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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| Protecting GA |
| AOPA SUES MICHIGAN OVER PILOT BACKGROUND LAW |
AOPA filed suit August 2 in federal court challenging a Michigan law requiring felony background checks for flight school students. "AOPA is a strong advocate for reasonable measures to enhance aviation security," said AOPA President Phil Boyer, "but the Michigan law is unneeded and violates federal law." AOPA contends that the state law is unconstitutional because it attempts to legislate in a field that is preempted by federal law. That's a violation of Article VI, Clause 2 (the "supremacy clause") of the U.S. Constitution. See AOPAï¿½Online.
| GAï¿½News |
| AIRCRAFT SPEED ICON ROY LOPRESTI DIES |
Roy LoPresti, an icon in the world of making airplanes go faster, died Wednesday in Vero Beach, Florida. He was 73. Doctors believe LoPresti experienced heart failure. LoPresti was already receiving medical care after he fell off a ladder a month ago and suffered a severe head injury. His son, David LoPresti, said he was recovering well and the heart problem was unrelated. David LoPresti added that the night before his father's death, they were talking about future projects. As a pilot and aerospace engineer, LoPresti's motto was, "Life is short, fly fast!" LoPresti's company, LoPresti Speed Merchants, will continue its mission of making airplanes more efficient, David LoPresti said. Seven family members currently work for the company. The funeral will be at 1 p.m. this Saturday at St. Augustines Church in Vero Beach. An obituary will be posted on the Web site.
AVIAT TO INTRODUCE NEW FACTORY, NEW AIRPLANE
Aviat Aircraft engineers are working quietly at their factory in Afton, Wyoming, to develop a monster four-seat Husky tailwheel airplane the size of a Cessna 206 Stationair. It will be called the Husky For Four Magnum, but the more important story, Aviat President Stu Horn said, is that there will be a new automated manufacturing process to go with it. The 3,900-pound aircraft will have a useful load of nearly 2,000 pounds and features loading doors that create a 6-foot-by-52-inch opening on both sides. It is to be the first of a new family of models that eventually will include a tricycle-gear version. Automated airframe manufacturing will take Aviat, manufacturer of Pitts and Husky aircraft, from its tube-and-fabric heritage to computerized construction and paperless documentation. The sport-utility aircraft will be offered with either a Continental IO-550 300-hp engine or a Lycoming IO-580 320-hp engine, and is targeted to cost 25 percent less than the Cessna 206.
VISIONAIRE IN TALKS WITH EUROPEAN INVESTORS
Officials at Visionaire Corporation, a Chesterfield, Missouri, company that hopes to continue development and then certify its Vantage entry-level business jet, say they are talking with European investors about a $130-million infusion. The investment, if the investors agree, would arrive in stages with a first installment of $30 million to $50 million that is needed immediately. Complicating the talks with investors is the recent filing of a petition for Chapter 7 liquidation by a group of five creditors, including two former members of the Visionaire board of directors–Fred Miller and Lee Livingston. Visionaire spokesman Mark Jones said earlier this week he was hopeful of good news from Europe "in three or four days."
NASA HELPS PILOTS FIGHT FATIGUE
NASA's Ames Research Center has launched a training tool on the Internet to help pilots manage fatigue. The interactive online General Aviation Education and Training Module provides information for GA pilots about how to handle alertness issues during flight operations. "This easy-to-use, hands-on module is designed for people in complex environments, facing challenging schedules, yet seeking to enhance safety," said Ray Oyung, Ames senior research associate. See the Web site.
FAA POSTS RVR DATA ON INTERNET
The FAA has announced that it is now providing a service to improve flight planning for pilots via the Internet. The FAA has given pilots access to runway visual range (RVR) information. RVR represents the distance a pilot is able to see down the runway. Previously, RVR information was only available to selected air carriers, the FAA said. Computer users can view current and historical RVR data from 48 airports. It should help pilots make decisions about choosing alternate airports. See the Web site.
AIR YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT DATALINK SERVICES
OK, pilots, here's your chance to tell one part of government what you think about in-cockpit datalink services. A team of researchers from two Virginia universities is working with NASA to determine what pilots want and need in an in-flight weather information service. They have created a Web site where pilots may take part in the survey. "This is one opportunity for GA pilots to have ground-floor input into the emerging datalink technology. We expect the results to validate our own in-house research," said Randy Kenagy, AOPA director of advanced technology. "We encourage interested pilots to look at the survey." If you choose to take part, you'll be asked for some background information on your aeronautical experience, and then each question twice, to determine what you'd like to see and what you'd prefer not to see included in a datalink that provides weather information service, cockpit display of traffic, and short messaging services. See the Web site.
FAA ISSUES REVISION TO T-34 SAIB
The FAA this week issued a revised special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB), CE-02-38R1, to provide alternative means to comply with an onerous wing spar inspection AD for T-34 aircraft. While the revision does not make significant changes to compliance methods, it provides much needed clarity regarding the amount of time permitted for accomplishing inspections and scheduling approved modifications. See AOPAï¿½Online.
