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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 11AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 11

Volume 4, Issue 11 • March 15, 2002
In this issue:
FAA reopens most FSSs to public
INS failure reveals absurdity in system, AOPA says
Influential senator supports AOPA photo ID petition

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA CD Special

AOPA Aircraft Financing Program

Garmin International

AOPA Term life insurance

AOPA Legal Services Plan

AOPA Flight Explorer

King Schools

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Pilot Insurance

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
The current yellow alert status under the White House's new color-coded terror warning system will probably not lead to new airspace restrictions, security sources have told AOPA. AOPA has also learned that there are threats against several nuclear facilities, but security officials have concluded that they do not need temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) over these facilities to help protect them. The five-level system, ranked from green (low risk of terrorist attacks) to red (severe risk of terrorist attacks), is supposed to provide more specific information to the public and government officials than the vague terrorist alerts that have been issued before. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said the current yellow alert status means that there is a significant risk of attack that requires increased surveillance of critical locations and implementing some emergency response plans. AOPA again reminds pilots to avoid flight near nuclear power plants and other sensitive installations.

After more than 60 years in the birthplace of aviation, McCauley Propeller Systems may be leaving Dayton, Ohio, according to airport officials. There is concern at McCauley's parent company, Cessna Aircraft, about the costs of its operations following the economic downturn. Cessna officials would not speak specifically about McCauley, only that it is reviewing different business plans at all of its facilities. McCauley has been located at Dayton International Airport for two decades. Eugene Conrad Jr., director of aviation for the airport, said that McCauley has received several incentive packages over the years to keep them at the airport such as tax breaks and free rent of the facility. Conrad said a possible location for McCauley is Columbus, Georgia, where Cessna produces parts for its single-engine airplanes. Major assemblies take place in Independence, Kansas. A Cessna spokeswoman said that there is no specific timetable as to when any decisions might be made regarding restructuring.

The FAA has announced the reopening of flight service stations (FSSs) to permit face-to-face briefings for pilots, but 14 of the 61 facilities still remained closed to the public as of Wednesday. The reasons ranged from ongoing construction to local management decisions regarding security. AOPA has been lobbying to reopen all FSS facilities, which were closed to the public after the September 11 terror attacks. See the current status.

Bobby Younkin, a Learjet charter pilot who performs in airshows on weekends, will debut a new act at the 2002 Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida. The act will feature a Learjet 23. Younkin, who also does an act in a Curtiss Pitts-designed biplane called "Sampson" and another in a Twin Beech D18, plans to roll the Learjet at about 200 feet on takeoff as the gear retracts. What then? Dive back to near ground level again to gain speed for a Cuban eight. A Cuban eight is vertical maneuver that looks like a figure 8. Younkin now flies freight and passengers in a Learjet 24 but decided he will show airshow crowds what Learjets can really do.

The FAA has issued arrival and departure information for Sun 'n Fun. There is also information on the airshow operations area and aircraft parking. See the FAA's Web site.

The Wright brothers are about to fly. But we're not talking about Orville and Wilbur. Jerry and Jimmy Wright (no relation) are planning to set a record by becoming the first to take off and land at 3,805 hard-surface public airports in the United States. They began the journey in December and are planning to make their final stop in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 2003 for the centennial of flight celebrations. Flying a Piper Cherokee, the brothers are carrying a flight recorder that has been sanctioned by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) to record the flight. To follow along, see the Web site.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Squawk Sheet
The FAA may expand an existing AD to cover more models of Lycoming engines that have had fuel injector line failures. The proposed AD was drafted to prevent engine compartment fires. The affected engines are the 320, 360, 480, 540, and 720-series fuel-injected and aerobatic engines. Repair costs are estimated at $500 for four-cylinder and $750 for six-cylinder engines. The FAA believes that the proposed AD would affect 2,496 engines in U.S. registry. The comment period deadline is May 10.

The FAA has issued an AD for Cirrus SR20 and SR22 aircraft after it was discovered that, because of faulty parts, the emergency parachute system may not activate in an emergency. AD 2002-05-05 requires some owners to abide by temporary operating limitations based on serial numbers. Cirrus Design Corporation is picking up the cost of repairs for the fleet of some 300 aircraft. Cirrus had urged the FAA to issue the AD so that all owners comply.

In response to AOPA's recommendation, the FAA this week issued a special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) to nearly all registered owners of Beech airplanes which provides safety information involving the use of flight control gust locks. The SAIB cited several accidents in which pilots of Beech airplanes failed to remove flight control gust locks prior to attempted flight. The FAA recommends that "all pilots review preflight inspection procedures and before takeoff procedures" to ensure removal of the gust lock. The SAIB also reminds pilots to use only those gust locks provided by the manufacturer. AOPA recommended the issuance of a formal advisory notice instead of an AD, pointing out that it was a pilot operational concern, not an airworthiness concern. See AOPA Online.
Inside AOPA
Six months to the day after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Florida flight school that trained two of the terrorists received their student visa approval forms from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). On Monday, Huffman Aviation received the paperwork acknowledging INS approvals for terrorists Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi. "This unbelievable government failure illustrates the absurdity of the student pilot background checks now being written into law in some states," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of Government and Technical Affairs. "If the federal government's own background checks lead to the issuing of visas to dead terrorists, then how in the world can individual flight schools be expected to ferret out the bad guys?" Meanwhile, INS is now clamping down on flight schools and other airport businesses. AOPA has received several reports from California and Texas FBOs that have been targeted by INS audits. In some cases, these businesses have been given as little as three days to comply or face punitive action. For more, see AOPA Online.

