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| GA News |
| LINDBERGH LANDS IN PARIS |
Seventy-five years after his grandfather changed the world, Erik Lindbergh celebrated the Atlantic crossing by landing safely in Paris yesterday morning. Flying a Lancair Columbia 300 dubbed "The New Spirit of St. Louis," Lindbergh covered 3,263 miles and burned 211 gallons of fuel. He had 64 gallons remaining after the 17-hour and 10-minute trip. (It took Charles Lindbergh 33 hours and 29 minutes.) The flight was to honor not duplicate his grandfather's flight. Lindbergh also wanted to raise awareness for crippling rheumatoid arthritis–something he has struggled with–and the need for further space exploration. The History Channel, that will be airing a documentary on the flight on May 20, provided tracking information on its Web site. See the Web site.
SHIPMENTS DOWN FOR GA MANUFACTURERS
As expected, there was a drop in first quarter 2002 aircraft shipments following a weakened economy and the terrorist attacks. Worldwide piston-engine shipments were down 15.2 percent to 302 aircraft, compared with 356 delivered in the first quarter of 2001. There was a bigger drop for domestic shipments–down by 18.5 percent from 282, compared to 346 aircraft shipped last year, according to figures compiled by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Cessna shipped 106 piston-engine aircraft; New Piper recorded 68; Cirrus 60; and Raytheon 14. Business jet and turboprop sales were also down.
TURBOPROP EXTRA UNDERGOES FLIGHT TESTS IN GERMANY
Extra Flugzeugbau, the German manufacturer of aerobatic aircraft that branched into corporate airplanes, has now converted the Extra 400 into a turboprop with a Rolls Royce 450-hp engine, and is testing a prototype at the factory. A company official said he could not release performance details of the flights or the aircraft price. However, the company is hoping to win certification in the United States for the turboprop Extra 500 model in 2003. The official said the company has restructured and has completed new production facilities in preparation for the manufacture of the 400 and 500. The single-engine aircraft features composite construction with the wing mounted at the top of the fuselage. The company is currently building its twenty-sixth Extra 400. See the AOPA Pilot story.
PURDUE BECOMES AMELIA EARHART CLEARINGHOUSE
Purdue University this week became the largest repository for all things Amelia Earhart. Thanks to a gift of nearly 500 of Earhart's personal papers and memorabilia from her family, the school now stores the most comprehensive collection of materials related to her life, career, and mysterious disappearance. Many of the artifacts have not been seen by the public. Earhart, who disappeared over the Pacific in 1937, served as a visiting instructor at Purdue, starting in 1935. The announcement of the contribution this week also kicked off the school's "Countdown to 100 Years of Flight" celebration that honors the Wright brothers.
GARMIN PROVIDES SOFTWARE FIX FOR HANDHELD GPS RECEIVERS
Pilots using Garmin's GPS Pilot III or GPS 195 handheld models should visit the Garmin Web site soon for a fix to an unexpected problem. Pilots using the latest database update for the two units had reported the units would "hang" or "lock up" if the user tried to enter a waypoint beginning with the characters "X," "Y," or "Z." AOPA members alerted the association about the problem. AOPA's Aviation Services contacted Garmin to verify that it was aware of the problem and was working on a fix. Garmin says the problem was because of an increase in the number of intersections to the database for the latest update, many of which are VFR waypoints. The database contained more information than the operating system for the Pilot III and the 195 could handle. Garmin has now fixed that. Users visiting the Garmin Web site for the update should be sure to refresh their browser screens. The operating system fixes for both the GPS Pilot III and the GPS 195 should be dated April 24, 2002. See the Web site.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| FAA GETS TOUGH ON GRANT DEALS TO PROTECT AIRPORTS |
The FAA is getting tougher about enforcing grant agreements to maintain public-use airports, based on what is happening in St. Petersburg, Florida. The FAA told the City of St. Petersburg that it must keep Albert Whitted Airport (SPG) open. The strong FAA action was prompted by AOPA and AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Jack Tunstill. The airport is located on prime waterfront real estate that the city wants to redevelop into a park and mixed housing area. The city had accepted federal grants for the airport, which obligates the city to keep the airport open. But the city thought that by repaying FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant money it would be able to close the airport. In two letters, the FAA told the city it couldn't do that. "The FAA's response is important not only in St. Petersburg, but nationwide," said Anne Esposito, AOPA vice president of airports. See AOPAï¿½Online.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA TO CLOSE PUBLIC AIRPORT
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill stunned the aviation community Tuesday when it announced that it would close Horace Williams Airport (IGX). Chancellor James Moeser said the public-use airport (owned by the university), "Has become a financial drain and requires major safety-related improvements not consistent with the university's commitment to positive town relations." The decision by the state-owned school came without official public discussion. Even the university's own MedAir unit, which flies Beech Barons and a King Air from IGX to transport doctors and medical faculty to outlying areas, was surprised by the announcement. "Horace Williams provides vital aviation transportation to local community members, tourists, alumni, and university guests," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Our more than 380,000 members nationwide, including many Tar Heels, ask the university to reconsider." See AOPAï¿½Online.