For daily news updates, see AOPAï¿½Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA WANTS PHASE-IN OF U.S. VERTICAL SEPARATION MINIMUMS |
Citing concerns about equipment mandates and the FAA's ability to meet the demand for certifying thousands of turbine-powered GA aircraft, AOPA is objecting to the agency's proposed December 2004 date for full implementation of domestic reduced vertical separation minimums (DRVSM). Intended to increase airspace capacity, DRVSM will implement a 1,000-foot vertical separation standard between Flight Level 290 and FL410. Traffic at those altitudes is currently separated by 2,000 feet because of limitations in aircraft instrumentation and altitude-keeping capabilities. DRVSM will affect turbine-powered aircraft throughout the country in the form of expensive avionics mandates and certification requirements, or exclusion from the DRVSM airspace. Therefore, AOPA favors a phased implementation strategy, starting with FL350 to FL390 by December 2004, followed by full implementation in December 2006.
SPORTY's HEAD BACKS AOPA's RECREATIONAL PILOT PETITION
Hal Shevers, founder of Sporty's Pilot Shop, has come out in strong support of an AOPA petition that would allow recreational pilots to use a driver's license as valid medical certification. Under the AOPA petition recreational pilots would be able to exercise their privileges without having to undergo an FAA third class medical examination every two or three years. The medical requirement is one of the biggest reasons why there are fewer than 400 recreational pilots in the United States today, 14 years after the certificate was established. See AOPAï¿½Online.
The FAA on Thursday granted $500,000 to the Texas Department of Transportation to plan a new general aviation airport in central Texas. The grant is a key step in AOPA's efforts to obtain a new general aviation facility to replace capacity lost when the city of Austin closed Austin-Mueller Airport in 1999. "There has been inadequate service for general aviation in the Austin area ever since the closures of Austin-Mueller and Austin Executive airports," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "Austin-Bergstrom Airport hasn't provided the GA facilities needed." AOPA, with the support of its members in Texas, was instrumental in securing the passage of Texas House Bill 2522, which directs the state to build a new airport in central Texas.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| SENATE COMMITTEE CALLS FOR GRAPHICAL NOTAMS |
The push toward providing pilots with graphical notams got much-needed help from the Senate Appropriations Committee in its version of the FAA funding bill for fiscal year 2003. The committee directs the FAA to provide pilots with graphical notams including those establishing temporary flight restriction (TFR) airspace. The committee goes on to say that it believes the graphics can be conveyed through DUAT and other sources, including the Internet. "Since September 11 there has been a proliferation of security TFRs that affect pilots nationwide," said Andrew Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of Government and Technical Affairs. "The FAA's increased use of TFRs has resulted in a need to change the way this information is conveyed to pilots, and graphical depiction of restricted airspace is a necessity." The FAA is currently developing a graphical notam product for its FSS briefers, but this congressional directive would require that the graphical notams also be provided to pilots.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEERS VISIT AOPA AT OSHKOSH |
More than 50 Airport Support Network volunteers stopped by the AOPA tent at Oshkosh late last month, while many other members inquired about how they might also become a volunteer. The growing ASN program reached 1,300 volunteers in July. Our goal is to reach 1,400 by the end of the year, so we need more. If you know a volunteer at an airport near you, contact him or her to learn how you can join the ranks of those who defend GA on the front lines, or visit our Web site.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: Can air traffic control authorize speeds greater than 250 knots below 10,000 feet msl in United States airspace? Also, if Class B airspace extends above 10,000 feet msl, is 250 kt mandatory before you enter the top of Class B?
Answer: According to FAR 91.117(a), ATC is allowed to authorize speeds in excess of 250 kt below 10,000 feet msl. As for your second question, according to FAA Chief Counsel Interpretation 1993-25, "Effective September 16, 1993, a pilot operating in a Class B airspace area (including terminal control areas) at and above 10,000 feet msl is not subject to a 250-kt speed limitation." You may access FAR 91.117 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 |
The AOPA Online Gallery has been updated with new photos from "AOPA Pilot". Click on the link for details on how to capture wallpaper for your work area. See AOPA Online.
| What's New At AOPAï¿½Online |
| NEVER AGAIN |
A missing fuel cap sends fuel overboard and leads the pilot to a hairy approach through power lines after the engine quits. The moral? Get in a hurry, and you could lose it all. See the latest Never Again Online, titled "Power lines" exclusively on AOPA Online.
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPAï¿½Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Teterboro, New Jersey. The Tri-State Aviation Expo takes place August 16 and 17 at the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum. Visit the Web site for more information.
Lancaster, Ohio. The Wings of Victory Airshow takes place August 16 through 18 at Fairfield County Airport (LHQ). Contact Bob DeLay, 614/846-2876.
Auburn, California. Thunder in the Sky 2002 takes place August 17 at Auburn Municipal Airport (AUN). Warbirds, classics, experimentals, airshow, and more. Contact Evan Wolfe, 530/885-4700, or visit the Web site.
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 Atlanta and Reno, Nevada, on August 17 and 18. Clinics are also scheduled in Long Beach, California; Newark, New Jersey; and Reston, Virginia, on August 24 and 25. 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 in Dallas/Ft. Worth on August 11. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in South Holland, Illinois, August 19; Peoria, Illinois, August 20; Rockford, Illinois, August 21; and Waukegan, Illinois, August 22. The topic is Single-Pilot IFR. For the complete schedule, see AOPAï¿½Online.
To make submissions to the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For comments on calendar items, e-mail [email protected].