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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| GA News |
| AOPA TELLS FAA SECURITY DOORS BAD IDEA FOR SMALL AIRCRAFT |
The Aviation and Transportation Security Act requires the FAA to study in-flight security of small-aircraft cockpits. In response to an FAA request, AOPA this week told the agency that cockpit dividers and other security measures to restrict access to flight controls are not good ideas for general aviation. AOPA recommended against mandatory modifications to restrict cockpit and flight-control access in small airplanes. "These retrofits are unnecessary and would severely curtail the multi-mission capability of small airplanes that is the lifeblood of most small general aviation businesses," said Lance Nuckolls, AOPA director of regulation and certification policy. "In addition, such modifications will negatively impact safety by impeding cockpit or aircraft egress in the event of an accident or emergency." Read AOPA's letter to the FAA.
CENTAUR AMPHIBIAN PROTOTYPE PLANNED
An international consortium is funding the development of a prototype amphibious aircraft. The Centaur is a six-place, single-engine piston aircraft that, according to the company, could replace existing sea- and landplanes, helicopters, and boats. Using geometry derived from multihull racing boats, the Centaur is predicted to require far less engine power than current production seaplanes and operate more smoothly in rough water. The initial flight of the Centaur is planned for the first quarter of 2003. The development is being conducted by Warrior (Aero Marine) Ltd., a British company with a U.S. subsidiary in Maine; funding is coming from the Maine Technology Institute and the United Kingdom Department of Trade and Industry. For more, see the Web site.
CIRRUS ANNOUNCES PRICE INCREASE
This week Cirrus Design announced a price increase for both its SR20 and SR22 single-engine airplanes. The IFR-equipped aircraft will be offered for $207,800 and $289,400, respectively, after March 31. The avionics packages for both the SR20 and SR22 include at least one Garmin GNS 430 GPS/nav/com, an S-Tec Meggitt autopilot, and an Avidyne FlightMax Pro multifunction display as standard equipment. Optional equipment includes Goodrich Stormscope weather and Goodrich Skywatch traffic information. For more, see the Web site.
CANADIAN OK OF DIAMOND STAR CLEARS WAY FOR FAA APPROVAL
Diamond Aircraft's four-place DA40-180 Diamond Star has been certified in Austria for years, but when production was moved to Canada the approval process had to begin anew. The first Canadian-built IFR-capable Diamond Star has received Canadian certification, clearing the way for FAA approval under a reciprocal agreement. Diamond factory officials said U.S. approval is expected "very shortly." The Canadian-built Diamond Star differs from the Austrian model by offering more leg room and the added option of Garmin avionics. AOPA Pilot flew the Diamond Star for its March issue.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA MEETS WITH NEW TRANSPORTATION SECURITY CHIEF |
AOPA President Phil Boyer and Senior Vice President of Government and Technical Affairs Andy Cebula met last week with John Magaw, undersecretary of Transportation Security and head of the new Transportation Security Administration. Boyer used the meeting to explain the scope of general aviation. Magaw appeared impressed with the scope of AOPA's actions following the September 11 attacks in educating pilots through the association's Web site, ePilot newsletter, and AOPA Pilot magazine, as well as in advocating for general aviation access. "Give us the threat you want addressed and let us develop realistic, real-time, practical solutions," Cebula suggested to Magaw. Boyer and Cebula also explained AOPA's recent petition for a direct final rule that requires pilots to carry a photo ID. "Comparing the unproductive time we have spent trying to reach the decision makers at the National Security Council and Homeland Security, it was a refreshing change to have this opportunity to establish a relationship with this new organization that will make important decisions about aviation policy," said Boyer. For more, see AOPA Online.
SOUTH DAKOTA TO DELAY STATE PILOT ID CARDS
After meeting with AOPA representatives Monday, South Dakota transportation officials have agreed to delay implementing a new law that could have permitted the state to require and to issue pilot photo IDs. The governor recently signed that law into effect. In the meeting with members of the South Dakota Aeronautics Commission and officials from the South Dakota Department of Transportation, AOPA outlined its recent petition to the FAA for a rule that would require pilots to carry photo identification, such as a valid driver's license or passport, along with their FAA-issued certificate. AOPA Central Region Representative Bill Hamilton stressed that such a program could be implemented immediately at far less cost than photo identification issued by the state. See AOPA Online for more on South Dakota's proposal and AOPA's petition.
AOPA ADDRESSES TEXAS AIRPORT ISSUES
It was a busy week for AOPA representatives in Texas. AOPA met with state legislative officials to help secure funding for a new GA airport in central Texas. AOPA had lobbied for the legislation that directs the state to build a new airport to replace capacity lost when the city of Austin closed Austin-Mueller Airport. AOPA also continued the battle against "draconian" insurance requirements for hangar leases at Austin-Bergstrom Airport. When the airport director told AOPA reps he couldn't and wouldn't change the requirements, AOPA vowed to continue pressing the issue with the FAA. At Georgetown Municipal Airport, AOPA and the Texas Aviation Association protested proposed hangar fee hikes (to finance a new control tower) as discriminatory. The city has agreed to delay the increase and study the issue further. Also, AOPA is working with local pilots to help save privately owned Houston Gulf airport. For more, see AOPAï¿½Online.
