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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| GA News |
| CIRRUS BREAKS GROUND FOR FINISHING CENTER |
Cirrus Design Corporation is planning to ramp up production of its single-engine aircraft lines with the groundbreaking for a new facility last month at its Duluth, Minnesota, headquarters. Cirrus officials said the new 63,000-square-foot building will be used for painting and finishing operations and will also serve as the customer delivery center. "Our new building will free up space in our existing manufacturing facility, allowing us to manufacture more aircraft and deliver them to our order-holders faster," said Alan Klapmeier, Cirrus president and CEO. The company plans to occupy the building this summer. With the hiring of more employees and improvements made to the manufacturing process, Cirrus plans to produce two aircraft per business day during second quarter this year with the intention of upping it to three per day in 2003.
DANIEL WEBSTER COLLEGE REBOUNDS FROM 9/11
Applications to aviation programs at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, New Hampshire, are up 10 percent over last year–previously a record enrollment year–despite the fallout from September 11. School officials said students are still determined to make careers out of aviation. In addition to recovering from the effects of being grounded for 11 days, Daniel Webster also discovered from checking its own records that the school was contacted by the alleged lead terrorist, Mohammad Atta. He had sought enrollment information using an e-mail address in Hamburg, Germany. The FBI later verified the address, said school officials. Atta never did apply to Daniel Webster, possibly because there is no jet training at the school and it offers four-year aviation degrees.
OLYMPIC TORCH VISITS WRIGHT CYCLE COMPANY
The 2002 Winter Olympic Torch Relay brought some attention to aviation's past by stopping at the Dayton Aviation Heritage Historical Park on its way to Utah. The torch spent about five minutes at the Wright Cycle Company in Dayton, Ohio. Inventing Flight: Dayton 2003 and park officials organized a short program to educate the crowd about the centennial anniversary of the Wright brothers' first manned powered flight. Steven Wright, great-nephew of the brothers, presented a special memento sketch of the cycle company to the torch runners. Dayton's The Centennial Celebration takes place July 3 through 20, 2003.
FAA REVISES 10-YEAR MODERNIZATION PLAN
The FAA has updated its Operational Evolution Plan (OEP), a short-term guide (less than 10 years) for enhancements to the air traffic system primarily designed to improve capacity and set the stage for longer-term modernization efforts. The new version reveals that runway construction at two air carrier airports is not meeting expected schedules and a datalink system used for air traffic control will be delayed for two years. The Department of Transportation inspector general has also launched an investigation to examine how the events of September 11, the economic downturn, and new security requirements have affected key OEP initiatives. Parts of the OEP could generate airspace access issues or establish new training and equipment requirements. Currently, the only equipment requirement called for is modification to aircraft for domestic implementation of reduced vertical separation minimums (DRVSM) to reduce aircraft separation to 1,000 feet vertically at altitudes above Flight Level 290. AOPA is working on a long-term strategy for DRVSM implementation. See AOPA Online.
...AND BOEING SUBMITS IDEAS ON AIR TRAFFIC SECURITY
Meanwhile, The Boeing Company has submitted ideas to the Department of Transportation after the government asked for private-sector input on how to improve the security of the air transportation system. Among Boeing's ideas: enable secure and encrypted communication links between aircraft, satellites, and ground-based users to provide real-time information about air traffic conditions so that authorities can react to unusual situations; detect and analyze weather, chemical, biological, and nuclear events so that traffic managers can instantly reroute aircraft in emergencies while taking weather into account; and provide three-dimensional airport models that would utilize information from security devices to formulate evacuation plans. On the same day last June that the FAA unveiled the OEP, Boeing announced its plan to overhaul the air traffic system using an advanced satellite-based system. Boeing maintains that its plan would complement the FAA's plan, but would take things much farther down the road as far as increasing capacity and reducing delays. See AOPA Online.
ROCKET-POWERED LONG EZ AIMS FOR EDGE OF SPACE
The Xcor Aerospace Company blasted a highly modified Long EZ aircraft, along with test pilot Dick Rutan, to 8,500 feet earlier this month from Mojave, California, using two 400-pound-thrust rockets. Another demonstration flight is planned for January 22 at Mojave. The rockets weigh only 18 pounds each. The aircraft took off and landed conventionally but stayed below its VNE of 190 knots. Rockets burned for 2 minutes and 22 seconds. What does Rutan get out of it? More records to add to his famous nonstop flight around the world with Jeanna Yeager. Rutan expects to achieve time-to-climb and distance records in one flight. Xcor President Jeff Greason, who developed the rockets himself, said he hopes to attract $8 million in investments to continue development of a larger manned vehicle that could boost a 600-pound payload to suborbital altitudes. There, a satellite could be dropped off that uses its own attached rocket to achieve orbit. Or scientific payload could gather data. Another option is to carry a passenger or an onboard scientific experiment. Such experiments are now carried by small unmanned rockets.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| FAA RELEASES 45-NM SFRA FOR WINTER OLYMPICS |
Using a special ePilot bulletin, AOPA notified Utah area members Wednesday about details of the FAA's Olympic Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA). With the opening ceremonies only 23 days away, the FAA published the Olympic SFRA establishing restricted airspace within a 45-nm radius of Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) beginning on February 8 and continuing through February 24. Only aircraft operations accredited by the Utah Olympic Public Safety Command (UOPSC) that have complied with the security programs set forth in the SFRA and are under positive air traffic control may operate in the Olympic-ring airspace. Transient aircraft must clear a security check at one of four "gateway" airports that are more than 180 miles from SLC. AOPA pushed hard for procedures to accommodate the needs of local pilots, but has been unsuccessful so far. "While AOPA understands the need for security at the Olympics, we are disappointed that security officials ignored AOPA's recommendations to allow local operations in a manner that did not jeopardize security," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. AOPA continues its work with congressional representatives (see related story below) in hopes of securing a last-minute change to the gateway airport provision. Pilots are reminded to check notams carefully before flying and to visit AOPA Online for the latest information.
