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| Protecting GA |
| BUSH ANNOUNCES PLAN TO CONSOLIDATE HOMELAND SECURITY |
President Bush is asking Congress to create a Department of Homeland Security that would absorb many existing agencies as part of the strategy to prevent future terrorist attacks on the United States. The recently created Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which has become increasingly involved in security issues affecting general aviation, would move from the Transportation Department to the new Homeland Security Department along with law enforcement agencies like the Coast Guard, Customs Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Border Patrol. "This means that we will have to work that much harder building on our existing relationships with Gov. Ridge, the head of Homeland Security, and TSA Undersecretary John Magaw to make sure that general aviation is protected as an important part of the U.S. transportation system," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. See AOPAï¿½Online.
AOPA KEEPS UP PRESSURE TO RESTORE GA ACCESS TO AIRPORTS
AOPA is continuing its efforts to restore general aviation access to three Washington, D.C., area airports. On Wednesday senior AOPA management hosted a meeting at College Park Airport to discuss the status of the restrictions. AOPA reviewed the steps it has taken to advocate the return of transient GA operations to, besides College Park, Washington Executive/Hyde Field and Potomac Airfield, and discussed future initiatives. "AOPA has four vice presidents pushing on this issue, and we'll keep the pressure on FAA, TSA, DOT and Congress," Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of regional affairs, told 60 airport users. "But this has to be a partnership. You pilots must contact your representatives in Congress and let them know how these restrictions are affecting your personally."
... AND AOPA TRIES TO OPEN UP WASHINGTON NATIONAL
AOPA senior staff, along with other industry officials, on Wednesday also met with Deputy Transportation Secretary Michael Jackson to review plans for restoring GA access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Although there is general agreement on a plan to restore some GA operations at Reagan National, Jackson told AOPA that the Department of Transportation is delaying implementation while it continues to assess security requirements. Jackson committed to meeting with industry representatives in about 30 days to discuss the next steps.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| GAï¿½News |
| BUSH TAKES STEP TOWARD PRIVATIZING ATC |
In a surprise move last week, President Bush took the first steps toward privatizing air traffic control services. The president said ATC is not "an inherently governmental function." He modified the executive order creating an air traffic control "performance based organization," removing the language that would have kept ATC within the government. A privatized ATC would undoubtedly be financed by user fees. "We're absolutely flabbergasted that the administration thinks that aviation security and safety aren't a government function," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We must never forget that the primary function of air traffic control is public safety. And ATC's role in security was never more evident than on September 11." See AOPAï¿½Online.
TOYOTA PROOF-OF-CONCEPT AIRCRAFT FLIES
Toyota Advanced Aircraft, a California-based division of the Japanese auto manufacturer, has flown a developmental version of a single-engine, four-passenger aircraft that it may one day produce for the general aviation market. The flight occurred on May 31 in Mojave, California, where the aircraft was manufactured by Scaled Composites. Toyota officials said that while Scaled Composites built the aircraft, it was designed by a group of 35 Toyota Advanced Aircraft engineers. As AOPA Pilot reported in 1999, Toyota is interested in developing two single-engine, four-place carbon-fiber models. One model, Toyota Advanced Aircraft-TAA1, is apparently the one that was flown. It has fixed gear and a estimated cruise speed of 139 kt behind a 160-hp engine. The second model, TAA-2, was to have a 200-hp engine and cruise at 160 kt. The aircraft that flew on May 31 may have used an aggressive laminar-flow wing design that was created at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. A Toyota spokesman said the company views the GA market favorably over the long term. But he added that development may take a long time, and said the proof-of-concept aircraft will not be used to achieve FAA certification.
RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT PISTON SALE NOT IMMINENT
An internal memo to the nearly 12,000 employees of Raytheon Aircraft Company confirms that there were talks earlier this year about the sale of the Baron and Bonanza piston-engine product lines to Mooney Aerospace, but adds that there has been no progress in the talks since then. The memo was issued in response to a newspaper story indicating the sale was in progress. The memo does not rule out the possibility that the situation could change rapidly. ePilot reported in past weeks that talks between Mooney Aerospace and Raytheon Aircraft have occurred.
