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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| GA News |
| CIRRUS TO REPLACE PARACHUTE SYSTEM PARTS |
Cirrus Design Corporation continues to iron out problems with the emergency parachute system installed in its airplanes and is currently planning to replace cables that connect to the launch handle in the entire fleet. The fix should make the handle easier to pull. Cirrus said that it found too much variability in the force needed to deploy the parachute, even after owners complied with two service bulletins--one of which later became an AD. In an incident in Lexington, Kentucky, last month a chute failed to deploy in the air. Cirrus has revised the pilot operating handbook to clarify the procedures needed to launch the chute.
EVER GO 500 MPH STRAIGHT UP?
Two new acts promise excitement on the airshow circuit this summer, and one of them is already flying. Bobby Younkin unveiled his Learjet 23 aerobatic act during the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In this week. The space shuttle launched in the distance during Younkin's act, adding a spectacular backdrop. Despite the Learjet's amazing vertical capability, he didn't catch the shuttle. Another airshow airplane now in development has a better chance of doing that. Jet-truck builder and racer Les Shockley of Galena, Kansas, is putting two jet engines on a tiny and highly modified Long EZ that will fly by mid-July. The airplane, to be flown by airshow performer Jimmy Franklin, is already booked in Muskegon, Michigan, for its first airshow. (Shockley previously mounted a jet engine on a Waco UPF-7–the same model that AOPA is giving away–now flown in airshows by Franklin.) With a 2-to-1 thrust-to-weight ratio, Shockley is betting that the modified Long EZ will set a bucketload of new time-to-climb records. He plans to fly straight up at 500 mph (434 knots)–that ought to do it. (He could add a third jet engine if he so decides.) He'll slow to 200 to 300 mph for airshow work.
MANY AIRSHOWS TO GET TFRs
Pilots flying in the vicinity of an airshow this summer are warned that many airshows (including performances by the Navy Blue Angels, Air Force Thunderbirds, and Army Golden Knights) have temporary flight restrictions assigned to their airspace. This makes enforcement actions more likely, and some of the airshow boxes can extend to 10,000 feet. Don't fly over an airshow. Check FDC notams before you leave.
BOHANNON FLIES HIGH, BUT HIGH ENOUGH?
Bruce Bohannon's Class C-1.b record attempt to 37,274 feet is too close to call at this point. Bohannon took off at noon on Tuesday from Lakeland, Florida, before the Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In airshow in the now-turbocharged "Exxon Flyin' Tiger" and reached an indicated altitude of 36,000 feet. Record officials are currently adjusting for temperature to calculate the actual altitude before the unofficial results are announced. Back on the ground Bohannon said the airplane performed perfectly, but he was having problems flying it correctly. The Tiger is the first turbocharged aircraft Bohannon has flown, and he said he was busy trying to manage the mixture and engine temperatures. The Tiger team said that they learned tremendously from the flight, and Bohannon thinks the aircraft has the potential to climb several thousand more feet once they work out the bugs. If Bohannon doesn't get the record this time, he'll try again at Oshkosh this summer.
CIRRUS, LANCAIR OFFER ALL-ELECTRIC MODELS
Big-aircraft technology continues to trickle down to the smallest general aviation aircraft. Cirrus Design and Lancair are now offering all-electric airplanes that eliminate the vacuum system. Cirrus has introduced its next-generation entry-level SR20 Version 2.0 for the 2003 model year, while Lancair plans to deliver by late summer its first Columbia 350. The 350 all-electric system replaces the dual vacuum pumps now offered on the Columbia 300. "All-electric is the way the industry is headed," said Ron Wright, Lancair vice president. "It's been the standard in turbine aircraft for some time, and the technology is now within reach of the piston-aircraft market."
