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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 50AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 50

Volume 4, Issue 50 • December 13, 2002
In this issue:
Military to buy 35 more T-6A trainers from Raytheon
NORAD to track Santa
AOPA defends GA airports in Twin Cities

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Pilot Insurance


Lycoming Ad

NABA Products

AOPA Legal Services Plan


Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA CD Special

Garmin International

AOPA Term life insurance

DTC Duat

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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Tel: 800/USA-AOPA or

Copyright © 2002 AOPA.

GA News
The new year will mean new airplanes rolling off the line at The Lancair Company. Supervisors and lead production staff started working last month to prepare for the restart of the production facility in Bend, Oregon. In a recent interview, Ron Wright, Lancair vice president of operations, said that Lancair has secured, from an undisclosed investor, "a lot more funding than we were searching for a year ago." Lancair had produced more than 50 Lancair 300s when it abruptly announced last summer that it was ceasing production because of cash flow problems. All but a few employees were sent home. Lancair officials have been in contact with the company's trained employees during the shutdown and said that "virtually 100 percent" are ready to go back to work. Besides the production staff, more employees are slated to start back to work in January, with production ramping up later in the quarter.

Fay Gillis Wells, who was a pilot, journalist, and a founder of The Ninety-Nines, died of pneumonia on December 1. She was 94. Wells led a colorful life as a foreign correspondent for various newspapers and mixed with the likes of Wiley Post, according to The Washington Post. She had arranged to accompany Post on the ill-fated flight that took his life in Alaska. Will Rogers, who also died in the 1935 crash, was her replacement. Instead of going on the flight she married journalist Linton Wells and they honeymooned in Ethiopia, where the couple teamed up to cover the war between Ethiopia and Italy. After returning to America she became a demo pilot and saleswoman for the Curtiss Flying Service. During an airshow, the airplane she was flying suffered a severe structural failure. After Wells' parachute saved her life, she became the first woman member of the Caterpillar Club. At the time of her death, Wells was one of four surviving charter members of The Ninety-Nines.

Raytheon Aircraft has received a $169.9 million follow-on contract to provide the Air Force an additional 35 T-6A Texan II trainer aircraft, plus training devices and manuals. The contract is the first exercised option to the company's largest military contract ever-a one-year agreement with four one-year options worth a potential $1.22 billion that was awarded in December 2001. The Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) program calls for nearly 800 aircraft through the year 2017.

On Christmas Eve, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and North Pole officials will once again track Santa Claus and his reindeer on their global gift-giving journey. Because of a population explosion and a little overeating, Santa recently received FAA approval of a gross weight increase for his sled. To make sure you have all the software to track Santa on December 24, see the Web site.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Inside AOPA
AOPA President Phil Boyer hasn't wasted any time in trying to prod Michigan's new governor to do the right thing for general aviation. In a letter to Governor-elect Jennifer M. Granholm, Boyer urged her to "consider the implications" of continuing to enforce the state's pilot background check law. Passed in May 2002, the law requires a criminal record background check through the FBI for any person seeking flight training in the state-whether to obtain a pilot certificate, add a new certificate, or add a rating to an existing certificate. In August AOPA filed suit in federal court, contending that the law is a violation of Article VI, clause 2 (the "supremacy clause") of the U.S. Constitution. The FAA has also weighed in with a legal opinion that the "qualifications of persons operating aircraft are determined according to federal rules and should not be subject to standards varying from state to state." Boyer also told the governor-elect that she shouldn't allow aviation to get lost in a bureaucratic reshuffle. See AOPA Online.

AOPA is acting quickly to squelch any attempts to sell six publicly owned general aviation airports around Minnesota's twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC) is considering selling the airports to cover operating deficits at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). In letters to MAC and Minnesota's newly elected governor, AOPA argued that MAC's six GA airports must remain open to the public without unreasonable increases in rates and charges. See AOPA Online.

The FAA last week honored AOPA for the association's support of the Safe Flight 21 program. The award was presented during a demonstration to top FAA managers of the Capstone equipment installed in AOPA aircraft and at AOPA headquarters. Capstone combines a multipurpose datalink with a multifunction cockpit display, providing the pilot with weather graphics (including Nexrad radar) and text, collision avoidance information, and terrain warnings. Capstone is part of the Safe Flight 21 program to improve aviation safety. See AOPA Online.

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AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
With the return of winter comes one of aviation's deadliest enemies: in-flight ice build-up. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation, in collaboration with the FAA, has just updated and reprinted its popular Safety Advisor on icing, to help pilots cope with the problem. The Aircraft Icing Safety Advisor dispels many common misunderstandings: that the weight of the ice is what causes danger; that carburetor icing is a thing of the past; and that pilots have few options to avoid ice. Will full-color charts and photographs, the publication explains the conditions that may lead to icing, the different kinds of ice a pilot may encounter, hazards caused by icing, and steps a pilot can take to escape an icing encounter. It also includes a harrowing cautionary tale by a pilot who waited longer than he should have to get out of icing conditions. Click here to download the document. A printed copy can be ordered from the Web site or by calling 800/638-3101.
Quiz Me!
Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.

Question: Which is more common: A vacuum system/pump failure or a vacuum instrument failure?

Answer: While both are rare, it's more common for the vacuum system or vacuum pump to fail. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation conducted a study of general aviation accidents during a 10-year period. It found that 271 were caused by spatial disorientation; vacuum system/pump failure contributed to 17 of these, instrument failure contributed to six, and both kinds of failures contributed to two. For more, read ASF's study or click here to download ASF's Spatial Disorientation Safety Advisor.

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
Looking for a unique gift this holiday season? Order high-quality prints from the AOPA Online Gallery. Search the hundreds of fabulous images, select your favorite, and with just a few keystrokes, a beautiful print will be shipped directly to your doorstep! Of course, you can still download your favorite images to use for wallpaper or send a personalized e-card. For more details, see AOPA Online.
Attention Pilots
AOPA is currently searching for a Director, Multimedia Communications at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland. Please call Human Resources at 301/695-2000, or visit AOPA Online to learn more about this exciting employment opportunity.
What's New At AOPA Online
The best landing in the world means nothing when the wind battles you back to the ramp. It pays to know those taxiing techniques. See the latest Never Again Online, titled Wind Effects, exclusively on AOPA Online.
Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
Wickenburg, Arizona. Fly-in and Explore Wickenburg takes place December 21 at Wickenburg Municipal/Wellik Field (E25). This month's activity is a tour of the Desert Caballeros Western Museum. A fee of $5 per person includes the tour and round trip transportation to the museum. Contact Maria Langer, 928/684-5690, or visit the Web site.

Hesperia, California. A Toy Drive and Toy Air Show takes place December 22 at Hesperia Airport (L26). A free pancake breakfast for fly-in pilots, with toy donation valued at $20 or more. Runway closes to landing and departing aircraft from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for a remote controlled plane airshow. Call Debbie, 760/948-1177.

Aviation activities traditionally slow down at this time of year, and you may not receive a regional calendar each week. To submit an event to the calendar, or search all events, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online .

For comments on calendar items, contact [email protected].

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Fresno, California, and Reston, Virginia, December 21 and 22. Clinics are also scheduled in San Jose, California; Jackson, Mississippi; and Portland, Oregon, January 4 and 5. Attend a FIRC during the month of December and receive a free ASF umbrella! 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 Detroit, and Seattle, January 12. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Reno, Nevada, January 6; Sacramento, California, January 7; San Jose, California, January 8; Oakland, California, January 9; and Santa Rosa, California, January 10. The topic is The Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings. For the complete schedule, see AOPA Online.

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