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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| Protecting GA |
| GA URGED TO BE ALERT FOR SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES |
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) notified AOPA late last week that an advisory has been issued for the general aviation community to "focus care in taking appropriate security precautions." While this is not a new concern, AOPA members can serve an important role by remaining alert for suspicious activities at an airport or in flight. Individuals observing anything suspicious should report it to an FBI field office or local law enforcement officials. For flight schools, flying clubs, and others renting aircraft, the FAA has a series of suggestions that are useful for aircraft security. "Although the TSA alert does not cite any credible information on timing, targets, or methods of attack, we ask that members assist the government by maintaining a higher degree of sensitivity for activities that seem out of place," explained Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of Government and Technical Affairs. The warning is now transmitted as part of a DUATS briefing. Pilots who have previously received the TSA security alert may advise flight service briefers that they have the alert and forego that portion of the briefing. See AOPA Online.
| GAï¿½News |
| LIBERTY XL-2 GETS NEW COWL, GOES ON TOUR |
The Liberty XL-2, a two-seat single-engine piston aircraft, received a newly designed cowl last month, and the airplane took that design to EAA AirVenture. This week, the XL-2, powered by a Continental IOF-240-B, 125-horsepower engine, stopped in Frederick, Maryland, on its "USA Tour." The XL-2 incorporates numerous technologically advanced features, including a single-lever FADEC (full authority digital engine control), Vision Microsystems engine instrument display, and the choice of several avionics options from Garmin and UPS Aviation Technologies. The basic VFR-equipped XL-2 lists for $116,500, with certification expected in November. For more, see the Web site.
PHOTOGRAPHER GALEN ROWELL, WIFE DIE IN CRASH
Galen Rowell, a 61-year-old wilderness photographer who was named one of five "Masters of the Landscape" by Outdoor Photography magazine in August, died with his wife, Barbara, in the crash of a privately owned 1973 Twin Commander 690A near their home in Bishop, California, on August 11. Combining his passions for photography and mountain climbing, Rowell authored 18 books on rugged wilderness photography. He and his wife were returning home after leading a photography group on a circumnavigation of the Bering Sea. Barbara Cushman Rowell was president of her husband's gallery, publishing, and stock photography business, Mountain Light. A private pilot, she frequently flew her Cessna T206 throughout North America in support of conservation causes and recently completed her first book, Flying South: A Pilot's Inner Journey, to be released by Mountain Light in October. Also killed in the crash were the pilot, Tom Reid, and passenger Carol McAfee, both of Bishop. The NTSB reported that the aircraft crashed 1.5 miles from the approach end of Runway 30 at Bishop Airport.
MODEL AIRPLANE SET TO FLY ATLANTIC OCEAN
Four model-airplane enthusiasts from Maryland were scheduled last night to launch the third of four 11-pound balsa wood airplanes from Canada in an attempt to set a world record by crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The first two, launched several days ago, lie either at the bottom of the Atlantic off Newfoundland or in a shark's belly--their GPS receivers and transmitters aren't telling. The aircraft that makes the 2,000-mile journey will be dubbed The Spirit of Butts Farm because it is launched from, well, a farm owned by Beecher Butts. The expedition is led by retired aeronautical engineer Maynard Hill, who built the 6.5-foot-wingspan aircraft, and retired NASA engineer Roy Day. Waiting for the computer-guided model in Ireland is Paul Howey, who will send a signal to cancel the autopilot and remotely guide it to a safe landing. It will cruise at 500 feet, high enough to miss the ships and low enough to avoid real airplanes. The aircraft is fueled by 5.5 pounds of Coleman lantern fuel, which it burns at a rate of 2 ounces an hour.To find out how they did, visit their Web site.
FAA ISSUES ERCOUPE GASCOLATOR AD
The FAA this week published a final rule AD requiring inspection and possible replacement of Ercoupe fuel lines and fittings and gascolator support tubes. The AD is intended to prevent fuel leaks and possible fuel starvation. To download a copy of the AD, see AOPA Online.