AVIAT OFFERS NEW BUSH PLANE
Aviat Aircraft Inc. has introduced a new airplane, a slimmed-down Husky with a lower price tag. Called the Husky Pup, the airplane has a 160-hp engine (20 hp less than its older brother), a fixed-pitch prop instead of constant speed, and there are no flaps on the standard model–but they will be available as an option. Cruise speed for the airplane is 140 mph (122 kt), range is 1,000 miles with reserves, and the useful load is 860 pounds. The introduction price was $110,000. Aviat expects to certify the airplane in July.
A COOL OPTION OFFERED BY CESSNA
Now you can buy a Cessna 172 Skyhawk or 182 Skylane with air conditioning. The option boosts the price of the Skyhawk by $19,850, and the price of the Skylane by $22,850. Cessna is considering adding the option to 206 Stationairs.
DIAMOND STAR GETS FAA CERTIFICATION
Diamond Aircraft has received FAA certification for the North American-built IFR four-seat DA40-180 Diamond Star. Deliveries to U.S. customers will begin immediately.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online. Or click here for complete Sun 'n Fun coverage.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA MEETS AT WHITE HOUSE WITH HOMELAND SECURITY CHIEF |
AOPA management went straight to the top to explain general aviation security issues. In a White House meeting with Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, AOPA President Phil Boyer and Senior Vice President of Government and Technical Affairs Andy Cebula said that the general aviation community is willing to be part of the solution to any security concerns. "Give us an idea of the risk or threat, and we'll come back with practical solutions," Boyer said. Ridge acknowledged that the government's own information efforts had not always been effective, specifically noting the very short advance notice given when airspace near Washington, D.C., was closed during the president's State of the Union address. "That won't happen again," Ridge said.
FORT LAUDERDALE FSDO 'STORY' MISLED PILOTS
It was meant as a "story" to illustrate a point, much like the famous Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast. And just like that broadcast, it misled many intelligent people. The Fort Lauderdale Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) Web site reported that the FAA would soon publish an advance notice of proposed rulemaking abolishing the biennial flight review and replacing it with a requirement that pilots pass biennial knowledge and flight tests. The story was false, but it wasn't identified as such until the very end and alarmed several AOPA members. AOPA immediately contacted FAA headquarters and confirmed that the Fort Lauderdale FSDO's "War of the Worlds"-type message had no basis in reality and urged that it be removed. A letter from AOPA to the FSDO and a phone call to the FAA Flight Standards office finally convinced the feds to delete it.
ANOTHER 9/11 AIRSPACE RESTRICTION IS LIFTED
As promised, the FAA has cancelled the temporary flight restriction area over downtown Chicago. AOPA had lobbied the FAA and the city to eliminate the TFR. Chicago officials had pressured the FAA to continue it because, they claimed, citizens were fearful of a "threat" from general aviation aircraft to downtown buildings. But FAA officials have readily acknowledged that there is no credible aviation threat. AOPA pointed out that the FAA, not local officials, is in charge of airspace. However, pilots are asked to "do the right thing" by avoiding flight over downtown Chicago; flying published VFR routes; turning on your lights; using current charts (Chicago Terminal Area Chart); following the minimum safe altitude regulations; and monitoring the guard frequency of 121.5 MHz if not in contact with ATC.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| MEIGS BILL MOVING THROUGH SENATE COMMITTEE |
A bill affecting the future of Chicago's Meigs Field will receive final action in the Senate Commerce Committee next Thursday morning. If approved, the bill can then move forward in the legislative process. Called the National Aviation Capacity Expansion Act (S. 2039), it would codify the agreement reached by Illinois Gov. George Ryan and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and would preserve Meigs–Chicago's flagship GA airport–for another 25 years, expand O'Hare International, and expedite the creation of a new airport at Peotone, Illinois. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced it.