CESSNA CEO TO RETIRE JUNE 30
Textron, the parent firm of the Cessna Aircraft Company, says it has accepted the retirement of Cessna Chairman and CEO Gary Hay effective at the end of the month. Company spokesmen for both firms cited "philosophical differences" between Hay and Textron President and Chief Executive Officer Lewis B. Campbell as the reason for Hay's departure. Russell W. Meyer Jr., president of Textron's aircraft sector and former Cessna CEO, will assume Hay's post until a successor is found. Textron is creating common operating processes throughout its many divisions, something that Cessna executives may have resisted. Campbell said the changes have had a positive effect. "However, we're at an important juncture. The entire management team must be committed to–and engaged in–every aspect of transformation. In this context, Gary has decided, with my support, to retire from the company," Campbell said. The problem may have centered on a Textron plan for the future called Six Sigma, a quality improvement and cost-cutting method used successfully at GE and several large corporations. It calls for cutting product defects to improve customer satisfaction while changing the business structure to create "breakthrough profitability," according to one definition provided by Philadelphia investment adviser Marvin Roffman of Roffman Miller Associates. Cessna executives have their own plan called Cessna 2020 that, while similar, has slightly different priorities. Cessna executives didn't see the need for the Textron system, Legg Mason Wood Walker analyst Laurence Baker told The Wichita Eagle recently.
ASPEN CRASH BLAMED ON DESCENT BELOW MDA
The crash of a Gulfstream III at Aspen, Colorado, in March 2001 probably resulted from a decision by the pilots to descend below the minimum descent altitude (MDA) without seeing the runway, the NTSB has concluded. Both pilots, 15 passengers, and a flight attendant died in the crash of the Airbourne Charter flight operated by Avjet Corporation of Burbank, California. NTSB investigators said there was no indication on the cockpit voice recorder that either pilot had the runway in sight, and there was no discussion of a possible missed approach despite three reports of other aircraft missing the approach, and a report of deteriorating visibility in the direction of the approach course. The NTSB also blamed the accident on two contributing factors. The terrain around Aspen can create night conditions prior to sunset--the Gulfstream arrived in the Aspen area at sunset. And, a notam prohibiting the approach procedure at night was not available to the approach controller that evening. The aircraft crashed on final approach to Runway 15 at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, striking sloping terrain about 2,400 feet short of the runway threshold.
FAA BRINGS WEATHER DATA TO CONTROLLERS' SCREENS
For the first time, air traffic controllers will have access to advanced Doppler radar on the same display screen as aircraft position data. This is part of the FAA's efforts to modernize the national airspace system. The Weather and Radar Processor (WARP) will enhance safety by allowing controllers to reroute air traffic to avoid areas of severe weather. Air traffic controllers at the Fort Worth Center in Texas last week started to use WARP on their displays. WARP also shows precipitation at three different altitudes, allowing controllers to concentrate on the weather appropriate to the precise location and altitude of a particular aircraft.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Squawk Sheet |
| CIRRUS DISCOVERS FLAP PROBLEM |
The FAA told AOPA on Wednesday that it was recently notified by Cirrus Design Corporation and various users that transmitting on either radio while the flaps are in transit may cause the flaps to stop or reverse direction on its SR20 and SR22 aircraft. However, the flap position indicator will still indicate the actual flap position, and cycling the flap switch when there is no simultaneous radio transmission will return the flaps to normal operation. The FAA also said that there has been no evidence that radio transmissions affect the flaps when they are not in transition. Cirrus said that it had initially notified all owners through a service advisory letter and are in the process of issuing a service bulletin, which would require the installation of EMI suppression cores on the flap proximity lines.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA DISPUTES SENATOR'S COMMENTS ON LIGHTPLANES |
In a letter to fellow senators asking for support of his proposal to require background checks on all foreign applicants to U.S. flight schools, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) touted small airplanes as a catalyst for tragedy. The senator made the claim that a "small plane directed into a nuclear power plant could cause a nuclear disaster," an argument that is disputed in an AOPA-commissioned report by a nuclear power expert. This report was submitted for the record last week during a Senate committee hearing. "I am dismayed by Nelson's perception of light aircraft, especially with such a vibrant general aviation community in Florida," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It is not the U.S. pilot population that is the problem; it is a breakdown in the government's ability to identify and act against terrorists." See the senator's letter or download AOPA's report.