For daily news updates, see AOPAï¿½Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA RECOMMENDATION ADOPTED IN MEMPHIS CLASS B |
The FAA issued a final rule yesterday that modifies the Memphis, Tennessee, Class B airspace by realigning the airspace to the Memphis VOR. In early meetings about possible changes to the airspace, AOPA expressed concern that the Memphis airspace was initially centered on a point in space, leaving many non-GPS-equipped, VFR aircraft with no bearing and distance information for navigating the airspace. The FAA's action in Memphis indicates that it is willing to accommodate the diversity of navigation equipment used by general aviation, and AOPA is pleased with the outcome of the rule. Other changes include a slight expansion of the Class B airspace's lateral dimensions, and lowering of the airspace floor from 5,000 feet to 4,000 feet msl in one area. These modifications have been made to accommodate simultaneous parallel ILS approach procedures and simultaneous intersecting runway operations. Final changes go into effect on October 3, 2002.
ERAU OFFICIALS VISIT AOPA, REVIEW CAPSTONE
Three administrators from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott, Arizona, campus visited AOPA headquarters last week to see the advantages of combining a multipurpose datalink with a multifunction display, as used in the FAA's Capstone program in Alaska. Two aircraft owned by AOPA and the Air Safety Foundation also have this equipment. "We handle some 200,000 operations each year, and with that amount of traffic, keeping track of other aircraft becomes critical," said ERAU-Prescott Chancellor Dan Carrell. "Capstone technology worked well in Alaska," AOPA President Phil Boyer told the visitors. "What AOPA would like to see now is for similar implementation in areas of the Lower 48, such as Prescott, with a high volume of traffic but little, if any, radar coverage." Initial feedback from the FAA and ERAU has been positive for expanding the Capstone technology. See AOPA Online.
BOYER THANKS TEXAS SENATOR FOR AIRPORT BILL
At a Pilot Town Meeting in Houston Tuesday night, AOPA President Phil Boyer paid tribute to Texas State Sen. Ken Armbrister for shepherding through the legislature a bill authorizing construction of a new airport in central Texas. Boyer said Armbrister's hard work was crucial to the bill's passage and presented him with an AOPA Presidential Citation. "Without all of Ken's effort," said Boyer, "general aviation pilots in central Texas would face a much bleaker future. Ever since Austin-Mueller and Austin Executive airports closed, there has been a critical need for a GA reliever airport in the Austin area." For more, see AOPA Online.
FAA SAYS NO TO AIRCRAFT BAN AT JACKSON HOLE AIRPORT
The FAA has stood up to the Jackson Hole Airport Authority by not allowing a ban of Stage Two turbojet aircraft. The airport authority attempted to implement a ban on jet aircraft without following FAA procedures, which includes extensive airport noise modeling studies as required by the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990. The FAA, citing its jurisdiction in this matter, rejected the authority's proposal. "While in this case the restriction only would have affected jet aircraft, we are concerned about any attempt to circumvent FAA rules," said Anne Esposito, AOPA vice president of airports. "It is refreshing to see the FAA stand behind its rules."
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| On Capitol Hill |
| SENATE COMMITTEE TAKES STEPS TOWARD MODERN FSS SYSTEM |
In its appropriations bill for the 2003 fiscal year, the Senate Appropriations Committee includes funding for 12 more flight service station Operational and Supportability Implementation System (OASIS) installations. OASIS is a flexible briefing tool that allows flight service to customize its briefing products and overlay a pilot's planned route of flight on maps and weather charts. The committee also endorsed better scheduling for the FSS voice switch upgrade that will allow an FSS to transfer voice communication to neighboring FSSs, improving service to pilots. Harris Corporation, the contractor developing OASIS, invited AOPA, FAA, and FSS union representatives to look at a live demo of the OASIS system. "The demonstration illustrated the fact that OASIS is a significant step forward from the current FSS computer system. General aviation pilots will benefit from the route planning tool and the briefer's ability to access information more quickly," said Melissa Bailey, AOPA vice president of air traffic, regulatory, and certification policy.