BILL TO PROVIDE GA RELIEF COULD REACH HOUSE FLOOR
Fresh from their congressional spring break, key members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Budget committees are in negotiations that could bring a GA relief bill (H.R. 3347) to the floor for a vote. The bill would provide $2.5 billion in direct aid and $3 billion in loan guarantees to small general aviation businesses affected by the post-9/11 airspace shutdown. Introduced by House aviation subcommittee Chairman John Mica of Florida, the General Aviation Industry Reparations Act of 2001 was reported out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on February 27 and must now be approved by the full House of Representatives. The AOPA Legislative Affairs staff is currently working with members of the two committees to gain support for the legislation. See AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| AIRPORT SUPPORT VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED |
More than 1,200 Airport Support Network volunteers throughout the nation are working with AOPA headquarters to help save their airports. They act as the eyes and ears of AOPA to provide an early warning for threats to airfields. Below are just a few airports in your area where ASN volunteers are still needed.
To nominate a volunteer, which can be yourself, see AOPAï¿½Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| GENERAL AVIATION SAFETY REPORT AVAILABLE |
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's "2001 Nall Report," a statistical examination of GA accidents in 2000, shows that the GA safety trend continued to improve in 2000. Most accidents occur during takeoff and landing, but many of those are "fender benders," the report shows. The majority of fatalities are because of weather encounters and maneuvering flight. The report is available on AOPA Online; printed copies are also available by calling 800/USA-AOPAï¿½(872-2672).
| Quiz Me! |
|Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: What is the meaning of the four-point black star, located just south of Daytona Beach International airport on my Jacksonville Sectional Aeronautical chart? The letters "VPLJA" accompany the star.
Answer: This star represents a VFR waypoint. Depicted on certain sectionals, VFR waypoints use the Global Positioning System (GPS) and provide pilots with additional tools to improve situational awareness. VFR waypoint names consist of five letters beginning with the letters "VP." The names are not intended to be pronounceable, and they are not for use in ATC communications. Standalone VFR waypoints are portrayed using the same four-point star symbol commonly used for other waypoints. VFR waypoints collocated with visual checkpoints on the chart will be identified by small magenta flag symbols. Each VFR waypoint name appears adjacent to the geographic location on the chart. Latitude/longitude data for all of the established VFR waypoints is provided in the Airport/Facility Directory. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation first proposed the idea of VFR waypoints, and AOPA in 1998 formally asked the FAA to implement them. For more information on VFR waypoints, 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 Waco Update |
| PREASSEMBLY IS COMPLETED, AND IT'S APART AGAIN |
The AOPA Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes Waco UPF-7 was assembled recently to see if the uncovered wings, tail, and landing gear fit properly. Now the Waco is apart again. It took all five of the Rare Aircraft crew in Faribault, Minnesota, to get the wings off April 8. But before a Ceconite covering is added, there are additional steps that must be completed. Wiring, plumbing for the engine, and engine controls must be installed, steps that will take two months. Still to come are fabrication of the fuel tanks, straps to hold the tanks, and new windshield panes for the windscreens. For the latest update, see 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. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online. |
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Louisville, Kentucky. Thunder Over Louisville takes place April 20 along the Ohio River, beginning at 3 p.m. A variety of military and civilian performances, including night acts and a fireworks display, continue until 9:30. For more information, visit the Web site.
Moline, Illinois. The second Midwest Aviation Expo takes place April 20 at Quad City International Airport (MLI). See popular business and personal piston-engine aircraft and accessories from Raytheon, Cessna, Mooney, Piper, Bendix/King, Garmin, and others. Finance, insurance, repair, and overhaul companies will be on hand. E-mail or visit the Web site for more 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 in Denver, Tampa, and Salt Lake City, April 20 and 21. Clinics are scheduled in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Reston, Virginia, April 27 and 28. 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 Schools will take place in Tampa, Florida, and Denver, on April 20. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in New Orleans, and Eugene, Oregon, April 22; Gresham (Portland), Oregon, and Jackson, Mississippi, April 23; Birmingham, Alabama, and Puyallup, Washington, April 24; College Park (Atlanta), Georgia, and Seattle, April 25; and Spokane, Washington, April 26. The topic is spatial disorientation. See AOPA Online.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact [email protected].