After fierce opposition by AOPA and the entire aviation community, Maryland House Bills 1005 and 1208 have been withdrawn from consideration. These bills would have required background checks to be conducted on flight students in the state. "This is great news for Maryland pilots," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "We posted a pilot alert on the AOPA Web site and sent e-mails to all of our Maryland Airport Support Network volunteers asking members to write to legislators. It obviously worked." AOPA continues to oppose several security-related bills in other states. To help members identify those bills and their current status, AOPA has compiled a list on AOPA Online.

AOPA is urging New Jersey pilots to contact their state legislators to oppose a bill that would require a criminal history background check for individuals seeking aviation flight training. The bill has already passed the New Jersey Senate, while a similar bill is still pending in the Assembly. See AOPA Online.

In comments on the FAA's proposed changes to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International (CVG) Class B airspace, AOPA opposed an increase of the vertical boundary that would create a barrier to fly-over VFR traffic. "While we strongly support the airspace return over Clermont County Airport, the proposal to raise the ceiling of the Class B airspace from 8,000 to 10,000 feet msl is unjustified," said AOPA. AOPA told the FAA that its survey of VFR flight tracks did not support a need to raise the upper limit of the CVG Class B airspace. AOPA supported proposed lateral airspace boundary changes. See AOPA's comments.

Television and movie star Michael Dorn, an enthusiastic general aviation pilot, spent last Saturday in front of AOPA cameras explaining the process of earning a pilot certificate. The longtime AOPA member, who plays Lt. Worf on the popular Star Trek series, agreed to help update the 37-minute Joy of Flying video. The new video is scheduled for release in mid-April. It's part of the AOPA Flight Training Membership Welcome Kit sent to student pilots nominated by AOPA Project Pilot mentors. Since program inception in 1994, some 25,000 AOPA members have nominated more than 34,000 potential new pilots, helping stem the decline in the pilot population.

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On Capitol Hill
In a letter to FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.) wrote in support of AOPA's petition to require pilots to carry government-issued photo IDs as a supplement to the required pilot certificate. His endorsement of the AOPA petition is important considering the fact that he sponsored an amendment in the Aviation Security Act (PL107-71) expanding the scope of the airman registry to address terrorism. "Sen. Max Cleland clearly recognizes the value of this common-sense, low-cost, and easy to implement measure. We appreciate his leadership on this issue," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. In the petition, which was submitted to the FAA last month, AOPA asked the agency to issue a "direct final rule" that would require pilots to carry a valid, government-issued photo ID when in command of an aircraft. The request for a simple solution rather than a costly government program is currently pending.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), an AOPA member, introduced on Tuesday legislation to provide economic relief to general aviation businesses that received substantial economic injury as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks. "The introduction of Sen. Inhofe's bill proves that GA relief is not a dead issue for Congress," says AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We've pledged our support to both Inhofe and to Rep. Mica, who authored the House version of this bill, and will help in any way to get this long-overdue legislation passed." In his statement on the Senate floor, Inhofe said, "General aviation, a very important segment of the aviation industry, has yet to be made whole for actions taken by the federal government following the terrorist attacks of September 11." He also commended AOPA, "which has worked hard to explain the scope of general aviation to members of Congress and how critical it is to the nation, and [I would like] to thank them for their strong support of this legislation."
Airport Support Network
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.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
The FAA last week got a left-seat look at the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's spatial disorientation research now nearing completion. Christopher A. Hart, FAA assistant administrator for system safety, flew a specially equipped Beech Bonanza from AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland. "This makes you think," Hart said upon returning from the flight that featured a pressure system failure in simulated instrument conditions. "The hardware generally works so well that it's difficult to stay prepared for a gyro failure. I applaud the study and efforts of the foundation to educate pilots." 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 class of medical is a CFI required to maintain?

Answer: In most situations, a third class medical certificate is all that is needed to instruct. FAR Part 61.23 clarifies what operations can be conducted while holding each class of medical certificate as well as what operations can be conducted when not holding a medical certificate. FAR 61.23 (a)(3)(iv) states that a person must hold at least a third class medical certificate when exercising the privileges of a flight instructor certificate, except for a flight instructor certificate with a glider category rating, if the person is acting as pilot in command or is serving as a required flight crew member. FAR 61.23 (b)(5) requires that a person is not required to hold a medical certificate when exercising the privileges of a flight instructor certificate if the person is not acting as pilot in command, serving as a required pilot flight crewmember, or instructing in gliders.

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].
AOPA Sweepstakes Waco Update
The AOPA Sweepstakes Waco is looking like a skeleton at this point. But before long, it will be a happy bouncing biplane once again. See our project update on AOPA Online.
Coming Up In AOPA Pilot
Learn about IFR risk management from two experts, John and Martha King, fly the Ford Trimotor, and try your hand at composite repairs in the April issue of "AOPA Pilot." It will be mailed this weekend.
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
Going flying in windy conditions? Check out our new subject report before you launch. See AOPA Online.
ePilot Calendar
Check your weekend weather on AOPA Online.

Polk City, Florida. Fantasy of Flight fly-in takes place March 24. Opportunity to tour the "world's greatest aircraft collection." Call 941/356-9575 or see the Web site.

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 Norfolk, Virginia; Baltimore; and San Mateo, California, March 23 and 24. Clinics are scheduled in San Diego, Chicago, and Indianapolis, April 6 and 7. 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 Frederick, Maryland, on April 13. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Lake Worth, Florida, March 18; Daytona Beach, Florida, March 19; Ocala, Florida, March 20; Jacksonville, Florida, March 21; and Tallahassee, Florida, March 22. See AOPA Online.

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

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