AOPA HELPS SECURE ALTERNATE FUEL RESEARCH FUNDING
AOPA's efforts in working with Congress helped secure more than $8.5 million for FAA propulsion and fuels research programs for this year. Although current supplies and production of 100LL are secure for the near term, AOPA has been actively involved in advancing and encouraging alternative fuels research by the FAA and the industry by participation in cooperative industry organizations. To provide a possible alternative in the short term, AOPA has promoted interim-use fuel specifications, such as the recently readopted ASTM unleaded 91/98 specification, which could act as a substitute for about 30 percent of the 100LL consumed each year. "AOPA remains hopeful that these cooperative research and testing efforts will yield a total unleaded replacement for 100LL avgas without expensive engine modifications or restrictive aircraft operational limits," said Lance Nuckolls, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. For more, see AOPA Online.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| CONGRESSMAN ASKS SECURITY OFFICIAL TO REVISIT OLYMPICS TFR |
Lifelong general aviation advocate Rep. James Hansen (R-Utah) sent a letter on Wednesday to Tom Ridge, director of Homeland Security, requesting that GA air transportation access be taken into account in the security plan for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. "While I clearly recognize the need for protecting athletes and spectators during this unique event, it is imperative that those who use aviation as a means of travel within Utah are able to operate during this special event," he wrote. The FAA issued a rule regarding airspace restrictions during the games on Wednesday, but Hansen said that he hopes his recommendations for GA access will still be taken into account and that the FAA will "establish 'gateway airports' that are closer in proximity to Salt Lake City than those that are currently designated as 'gateway airports.' To accomplish this, the FAA should amend the 45-mile temporary flight restriction (TFR) area to allow Provo (Municipal) Airport to be used as a 'gateway airport' to the south and Brigham City Airport to the north."
CONGRESS HEADS BACK TO THE HILL
Congress will be back on Capitol Hill next Wednesday for the first day of the second session of the 107th Congress. Members left some unfinished business pertaining to general aviation last session when they adjourned in December. AOPA Legislative Affairs is gearing up to work with Congress for passage of a GA relief package–which would provide low-interest loans and grants to small businesses that were affected by the actions taken by the FAA in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks–as well as ensuring the passage of the Chicago airports bills that would preserve Meigs Field. See AOPA Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK—RUSS HENSLEY |
Russ Hensley, Airport Support Network volunteer for Blue Grass Airport (LEX) in Lexington, Kentucky, alerted the ASN staff to a developing issue regarding airport security access. Because of problems associated with fingerprinting applicants for unescorted airport access, the airport has stopped issuing IDs to new applicants and renewing old IDs. The entire airport has been designated a security identification device area (SIDA), which includes the GA ramps as well as the airline terminal. AOPA is working with Hensley on reducing the affect on GA at LEX. If you know of a similar situation, you can let your local ASN volunteer know via the ASN Web page. If your airport does not have a volunteer and you are interested in becoming one, please send an e-mail or fill out the online nomination form.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| ASF-JEPP PROGRAM WINS AWARD |
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation recently won an award of distinction for its ASF-Jeppesen CFI Renewal Online program. The award was presented by the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. The award is the highest honor available in the competition. ASF's program will move on to the international competition, where judges from all chapters nationwide, as well as Canada and some of the Pacific Rim, will consider it. The judges look for organization, editing/writing, layout, usability, integration of media, and achievement of purpose. The ASF-Jepp program allows flight instructors to complete their certificate renewals at home and on their own schedules. For more information, see the Web site.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: I'm planning a trip for later in the year and need to order some charts for areas in which I normally don't fly. Is there any listing of scheduled publication dates for updates to aeronautical charts so I don't buy some charts, only to have them expire within a week or two after getting them?
Answer: The National Aeronautical Chart Office (NACO) provides a Web site where dates of the latest editions and next scheduled editions are given for sectional charts, world aeronautical charts (WAC), and VFR terminal area charts (TAC). In addition, the scheduled dates are given for those publications that are on the 56-day update cycle, including terminal procedures, IFR en route charts, and "Airport/Facility Directories" (AF/Ds). As a service to our members, AOPA provides terminal procedures charts on AOPA Online. See the Web site, then click on "U.S. Terminal Procedures."
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. |
| Coming Up in 'AOPA Pilot' |
|In the February edition of AOPA Pilot, read about the trials and tribulations of a fixed-wing pilot learning to fly a helicopter, weather decision-making, a new look at an old problem: spatial disorientation; and finally, the cat is back: the new Tiger. It will be mailed next week. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Going winter flying? Check out our updated report on AOPA Online. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online. |
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Brodhead, Wisconsin. Groundhog Day/Chili Skiplane Fly-In/Drive-In takes place February 2 at Brodhead Airport (C37). Call 262/215-9388 for event information.
Chino, California. Tuskegee Airmen will be the special feature at the Air Museum Planes of Fame on February 2. Call 909/597-3722 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].