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

Volume 4, Issue 4 • January 25, 2002
In this issue:
FAA may approve Internet as flight info source
Glasair, GlaStar offer kit sale
AOPA Flight Explorer adds new features

AOPA Flight Explorer

King Schools

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Pilot Insurance

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA CD Special

Garmin International

AOPA Term life insurance

AOPA Legal Services Plan

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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Copyright � 2002 AOPA.

GA News
Meigs Field's future has become more secure. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, and Senate aviation subcommittee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) announced at a news conference Thursday afternoon that the Senate Commerce Committee will soon hold a hearing on a bill that would keep Meigs Field open. The legislation (S. 1786) would write into law the historic agreement between Daley and Illinois Gov. George Ryan, preserving Meigs, expanding O'Hare International, and creating a new airport at Peotone. AOPA President Phil Boyer met up yesterday with Daley (who was in Washington, D.C., for the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors). "It was great to be able to thank him for including Meigs Field in the plan for Chicago-area airports," Boyer said. See AOPA Online.

From pixels to metal, you, too, can watch the Eclipse 500 jet take shape. After Eclipse Aviation started cutting metal last September, the company is now offering pictures of airplane parts on its Web site. So far the company has raised $180 million toward the $300 million that is needed for certification, company officials said. The company said the light business jet is scheduled to fly this summer. See the Web site.

After reviewing comments submitted by AOPA and other organizations, the FAA issued a nonmandatory special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) instead of an AD for certain Cessna single-engine retractable gear airplanes. AOPA, with support from the Cessna Pilots Association, pointed out that there were few reported failures of landing gear actuators on the Cessna airplanes, and that none of the failures that have occurred in the past 20 years resulted in injuries or substantial damage to the aircraft. “This is yet another example of how the various organizations representing the aircraft users have provided the FAA with valuable ‘real world’ experience in dealing with an airworthiness concern,” said Lance Nuckolls, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. To download a copy of the SAIB, see AOPA Onlline.

The FAA is now moving toward approving the Internet as an "official" information source. The agency has just published a proposed advisory circular outlining recommended practices for "Internet communication of aviation weather and notams." AOPA has been pushing for years for the FAA to use the power of the Internet to get pilots the information they need quickly and efficiently, and to change agency policy so that a pilot can legally use Web resources to make operational decisions. While today a pilot can get aviation weather and notams on the Web from a variety of government and other sources, they don't count (except for DUAT) as a legal preflight briefing. AOPA's Online Flight Planning Service uses DUAT and is a legal briefing. See AOPA Online.

Garmin avionics are now standard in Diamond DA40 Star and DA20-C1 Eclipse aircraft. Both aircraft come with the GNS 430 nav/com/gps, GTX 327 digital transponder, and GMA 340 audio panel. Upgrades to dual GNS 430s or the GNS 530 are available for customers who want a more advanced panel. A bendix/King standard avionics package is still available for the Diamond Star. See the Web site.

If you've been thinking about starting a Glasair or GlaStar kit, now might be a good time, according to company officials. New Glasair LLC and New GlaStar LLC are offering a 10-percent discount to those who place orders by March 15. In addition, the first 10 orders will enable kit builders to qualify for added discounts of up to $1,755 in cash or $2,433 in added optional equipment. See the Web site.

Owners of Cessna 320 Skynights will be pleased to know that Teledyne Continental Motors will be able to supply pistons for the TSIO-470 engine. For many years Continental relied on two suppliers for the pistons but both left the aircraft business. Continental bought what it thought was an adequate supply of parts, but found out later that the supply was nearly exhausted. In a January 4 letter to an owner, Continental said that it has developed a new source and expects to have adequate inventories to service the market within seven to 12 weeks. Cessna built 577 twin-engine Skynights but only 329 remain on the U.S. registry. The earlier models were powered by the 470 engine.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Inside AOPA
FAA Administrator Jane Garvey told the Washington Aero Club Wednesday that the last three closed general aviation airports in the Washington, D.C., area should be able to open within the next few days. AOPA has confirmed with FAA sources that the agency has completed work on the special federal aviation regulation (SFAR) that will establish the security and airspace rules that will permit based aircraft to begin flying again out of College Park (CGS), Potomac Airfield (VKX), and Washington Executive/Hyde Field (W32). The SFAR will now have to be reviewed by security agencies including the U.S. Secret Service. However, these agencies have already seen drafts of the rule and have agreed to the overall concepts. The airports have remained closed since September 11. AOPA last Friday sent about 30,000 ePilot special bulletins to East Coast members about progress on the issue. See AOPA Online.

