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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| GA News |
| FAA ISSUES SECURITY RECOMMENDATIONS AFTER TAMPA CRASH |
The FAA has issued a set of recommendations to enhance security at flight schools and FBOs. The recommendations, which are designed to prevent unauthorized people from gaining access to aircraft, were issued in response to the suicide crash of a 15-year-old boy in Tampa, Florida. (See related story below.) "Since the Tampa incident, AOPA has worked very closely with the FAA to craft practical suggestions that will enhance general aviation security without unreasonable restrictions," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "These suggestions can be implemented immediately. On Tuesday, I urged FAA Administrator Jane Garvey to make them public as rapidly as possible." Although the FAA's recommendations are voluntary, many flight schools have already implemented the security controls. The suggestions include positively identifying a student or renter pilot before allowing access to aircraft; controlling aircraft ignition keys so that the student can't start the aircraft until the instructor is ready; and placing signs at airports warning against tampering with or unauthorized use of aircraft. To help the FAA get the information out, AOPA e-mailed copies to its Airport Support Network volunteers. See AOPA Online.
GE TO BUY MAGNETO MANUFACTURER
Unison Industries Inc. announced Tuesday that it has signed a definitive agreement to be purchased by GE Engine Services, a division of GE Aircraft Engines, which is a business unit of the General Electric Company. Unison's product list includes a line of magnetos and the Lasar electronic engine control system for piston aircraft engines. The transaction is contingent upon various regulatory approvals. The terms were not disclosed. Unison, a privately held company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, sells and services turbine ignitions, wiring harnesses, alternators, sensors, and switches to the aerospace and power generation industries. "The acquisition of Unison by GE Engine Services provides an excellent opportunity for Unison's customers and employees," said Rick Sontag, Unison founder and president.
MOONEY DEAL NEARS
A deal is getting closer to putting Mooney airplanes back in production, according to First Equity Development Inc., the investment bank that was retained to market Mooney Aircraft Corporation. Josh Krotec, an analyst with First Equity, said Wednesday that there are four main candidates that are in negotiation to restore Mooney. Although he declined to mention names, two of them are in the business of designing and manufacturing GA aircraft. Krotec said the third has aviation manufacturing experience and the fourth is a group of private investors. A deal could happen within days or take as long as a month or two, he added.
THINK TANK ASKS PRESIDENT TO PROTECT GPS NETWORK
A Washington, D.C.-based think tank pointed out in a report issued this week that the GPS network, important to the aviation industry, could be disrupted by terrorists. The Heritage Foundation concluded that the president should designate the network as a vital national asset and assign the Department of Defense as the lead agency to coordinate security with private businesses and other federal agencies. The report pointed out that Russia is actively marketing handheld GPS jamming equipment that can block GPS receivers for a range of up to 120 miles. The foundation also called for a more secure GPS network and to accelerate the modification of GPS satellites currently in production to provide more robust signals. The full report is available on the Web.
SEARCH FOR POST-9/11 LOANS CONTINUES
No doubt about it, last fall was hard on small aviation businesses and many are looking for money to make up for their losses. While the Small Business Administration (SBA) stepped up to the plate by extending eligibility for its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, gaps exist for those businesses whose health is so threatened that they cannot qualify for the SBA money. On September 25, AOPA submitted a plan to Congress that included a recommendation to provide financial relief in the form of no-obligation grant monies to GA businesses affected by the airspace restrictions. AOPA is currently backing legislation (H.R. 3347) drafted by House Aviation subcommittee Chairman John Mica of Florida that incorporates many of AOPA’s recommendations. Click here for more on SBA loans and the current GA business relief legislation or see AOPA Online.
GLASAIR, GLASTAR BACK IN THE AIR
More than a year after Stoddard-Hamilton Aircraft Inc. closed its doors, Glasair and GlaStar kits are back in production. Things have been moving ahead of schedule for New Glasair LLC and New GlaStar LLC. In late November a complete GlaStar kit with no backordered parts was shipped to a builder in England. Incomplete kits were "a problem Stoddard-Hamilton customers were faced with constantly," according to the new companies. Several more kits were scheduled for delivery before the end of last year. See the Web site.
GULFSTREAM JET TO BE USED IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation has been awarded a $49.8 million contract to supply one G-V business jet to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The modified aircraft will be used in a wide range of environmental research missions supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The jet is scheduled to enter service in 2005. "The Gulfstream V enables us to investigate essential questions concerning the Earth's changing climate that have previously been beyond our grasp," said NCAR Director Timothy Killeen. "These involve clouds, greenhouse gas concentrations, aerosol plumes, temperature, and other environmental factors."
