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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 31AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 31

Volume 4, Issue 31 • August 2, 2002
In this issue:
Security checks required for some foreign pilots
Lancair trims costs while seeking funding
Colorado lawmakers, aviation groups honor AOPA

King Schools

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Pilot Insurance


AOPA Legal Services Plan

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA CD Special

MBNA Credit Card


Garmin International

AOPA Term life insurance

DTC Duat

BMW Motorcycles

AOPA Insurance Agency

AOPA Flight Explorer

Got news? Contact ePilot . Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
421 Aviation Way
Frederick, MD 21701
Tel: 800/USA-AOPA or

Copyright � 2002 AOPA.

Protecting GA
Some key members of Congress said that general aviation is not a threat to national security. In a hearing last week on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) opened by stating that general aviation is not a threat, adding that the danger remains in commercial aviation. Meanwhile, Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) asked Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta why there was still no plan to reopen the Washington, D.C.-area airports to general aviation. And he urged new TSA chief James Loy to protect GA access for all aviators. See AOPA�Online.

In a move to affirm its support of waivers (primarily affecting banner towers) for the blanket sporting event temporary flight restriction (TFR), AOPA has sent letters to both the FAA and Transportation Security Administration. The letters were necessary to clear up "inside the beltway" confusion over AOPA's position on the waiver issue caused in part by the National Football League. Earlier in July, AOPA told both agencies that the current notam should be cancelled because it is difficult, if not impossible, for both pilots and the FAA to interpret. The notam affects all 385,000 AOPA members because it's vague in nature and does not provide any guidance for pilots on identifying and avoiding potential TFRs. At the very least, AOPA recommended that it be revised to provide clear, concise information to pilots on "major sporting events." In effect since November 2001, notam 1/3353 prohibits "...all aircraft operations within a 3-nm radius and 3,000 feet over any major professional or collegiate sporting event or any other major open air assembly of people unless authorized by ATC."

The FAA has issued a new procedure that requires all foreign pilots to submit to background checks before the agency will issue a U.S. private pilot certificate based on a pilot license issued by another country. The new regulations lift an emergency suspension imposed just over a week ago because of national security concerns, which barred the FAA from issuing pilot certificates to foreign pilots. See AOPA�Online.
In a move to stem financial losses, The Lancair Company last week laid off 207 employees, leaving about 50 at the Bend, Oregon, facility to continue building Columbia 300s. TLC President Bing Lantis said the move was necessary to reduce expenses while the company continues its efforts to line up funding to further increase production. Employment had grown in anticipation of a significant influx of funding. However, turmoil in the stock market over the past two weeks caused investors at the last minute to withdraw from what Lancair officials thought was an imminent deal. Lantis was in Los Angeles last week attempting to line up interim funding while a new, larger investment deal is brokered--a process that could take six to eight weeks. He felt confident the interim funding would be available soon, allowing the company to continue building Columbia 300s and to continue work on certifying the Columbia 350 and 400. Work on all other development projects has been halted until the company is profitable. Lancair has been delivering about one Columbia 300 a week and plans to continue at that pace until new funding allows a higher production rate.

The Department of Defense is conducting more GPS interference tests in the western United States through October. AOPA reports that it will cause GPS navigation to be unreliable at times near the test centers. The affected areas are centered on the Bonneville (BVL) vortac in Utah, Truth or Consequences (TCS) vortac in New Mexico, and Sierra Vista Municipal Airport in Arizona. The area of unreliability can start within 160 nm of the test center at 4,000 feet agl and expand with altitude to a radius of 400 nm at 40,000 feet msl. Smaller-scale tests will be conducted near Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland. AOPA is asking for pilot reports on GPS reception problems. See AOPA Online for more information and a schedule.

Lycoming has developed its most powerful normally aspirated four-cylinder engine. Dubbed the IO-390-X, the 390-cubic-inch-displacement engine features fuel injection and develops 210 hp. The engine is made of factory-new parts and has a 2,000-hour TBO. It burns 11.1 gallons per hour at 65-percent power and weighs 308 pounds dry. Lycoming built the engine in response to the needs of kitbuilders; it initially will be offered to the homebuilt market. Following a market assessment, the company anticipates that it will certify the model for production aircraft by 2004. An aerobatic version, the AEIO-390-X, will also be offered. The company has not yet provided a price.

Total shipments for general aviation aircraft have dropped by double digits so far this year, compared with a record year in 2001. Piston airplane shipments fell by 13.4 percent–737 units compared to 851 last year–for the first half of 2002. There was also a decrease in jet and turboprop sales, according to figures compiled by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). "This reflects the current uncertainty about the U.S. economy. Hopefully, we will see some improvements as the year progresses," said GAMA President Ed Bolen.

A recent survey of pilots validates an industry forecast that there's a market for about 2,000 new piston-powered aircraft annually. The survey of more than 2,000 pilots suggests a market for 1,942 new airplanes a year, which nearly agrees with the forecast produced by GAMA. The survey, conducted by Quantum Market Research (formerly Pilot Reports), suggests that the market for new aircraft could increase by 10 to 15 percent if owners of existing late-model airplanes are given an opportunity to buy all-new designs. Current and former owners say that "more speed" would be the primary driver in causing them to buy a new model with "want something new" and "lower operating costs" being second- and third-level drivers. For nonowners, a larger, more comfortable cabin is the primary item that would cause them to buy a new airplane. Despite the flight restrictions in the last quarter of 2001 caused by the terrorist attacks, aircraft owners reported that they used their airplanes in 2001 about the same number of hours as in 2000.