...AND DOJ SETS RULES IN PLACE FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS
In a related story, the U.S. Justice Department has set in place its rules for background checks on foreign flight students. The new rules, announced this week, were ordered by Congress after the terrorist attacks last September. They apply only to foreign students seeking flight training in large aircraft (over 12,500 pounds gross takeoff weight). They do not apply to U.S. citizens. See AOPAï¿½Online.
AOPA MEMBER NAMED AVIATION SUBCOMMITTEE VICE CHAIRMAN
AOPA member Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) has been named vice chairman of the House aviation subcommittee by Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska). A certificated pilot for more than 30 years, Hayes brings a wealth of general aviation experience to his new position. "Local airports play an important role in our local economies. Good transportation infrastructure is critical to good economic development," Hayes said following his appointment. "Robin is one of the strongest supporters we have on Capitol Hill. His firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing the aviation industry, and general aviation in particular, make him the perfect choice for this important position," said AOPA President Phil Boyer upon hearing the news.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| SENATE PASSES BILL WITHOUT GA RELIEF FUNDING |
Citing budgetary constraints, the Senate last Friday did not adopt two amendments to a supplemental appropriations bill that would have provided relief for general aviation small businesses. Supporters such as senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) pledged to continue the fight for compensation for GA small businesses that suffered tremendous financial losses because of the shutdown after the September 11 tragedy. "We're committed to working with these senators, as well as the leaders in the House, to secure compensation for these small businesses that were shut down through no fault of their own," said Julia Krauss, AOPA vice president of legislative affairs. See AOPAï¿½Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK–DOUG KUHL |
Although he is a relatively new AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer, Doug Kuhl has been active in getting involved in the local aviation community at Padgham Field (35D) in Allegan, Michigan. Kuhl is one of five pilots on the city airport advisory committee, along with the airport manager and the assistant city manager. The advisory committee has started the process of establishing short- and long-term goals for the airport. He has also been instrumental in helping to resurrect the local pilots group, the Allegan Area Pilots Association (AAPA), and serves as its secretary/treasurer.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPAï¿½Online.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: I am currently working on my CFI and in our syllabus it asks us to discuss HMR 175. We have not been able to find anything about it, or even what it is. Can you help?
Answer: HMR 175 refers to Hazardous Materials Regulations, Part 175. This is found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. It deals with the transportation of hazardous materials (hazmat) by aircraft. You may access these rules on the Web site. More information on training programs and manual requirements for the air transportation of hazmat is found in Advisory Circular 121-21B which is available for download 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].
| Coming Up In AOPAï¿½Pilot |
|Fly the Raytheon Premier I, go barnstorming in a B-25, and learn about aircraft co-ownership, a good way to make flying affordable, in the July issue of AOPA Pilot. It will be mailed on Monday. |
| 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.
| What's New At AOPAï¿½Online |
|If you're looking to save money on taxes, this guide is for you. An updated version of the Pilot's Guide to Taxes–Income, Personal Property, Sales, and Use is now on AOPA Online. The changes include information on two recent tax court cases relevant for those considering leasing aircraft through an FBO and possible "bonus" depreciation for aircraft purchases made between September 10, 2001, and September 11, 2004. See AOPAï¿½Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPAï¿½Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Sentimental Journey takes place June 19 through 23 at William T. Piper Memorial Airport (LHV). Return to Cub Heaven for this annual fly-in. Tours of the area, attractions, and the Piper Aviation Museum. Contact Doc Conway, 570/893-4200, or visit the Web site.
St. Louis, Missouri. The Gateway Eagles Eighth Annual Fly-in takes place June 22 at St. Louis Downtown Airport (CPS). Visit the Web site for more information.
San Carlos, California. The Vertical Challenge Helicopter Air Show takes place June 22 at San Carlos Airport (SQL). For more information, visit the Web site.
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 Clinics are scheduled in Las Vegas June 22 and 23. Clinics are scheduled in Minneapolis and Reston, Virginia, June 29 and 30. 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 Schools will take place in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on June 23 and Minneapolis on June 30. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in East Elmhurst, New York, June 24; Brookhaven, New York, June 25; Poughkeepsie, New York, June 26; and Randolph, New Jersey, June 27. The topics is single-pilot IFR, see AOPAï¿½Online.
To make submissions to the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For comments on calendar items, e-mail [email protected].