IOWA STATE FUNDING IS CRUCIAL TO AVIATION SAFETY
AOPA is encouraging the Iowa legislature to reconsider the proposed budget for next fiscal year and provide proper funding for aviation. Alerted by Airport Support Network volunteers, numerous Iowa pilots also contacted their state representatives directly to urge continued state funding. The Iowa Transportation Appropriations Bill for the 2003 fiscal year, as currently drafted, provides no funds for aviation. This year, the state will spend around $3.6 million on aviation, of which $2.1 million comes from the transportation appropriations. In letters to state legislative leaders, AOPA asked for continued funding for aviation projects in Iowa. For more, see AOPA Online.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| AOPA TESTIFIES IN SUPPORT OF MEIGS FIELD |
This week AOPA offered its support for legislation that will keep Chicago's Meigs Field open until 2026. AOPA strongly endorsed H.R. 3479, a bill that would expand aviation capacity in the Chicago area and writes into law the agreement between Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Illinois Governor George Ryan to keep Meigs Field open. In testimony, AOPA President Phil Boyer said that the bill reflected the importance of the Chicago airports to the entire national aviation system. Noting that air traffic counts are quickly returning to pre-September 11 levels and that more people today are turning to general aviation, Boyer told Congress, "Shutting down a perfectly good airport makes little sense when we are desperately trying to expand capacity.... The 14 general aviation airports in the area, including Meigs Field, are part of the solution to airspace congestion in the Chicago area and the overall system." Governor George Ryan noted the important role Meigs Field plays in the area economy and praised the concession made by Mayor Daley to keep it open. Mayor Daley in turn stated that the agreement would vastly improve the national aviation system and explicitly mentioned the "key support of such nationally recognized aviation groups...as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association" in keeping Meigs open. For more, see AOPAï¿½Online.
| Airport Support Network |
| HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR ASN VOLUNTEERS AND AOPA MEMBERS |
The ASN program provides various online resources to our volunteers to help them fulfill their responsibilities at their airports around the country. We have added a section to the ASN Volunteer Private Area titled, "Frequently Asked Questions About Airports." It provides information on issues, their importance to our members, key issues and FAA standards, and any other associated links and resources. Some of the topics include airport property releases, airport rates and charges, and through-the-fence operations. Another resource that has been added to AOPA's main web page under the "Members Only" section is a page of links to FAA Directives/Orders. FAA Order 5100.38A, Airport Improvement Program Handbook, and FAA Order 5190.6A, Airport Compliance Handbook, as well as several others, are available online.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION TRACKING SKYSPOTTER REPORTS |
AOPA's Air Safety Foundation is asking its more than 3,700 registered SkySpotters to keep a record of their pilot reports and subsequently post that information to a dedicated ASF feedback Web page. Respondents will be eligible for free SkySpotter T-shirts to be awarded at random. ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg said the information is crucial to tracking effectiveness of the growing weather-reporting program launched in November at AOPA Expo 2001. "Pilots must make it clear during a pirep that it's a SkySpotter report. Then the pilot and ASF can check the Aviation Weather Center's Web site to make sure the report got through," Landsberg said. An AWC Web page shows the daily total of SkySpotter reports. "These en route reports are so important to pilots trying to make better-educated go/no-go decisions that we want to improve the system going forward. This feedback will make that possible," he said. For more, see AOPA Online.
Not yet a SkySpotter? Click here to participate in the online program.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: When I descend below 4,000 to 5,000 feet msl while flying in northern Michigan, Minneapolis Center always tells me "radar contact lost" and asks me to begin position reporting. Yet the indicator light on my transponder continues to blink. Can they see me or not? It seems the transponder is still responding to queries and sending responses.
Answer: According to the Pilot/Controller Glossary , the term "radar contact lost" is used by ATC to inform a pilot that radar data used to determine the aircraft's position is no longer being received, or is no longer reliable and radar service is no longer being provided. The loss may be caused by several factors, including the aircraft's operating below radar line-of-sight coverage. Your transponder reply light may still illuminate in these situations, but it is impossible to determine which radar facility is "painting" your plane. This light could be in response to a totally separate facility than the one with which you are currently in radio contact. In addition, the response could be from military radars or nearby aircraft with traffic alert and collision avoidance systems. TCAS equipment actively queries nearby transponders for position information. You can find more information on position reporting in a 1991 AOPA Pilot article.
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. |
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|Check out the latest installment in Never Again Online, which relates one VFR pilot's encounter with instrument conditions. Never Again Online features a previously unpublished Never Again lesson each month. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online. |
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Gilbert, Arizona. Open house/fly-in takes place March 23 at Pegasus Airpark (5AZ3). Grand opening of new residential airpark with experimental/antique aircraft display. Contact Ron Serafinowicz, 480/892-5682; 480/926-1619; or see the Web site ( http://www.pegasus-airpark.com ).
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 in Orlando, Florida, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 16 and 17. Clinics are scheduled in Norfolk, Virginia; Baltimore; and San Mateo, California, March 23 and 24. 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 in Philadelphia on March 10. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Columbia, South Carolina, and Miami on March 11; Charlotte, North Carolina, and Fort Meyers, Florida, March 12; St. Petersburg, Florida, and Greensboro, North Carolina, March 13; and Melbourne, Florida, and Raleigh, North Carolina, March 14. See AOPA Online.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact [email protected].