training. Because of recent changes in procedures, all scheduling for civil aviation pilots is now handled by the Airman Education Program Branch of the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City. To schedule a course, call CAMI at 405/954-4837. It will assign a training date and mail you an application and notification letter. The application must be completed and mailed to the address provided within 30 days of the scheduled training, along with a $50 nonrefundable fee made payable to the FAA. You should take the notification letter, along with your current medical, to the training location on the day of your scheduled course. Upon completion of the course, you will receive a certificate noting that you have completed the FAA's physiological training course. There is no annotation in your logbook. For an account of a "flight" in an altitude chamber, 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].
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.
What's New At AOPA Online
What's the most popular feature in AOPA Pilot? It's the "Never Again" column written by AOPA members about instructive–and often frightening–flight experiences. Now, never-before-published "Never Again" features are available on AOPA Online. A new installment of "Never Again Online" was just posted. This month's feature is about nighttime optical illusions in Alaska. See AOPA Online.
ePilot Calendar
Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online.

Hartford, Connecticut. Prop 2002 Safety Seminar takes place April 12 and 13 for owners of Mitsubishi MU-2 aircraft. Contact Carol Cannon or visit the Web site for more information.

Berry Island, Bahamas. Coconut Water Fly-In takes place April 12 through 14 at the Chub Cay Yacht Club. Call 242/325-1490 for more information.

Boston, Massachusetts. The 106th Boston Marathon takes place April 15 with more than 30,000 athletes participating. For more information, visit the Web site.

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 in Atlanta and Boston, April 13 and 14. Clinics are scheduled in Denver, Tampa, and Salt Lake City, April 20 and 21. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.

(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground Schools will take place in Tampa, Florida, and Denver, Colorado, on April 20. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Little Rock, Arkansas, April 15; Rockford (Grand Rapids), Michigan, and Memphis, Tennessee, April 16; Bloomfield, Michigan and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, April 18; and Maryville, Tennessee, April 18. The topic is spatial disorientation. See AOPA Online.

For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact [email protected].

Got news or questions? Send your comments to [email protected].

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