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA MOUNTS MEDIA OFFENSIVE ON TAMPA INCIDENT |
AOPA is taking the offensive to ensure that this past weekend's tragic incident in Tampa, Florida, where a youth crashed an airplane into a building, does not result in ill-considered regulations affecting general aviation. "This was not a breach of security, this was an abuse of trust," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "An apparently troubled young man who had legitimate access to an aircraft abused the trust of his flight instructor and stole the airplane with tragic results." Boyer said that AOPA and the rest of the industry remains committed to the secure and safe operation of all general aviation aircraft. The industry has taken significant steps to enhance GA security, including forwarding a comprehensive set of recommendations to the Transportation Security Administration. AOPA has been active with the news media as well, with interviews with major national media ranging from CBS, ABC, NBC, and CNN to The Associated Press and USA Today. AOPA has been quoted in The New York Times and other publications, pointing out that this incident, "unfortunately and tragically demonstrates what we argued before–a general aviation aircraft just isn't capable of doing much damage" and is not a security threat to the public.
INSURANCE PLAN NOW AVAILABLE TO PRIVATE PILOTS
A term life insurance plan offered by AOPA Certified partner Minnesota Life allows up to $10 million of protection for AOPA members who hold at least an FAA private pilot certificate. The Preferred Select Individual Advantage Life Insurance plan was formerly available only to commercial pilots. Now private pilots and their spouses are eligible. "Not only is there no aviation surcharge, but it features lower hour requirements than most providers," said AOPA Senior Vice President of Products and Services Karen Gebhart. To qualify for the new plan, a private pilot must have an instrument rating and at least 250 total hours, be under 70 years old, and fly an average of four to 20 hours per month. No history of aviation accidents or violations is allowed, and the pilot must meet certain health requirements. For more, see AOPA Online.
Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
| On Capitol Hill |
| BUSH NAMES TRANSPORTATION SECURITY HEAD |
President Bush this week used a "recess appointment" to install John W. Magaw as the under secretary for the newly formed Transportation Security Administration (TSA) within the Department of Transportation (DOT). Magaw is a former director of the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and has been acting executive director of the Office of National Preparedness within the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The TSA is taking over aviation security from the FAA and is responsible for implementing the recently enacted aviation security law (PL 107-71). That law also required a DOT report to Congress on GA security. The secretary of transportation issued the report last month. To help educate Magaw on general aviation and security issues, AOPA, in conjunction with other GA groups, has sent him an industry security proposal. "We look forward to working with John Magaw in his new capacity," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "While we anticipate most of the TSA's attention will rightfully be oriented at commercial airline security, AOPA is taking steps to assist TSA in understanding how the issue applies to general aviation."
| Airport Support Network |
| SIGN UP TO SAVE YOUR AIRPORT |
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 1,100 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 AOPA Online.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: How large is the protected airspace in a circling approach??
Answer: The answer is located in Section 5-4-18, "Approach and Landing Minimums," of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). Circling approach protected areas are defined by the tangential connection of arcs drawn from each runway end. The arc radii distance differs by aircraft approach category. The circling approach area for Category A is a 1.3-mile radius while it's a 1.5-mile radius for Category B. 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].
| 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. |
| AOPA Career Opportunity |
|Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? AOPA is seeking a vice president of airports. This position provides leadership, coordination, direction, and development of association policy relating to advocacy on behalf of AOPA's membership at various levels. Direct management responsibility for the Airports Department, Airport Support Network, and State Legislative Affairs program. For a complete position description, see AOPA Online. |
To apply, send resume and salary requirements to AOPA.
| What's New At AOPA Online |
| 'NEVER AGAIN' IS ONCE AGAIN |
What's the most popular feature in AOPA Pilot? It's the "Never Again" column written by AOPA members about instructive–and often frightening–flight experiences. Now, never-before-published "Never Again" features are available on AOPA Online. A new installment of "Never Again Online" was just posted.
| ePilot Calendar |
| Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online. |
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Lakeland, Florida. RV Day takes place January 26 at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL) at the Sun ‘n Fun site. Call 863/644-0741 for event information.
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 Clinic is in San Jose, California, January 19 and 20. 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, Texas, February 3. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Van Nuys, California, January 14; Ontario, California, January 15; Carlsbad, California, January 16; Costa Mesa, California, January 17; San Antonio, Texas, January 21; West Houston, Texas, January 22; Austin, Texas, January 23; and Fort Worth, Texas, January 24. The topic is "Spatial Disorientation." See AOPA Online.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie S. Walker at [email protected].