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Copyright © 2002 AOPA.
| GA News |
| DIAMOND TWINSTAR MAKES MAIDEN FLIGHT |
The diesel-powered Diamond DA42 TwinStar made its first flight on December 9 from the Austrian factory at Wiener Neustadt. The TwinStar's Thielert Centurion 1.7 engines are certified to operate on both diesel and Jet A1 fuel. The composite-construction aircraft has single-lever power controls for each engine, estimated total fuel consumption of 10 gph at 180 knots, and an option for an all-glass cockpit. European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) certification of the TwinStar is projected for the end of 2003, with North American certification and initial deliveries projected for mid-2004. The target price is $360,000. For information, visit the Web site.
COMPANY INSTALLS AIRBAGS ON GA AIRCRAFT
You have one in your car, why not in your airplane? Amsafe, developer of aircraft seatbelts and restraints, has contracted with two general aviation aircraft manufacturers to install airbags in their aircraft. Gippsland Aeronautics, the Australian manufacturer of the GA-8 Airvan, and Zenith Aircraft Company, maker of the CH2000 single-engine certified airplane, have signed on to include the Amsafe Aviation Inflatable Restraint (AAIR) as an option. The airbag inflates from a section of the lap belt, expanding up and out from the pilot/passenger to cushion a forward impact. A company spokesman estimated the cost of installation at about $1,000 per seat. Certification for the AAIR on GA aircraft is expected in mid-2003. Amsafe has signed agreements with 17 airlines for installation of the AAIR beginning in 2003 as well. For more, see the Web site.
LIVING LEGEND FOSS FACES ANOTHER CHALLENGE
Joe Foss, Marine ace and former South Dakota governor, now lies in a coma in an Arizona hospital after suffering from a stroke two months ago. Just prior to being stricken, Foss, 87, launched the Joe Foss Institute, intended to enlist war veterans to teach young people about American history, the military, patriotism, and sacrifice. The institute is going forward with its plans after receiving support from astronauts John Glenn and Wally Schirra, journalist Tom Brokaw, actor Robert Stack, and many recipients of the Medal of Honor. Foss himself received the award. The institute is being spearheaded by Foss's wife, Donna, and close friend Gus Grant, founding president of telecommunications giant Sprint.
'UNSPINNABLE' LUSCOMBE SPARTAN RECEIVES TYPE CERTIFICATE
The FAA on Tuesday granted an amended type certificate to Luscombe Aircraft Corporation for its 11E Spartan. The single-engine, four-place Spartan is powered by a Continental IO-360 governed to 185 horsepower, with a fixed-pitch prop, tricycle gear, and a base price of $155,900. The company aims what it calls a comfortable, reliable, and highly stable airplane at the training market. In fact, the airplane passed spin certification on an equivalent level of safety clause because of its inherent spin resistance. "In spite of exhaustive attempts, it has not been possible to cause the airplane to enter a spin condition," said the FAA in a memo accompanying the type certificate. Company president John Daniel predicts production of the 11E to begin in six to eight months. See the Web site.
PILOTS TO BENEFIT FROM GPS ROUTES IN CLASS B AIRSPACE
A proposed FAA rule change long sought by AOPA would help alleviate major reroutes and delays frequently experienced by general aviation pilots attempting to transition through or over Class B and special-use airspace. Two years ago AOPA requested that the FAA provide GPS-equipped pilots with the capability to fly charted GPS routes through Class B airspace as well as fly at lower altitudes along airways where ground-based navigation equipment requires higher minimum altitudes. AOPA also requested that the FAA provide for more charted "direct routes" for increased access to remote airports where radar is nonexistent and random GPS routing is not permitted. Pilots using GPS operating under either IFR or VFR could expect to fly the routes with appropriate clearances when necessary. "This rulemaking activity directly reflects AOPA's constant pressure to push for benefits from GPS equipment," said Andy Cebula, an AOPA senior vice president.