Last Friday morning in Maui, Hawaii, AOPA President Phil Boyer gave the keynote speech at the Superior Air Parts 2002 Worldwide Symposium for suppliers and dealers. Boyer covered post-September 11 tragedy measures taken by the association to restore VFR flying. Boyer commented on the recovery of general aviation, pointing to record AOPA Expo attendance fewer than 60 days after the terrorist attacks. He noted that many AOPA members have said that they will be flying their own airplanes more on business, rather than using the airlines. At the conclusion of his speech, Superior Air Parts President and CEO Bernie Coleman presented Boyer a special award for his "outstanding leadership in helping to secure a solid future for general aviation." Last week Boyer conducted his 263rd Pilot Town Meeting, the first time such an event has taken place in Hawaii.

If you are a subscriber to AOPA Flight Explorer Personal Edition, sit back and get ready for a series of interesting upgrades. Starting today, Flight Explorer will provide the first in a series of six "quick value-added releases" over the next three months. The first release adds a simple DUAT button on the software's tool bar–DUAT functionality will be added this spring. "These release enhancements are specifically designed to increase Flight Explorer's value to AOPA members and general aviation overall, especially in a post-September 11 environment," said Walt Kross, Flight Explorer president. Flight Explorer's aircraft situation display can be used to save time, money, and fuel while improving safety. The second release, due in mid-February, will include a number of "post-9/11" features already part of Flight Explorer's recently announced high-end Professional 4.0. See AOPA Online.

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Airport Support Network
AOPA's Airport Support Network is striving to place an ASN volunteer at each of the 5,300 public-use airports in the United States. To help do that, a new manager has been named to the program. Mark Lowdermilk comes from the cockpit of a 727, the flight lines of general aviation flight schools, and even from the West Virginia governor's office. He knows aviation and he knows government. Lowdermilk will oversee more than 1,100 ASN volunteers who act as AOPA's eyes and ears and provide an early warning of problems or threats to airports. Volunteer also establish communication with airport management, political bodies, and businesses on the field. Does this sound like something your airport needs? If so, your airport needs an ASN volunteer. 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.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
The FAA announced Wednesday that the number of runway incursions fell last year, reversing an upward trend. Significantly, the two most serious types of incursion also decreased, along with the total rate of runway incursions. There were 380 incursions last year compared to 431 in 2000. AOPA President Phil Boyer, along with the head of the FAA's runway safety program, told the press that much of the credit belongs to new education programs for pilots and controllers. Last March, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Runway Safety Program was launched. The number of incursions last year was running slightly ahead of 2000 until midyear, when several education programs kicked in. 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: What is meant by the phrase "preferred IFR route?" Where can I find out what they are?

Answer: According to the Pilot/Controller Glossary, preferred IFR routes are routes established between busier airports to increase system efficiency and capacity. They are designed to achieve balanced traffic flows among high-density terminals. IFR clearances are issued on the basis of these routes except when severe weather or other factors dictate. You may find listings of preferred IFR routes in the Airport/Facility Directory. Preferred IFR routes are correlated with departure procedures and standard terminal arrivals which may be accessed on 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.
Career Opportunities at AOPA
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? AOPA is looking for an aviation technical specialist to join its dynamic Aviation Services team. Specialists field questions from AOPA members on a wide variety of subjects including aircraft ownership, regulations, and other general aviation issues from the Pilot Information Center, by making contact via AOPA Online, or by paper mail and e-mail. Applicants must possess a Private Pilot certificate, CFI preferred, and have a good understanding of general aviation matters, AOPA membership, and related issues. Candidates must also have good communication skills and excel in a time-sensitive call center environment. For more, see AOPA Online.

E-mail your resume to AOPA.
What's New At AOPA Online
After the suicide flight of a 15-year-old student pilot in Florida on January 5, general aviation airport security came under intense public scrutiny. Since then, AOPA has been a prominent presence in broadcast news reports, talk shows, newspapers, and magazines, explaining what steps have been taken to tighten security and why airport security is not a "one-size-fits-all" proposition. Clips of AOPA President Phil Boyer appearing on CNN and MSNBC news programs are available on AOPA Online. A broadband connection is recommended.
ePilot Calendar
Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online.

Kalamazoo, Michigan. Open Cockpit Weekends, featuring different vintage airplanes, take place each weekend in February at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, located at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (AZO). Call 616/382-6555 for event information.

For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see Aviation Calendar of Events

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are in Nashua, New Hampshire, and Dallas, February 2 and 3; Clinics are scheduled in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Las Vegas, and Oklahoma City, February 9 and 10. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.

(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground School will take place in Dallas, Texas, February 3. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Denver, Colorado, February 5; Colorado Springs, Colorado, February 6; Mesa, Arizona, February 12; and Tucson, Arizona, February 13. The topic is Spatial Disorientation. See AOPA Online.

For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie S. Walker at [email protected].

Got news or questions? Send your comments to [email protected].

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