Bruce Bohannon was unsuccessful on Monday in his second and final attempt at EAA AirVenture 2002 to set a new piston-aircraft world record for time to climb to 12,000 meters (39,370 feet). "It didn't go as well as we would have liked," Bohannon said. A member of the Exxon Flyin' Tiger crew said that they would further tweak the airplane over the winter. Another attempt is likely next year.

The FAA this week extended the deadline to comply with an expensive T-34 wing spar inspection AD. The special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) extends the compliance deadline of AD 2001-13-08. It also allows owners to continue operating their T-34s (with certain operational limitations) while they await completion of an approved alternative method of compliance. Aircraft manufacturer Raytheon recommended wing spar inspections to prevent possible in-flight wing failure at a cost of more than $12,000 per inspection. AOPA, T-34 owners, the T-34 Association, and other groups strongly opposed the AD, recommending that the FAA work with industry groups to develop more effective and more affordable means to comply with the AD. See AOPA�Online.

Click here for a wrap-up of Oshkosh news. Or for daily news updates, see AOPA�Online.
Inside AOPA
Members of the Colorado legislature and two aviation groups recently honored AOPA for its efforts on behalf of general aviation after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Colorado lawmakers presented AOPA President Phil Boyer with a resolution, passed earlier this year, which commends him "for his relentless defense of general aviation in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks and his success in returning general aviation to the skies of Colorado and the nation." Boyer is also the first recipient of the Lawyer Pilot Bar Association's Aviation Advocacy Award. "At a time when there was very little solid information, and a lot of misinformation, AOPA made sure not only its members, but all GA pilots knew what was happening," said William Wimsatt, LPBA president. And AOPA was honored with The Ninety-Nines Award of Merit.

In response to a Department of Transportation request for comments on the feasibility and role of a market-based approach to relieve airport congestion and delays, AOPA pointed out that the only way to relieve the problem is to build more runways. "AOPA is deeply concerned that market-based demand management options (typically known as peak-hour pricing) will be seen as the solution to airport congestion. That simply is not and cannot be the case," wrote Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of Government and Technical Affairs.

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On Capitol Hill
AOPA is working to ensure that the government doesn't lose sight of general aviation's importance. When the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the bill to create the Department of Homeland Security last weekend, it included important language suggested by AOPA that calls on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to use "all reasonable measures to ensure efficiency and a viable transportation system as it fulfills its security obligations." But the House ignored a recommendation from its Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to delay moving TSA into the new Homeland Security Department. "While I appreciate the House recognizing the importance of a safe and efficient transportation system, I don't think TSA should be in the Department of Homeland Security," commented AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Transportation security belongs in the Department of Transportation." The current version of the Senate's bill, now in the Government Affairs Committee, calls for further study of transportation security before deciding whether or not to move TSA; a Senate vote is expected after the August recess.
Airport Support Network
AOPA started the Airport Support Network (ASN) to provide a coordinated effort to reduce anti-airport sentiment. ASN volunteers keep AOPA headquarters informed of political and public opinion developments that may affect their airports. They attend public meetings dealing with airport matters and report to AOPA on the proceedings. ASN volunteers help promote local airport activities to enhance the airport's public image. They also act as the AOPA liaison with local pilot associations, user groups, airport advisory commissions, and airport management. Does this sound like something your airport has? If not, your airport needs an ASN volunteer. Below are just a few airports in your area where an ASN volunteer could make a difference.

To nominate a volunteer – which can be yourself – visit AOPA�Online.
AOPA�Air Safety Foundation News
The FAA's Office of Runway Safety has selected the AOPA Air Safety Foundation to produce a new runway incursion training program using a decidedly low-tech approach: flashcards. The new program coincides with an August 1 change to the practical test standards for private and commercial pilot certificates. The new standards, in part, require examiners to place greater emphasis on ground operations and avoiding runway incursions. The front of each card displays a typical airport sign, while the back explains the sign and states what action the pilot should take. 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: What is the meaning of the magenta-colored "T" over "SFC" near Oakland on the San Francisco Sectional?

Answer: This is information on Class C altitudes. The top number (or letter) indicates the ceiling of the Class C airspace. The bottom number (or letters) indicates the floor of the airspace. In this particular case, "T" indicates that the ceiling is to, but not including the floor of Class B airspace. The "SFC" indicates that this airspace goes to the surface. For more information on chart symbology, refer to the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide available 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].
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
The exhibitor list, as well as the seminar and program schedules, for AOPA Expo 2002 have been updated. Check out these informative events on AOPA Online.
Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA�Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
McCall, Idaho. The sixteenth annual NW Mountain Family Fly-in and Aviation Safety Conference takes place August 9 through 11 at McCall Airport (MYL). Call Frank Lester for more information, 208/334-8775, or 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 scheduled in Boulder, Colorado, and Dallas/Ft. Worth, on August 10 and 11. Clinics are also scheduled in Atlanta and Reno, Nevada, on August 17 and 18. 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 will take place in Dallas/Ft. Worth on August 11. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Little Rock, Arkansas, August 5; Memphis, Tennessee, August 6; Nashville, Tennessee, August 7; and Maryville, Tennessee, August 8. The topic is Single Pilot IFR. For the complete schedule, see AOPA�Online.

To make submissions to the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For comments on calendar items, e-mail [email protected].

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

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