POTOMAC TRACON OPENS, AIRSPACE CHANGES TO COME
Pilots flying in the Mid-Atlantic region this week began hearing a new call sign from controllers. After five years of planning, development, and construction, Dulles radar approach control personnel have moved into the new Potomac consolidated tracon and are using the Potomac Approach call sign. For pilots, the new call sign is the only change; frequencies and airspace sectors remain the same. "The new tracon will improve communication and should lead to better general aviation access to Washington-area airspace," said Melissa Bailey, AOPA vice president of air traffic policy. "AOPA was involved in many of the planning meetings and advocated for more GA routes." Although the Baltimore-Washington Class B won't change immediately, plans for the Potomac Tracon call for more GA routes through the airspace, more overflight routes, and more direct south and east routes. Over the next five months, radar approach controllers from Andrews Air Force Base; Baltimore; Richmond, Virginia; and Ronald Reagan/Washington National Airport will transition to the new facility, consolidating the five centers that control most of the airspace over Maryland and Virginia. A redesign of the Baltimore/Washington Class B airspace is expected to follow.
FAA REVISES TWO OLD LYCOMING ADs
The FAA this week published a proposed revision to a 1998 airworthiness directive (98-18-12) on Crane/Lear Romec fuel pumps installed in various fuel-injected Lycoming engines. The proposed AD supersedes the previous AD and allows for termination of the original AD's repetitive inspection requirements by installing a newly designed pump. The proposed AD is intended to prevent fuel pump leaks, which could result in engine failure or engine fire. Comments are due February 11. Click here to download the AD. FAA sources this week also alerted AOPA to another pending AD revision intended to stop fuel leaks on various Lycoming engines. Sources tell AOPA that AD 2002-26-01, signed earlier this week, will be published in the Federal Register sometime in the coming weeks, possibly as late as early next year. The new AD supersedes two 1993 issued ADs and requires inspection of fuel lines and clamps for proper installation at annual or 100-hour intervals, and whenever they're removed for maintenance. The revised AD reportedly maintains the compliance provisions of the 1993 ADs, and incorporates new engine models. AOPA will make a copy of the revised AD available immediately upon its publication.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA TAKES 'TIME' TO TASK FOR 'INFLAMMATORY' AD |
AOPA President Phil Boyer responded quickly when Time magazine this week tried to reignite the argument over whether or not general aviation aircraft pose a threat to nuclear power plants. In a full-page ad paid for by Time Inc., Time showed two small aircraft tied down with cooling towers in the background. The caption read, "Remember when only environmentalists would have been alarmed by this photo? Join the conversation." In a letter to the editor, Boyer responded, "By using such an inflammatory caption, you have chosen to begin the conversation by yelling 'Fire!' in a crowded movie house. You preclude any further rational discussion." Boyer pointed out the physical improbability of a light GA aircraft causing any kind of significant damage to a hardened nuclear power plant. In addition, he directed Time's editors to an independent study commissioned by AOPA confirming that GA aircraft simply don't have the destructive potential to harm a nuclear power plant. See the letter on AOPA Online.
AOPA TO RUN TV SPOTS ABOUT GA
Building on the success of a print advertising campaign earlier this year, AOPA will reach out to the nonflying public with new TV commercials. Beginning next week, AOPA will run a "flight" of ads on The Weather Channel. The 30-second commercials will be viewed in some 24 million households across the country. The ads will present interesting facts to viewers about general aviation, and direct them to the GA Serving America Web site to learn more. The campaign will also include banner ads on the aviation page of The Weather Channel's Web site and on the Intellicast weather Web site. "By running this campaign during the busy holiday travel season, we'll reach a lot of folks who might otherwise never give GA a second thought as they watch for the forecasts at their destinations," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
NO MORE SUPER BOWL FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS, AOPA SAYS
AOPA recently voiced opposition to any additional flight restrictions for the upcoming Super Bowl during the week of January 26 in San Diego, California. In a letter to the FAA, AOPA insists that airspace security interests are adequately addressed through a temporary flight restriction (TFR) area established by Notam 2/0199. The San Diego Police Department and the NFL are pushing for restrictions that go above and beyond the current notam, which establishes a 3-nm radius TFR extending up to 3,000 feet agl. "Notam 2/0199 was implemented to address large open-air gatherings like the Super Bowl," said Melissa Bailey, AOPA vice president of air traffic policy. "AOPA therefore encourages the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration [TSA] to continue to support Notam 2/0199 and disapprove any airspace action that would further restrict general aviation access to San Diego airspace during the week of the Super Bowl." AOPA worked in conjunction with the TSA and sporting interests like the NFL to develop the notam.
Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
| Airport Support Network |
| TIME TO MAKE YOUR NEW YEAR'S AVIATION RESOLUTIONS |
It's that time of year again-hopefully you have made some resolutions to help your airport. If you haven't, here are some suggestions: I will learn the meeting schedule for my airport's governing body and try to attend at least one meeting a month. I will recruit local pilots who are willing to work together to promote the interests of general aviation pilots for our airport. I will work with my airport management team to create or continue events that promote the value of my airport to the community. I will take every opportunity I can to positively promote my airport to my neighbors and the nonflying public and practice "flying friendly" techniques. I will find out who my local AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer is and offer my assistance in supporting the program. And if there isn't an ASN volunteer at my airport, I will seriously consider nominating myself or another AOPA member to the position. Below are some airports in your area that need volunteers.
To nominate a volunteer, which can be yourself, visit AOPA Online.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: I received a pirep that included a note about moderate icing. What is the definition of the degrees of icing that may be reported?
Answer: The definitions for trace, light, moderate, and severe icing can be found in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). Trace: Ice becomes perceptible. Rate of accumulation is slightly greater than the rate of sublimation. It is not hazardous even though deicing/anti-icing equipment is not used unless encountered for more than one hour. (Note: The FAA has proposed the elimination of this definition, since even a small accumulation may be hazardous depending on its roughness and location.) Light: The rate of accumulation may create a problem if flight is prolonged in this environment (more than one hour). Occasional use of deicing/anti-icing equipment removes/prevents accumulation. It does not present a problem if the deicing/anti-icing equipment is used. Moderate: The rate of accumulation is such that even short encounters become potentially hazardous and use of deicing/anti-icing equipment or flight diversion is necessary. Severe: The rate of accumulation is such that deicing/anti-icing equipment fails to reduce or control the hazard. Immediate flight diversion is necessary. Click here to download the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Aircraft Icing Safety Advisor.
AOPA LAUNCHES 'QUIZ ME' DATABASE
AOPA Aviation Services has developed a compilation on AOPA Online of past Quiz Me questions called Frequently Asked Questions from this popular section of ePilot. Currently, there are more than 200 questions and answers in the database, which is searchable by category and/or keyword. For example, you can enter "aircraft" as a category and "icing" as a keyword to see the questions that deal with aircraft and icing. 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].
| Coming Up In 'AOPA Pilot' |
|AOPA President Phil Boyer becomes a "real pilot" by soloing in a Waco biplane; fly the new Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP decked out with the latest avionics; and check out flying in El Salvador in the January issue of AOPA Pilot. It will be mailed today. |
| Picture Perfect |
The AOPA Online Gallery allows you to download your favorite images to use for wallpaper, send a personalized e-card, and order high-quality prints to be shipped directly to your doorstep. Search the hundreds of fabulous images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online.
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Due to the upcoming holiday, there are no calendar events for this 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].
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 San Jose, California; Jackson, Mississippi; and Portland, Oregon, January 4 and 5. Clinics are also scheduled in Detroit; Rochester, New York; and Seattle, January 11 and 12. Attend a FIRC during the month of December and receive a free ASF umbrella! 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-Hitter® Ground Schools will take place in Detroit, and Seattle, January 12. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
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.