PARLIAMENT REPORT SLAMS BRITAIN'S PRIVATIZED ATC
AOPA is once again urging the White House to abandon any plans to privatize air traffic control in the United States, pointing to a scathing British government report on that country's National Air Traffic Services (NATS). The report, issued in late July by Parliament's select committee on transport, said NATS has failed to provide the benefits promised when the semi-privatized system was set up. The committee was even more incredulous that NATS was considering reducing the number of safety-critical staff because of its current economic problems. "Air traffic control assistants are vital to the safe operation of air traffic control," the committee said, "and it is incredible that NATS intends to reduce their number so soon after moving into a new, highly complex operating environment." AOPA President Phil Boyer said, "Around the world, we're seeing that privatized or corporatized air traffic control systems are just not able to withstand economic fluctuations. And yet here in the United States, President Bush has declared that ATC is not an inherently governmental function, clearing the way for the government to farm-out safety to some sort of corporate entity." See AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| ASNï¿½NEEDS MORE VOLUNTEERS |
What would you do if your airport closed tomorrow? Ask yourself these questions: Has my flying been affected by development near, restrictions on, or negative public relations about my local airport? Have local issues or political pressures affected my use and the efficiency of my local airport? If the answer is yes to either question, you may be just the sort of person we are looking for to help ensure the health and availability of your airport. Every day, more than 1,200 Airport Support Network volunteers are working with AOPA headquarters on a local level to help save their airports. That's a lot but not enough. 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 – see AOPAï¿½Online.
| AOPAï¿½Air Safety Foundation News |
| ASF AUCTION FOR SPIRIT OF LIBERTY CLOSES SOON |
Have you placed your bid for the hottest item on the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Online Silent Auction? There's still time. Bidding for the EADS Socata TB20 Trinidad closes on August 31 at 11 p.m. Eastern time. The winning bidder will certainly attract a lot of attention wherever he/she pulls up with this airplane, which features a one-of-a-kind patriotic paint scheme, an instrument panel that will make any pilot's heart beat faster, and a lot of extras. Have a closer look on AOPA Online, then place your bid.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: How long is the center stripe on a runway?
Answer: The answer is contained in FAA Advisory Circular 150/5340-1H, Standards for Airport Markings. Runway centerline markings are white in color. The stripes are 120 feet long and the gaps between the lines are 80 feet. Adjustments to the length of the stripes and gaps, if necessary, are made near the runway midpoint. The minimum width of the stripes is 36 inches for precision runways, 18 inches for nonprecision runways, and 12 inches for visual runways. Download the AC.
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 |
| ASF WEATHER RESOURCES |
Take ASF's new online safety quiz to learn about basic weather information and weather flying tactics. Items such as flight in turbulence and icing conditions are included. Recently, ASF produced a convenient, one-page downloadable cloud chart detailing major cloud types and flying conditions associated with each. Carry it with you while flying, to help when giving pilot reports (pireps). These and other resources are available in the SkySpotter weather resource section of ASF's Web site.
| Coming Up In AOPAï¿½Pilot |
|Fly the TBM 700, consider the Beech Skipper as a budget buy, and take a look back at the events surrounding the September 11 terrorist attacks in the September issue of AOPA Pilot. It will be mailed on Monday. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPAï¿½Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The Upward Air Show takes place August 24 and 25 at Chippewa Valley Regional Airport (EAU). Air Force Thunderbirds, Navy Leap Frogs, Lima Lima T-34 Demonstration Team, and other acts. Contact Stan Carpenter, 715/839-0373, or visit the Web site.
Sussex, New Jersey. The Sussex Airshow takes place August 23 through 25 at Sussex Airport (FWN). For more information, contact Paul Styger, 973/875-7337, 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 Schools will take place in Frederick, Maryland, September 7, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 8. 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].