FAA ACCEPTS AOPA MEDICAL RECOMMENDATION
Representing a major time savings for some pilots, the FAA has formally announced new policy guidelines, suggested by AOPA, that grant more authority to local designated aviation medical examiners (AMEs). This allows them to reissue FAA medical certificates to pilots with certain medical conditions requiring a special issuance authorization. These pilots may now renew their Third Class medical certificates with their local AME by presenting the AME with acceptable medical records and an authorization letter issued by the FAA. This is the second enhancement of the AOPA medical initiative designed to improve the medical certification process. See AOPAï¿½Online.
AVIATION WEATHER SYSTEM TO BE FEATURED IN WEBCAST
Meteorlogix, the official weather provider for AOPA Online, will present a live demonstration of its advanced weather system for aviation through a Web conference on May 15. Titled MxVision AviationSentry: Weather Information for the Serious Business of Flying, the free 30-minute event will highlight the system's key features, including en route flight planning, online flight plan filing, and a sophisticated storm tracking capability. To reserve your seat and get more information, see the Web site.
FLIGHT EXPLORER OFFERS KENTUCKY DERBY AIR TRAFFIC DATA
Heading to the Kentucky Derby or trying to avoid related air traffic congestion? There will be a live airspace display on AOPA Online for the event this weekend, courtesy of AOPA and Certified partner Flight Explorer. The air traffic data from the Louisville area will be updated continually, showing IFR and VFR traffic that is receiving radar flight following services. See AOPAï¿½Online.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| GA RELIEF BILL IN PERIL |
AOPA's Legislative Affairs staff has learned that the Bush administration is urging congressional leaders not to allow a vote on the General Aviation Industry Reparations Act of 2001 (H.R. 3347). A letter from Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta to House Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) expressed concern with both the price and the scope of the bill. Congress expanded coverage beyond the original intended relief for small GA businesses, such as flights schools, by increasing the cost of the package from $450 million to more than $5 billion. "I am disappointed in the way the White House seems to be leaning. Frankly, the general aviation small businesses have at least the same claim to damages as the airlines," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. The bill's authors are currently attempting to negotiate a compromise with the administration. AOPA Legislative Affairs staff is working closely with White House, transportation officials, and Capitol Hill staff, in an effort to encourage the two sides to work out an agreement.
| Airport Support Network |
| VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK–GORDON FEINGOLD |
AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Gordon Feingold reports a major success for general aviation pilots flying out of Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) in California. After successfully lobbying several city agencies and the city council, Feingold and other local pilots convinced the state to sign off on the airport's facilities improvement plan. The improvement plan calls for the building of the first new hangars in 30 years as well as other major GA improvements. After the plan was approved, Feingold said the airport manager pulled him aside and remarked, "We couldn't have done this without you [local GA pilots]. Our airport administration now clearly recognizes the value and activism of our local GA pilots and businesses."
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPAï¿½Online.
| AOPAï¿½Air Safety Foundation News |
| BIDDING OPENS FOR 'SPIRIT OF LIBERTY' |
The bidding has begun on the specially painted EADS Socata Trinidad GT. The airplane is the featured item in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online auction, with the proceeds above the reserve going to help fund ASF aviation safety and education programs. Dubbed the "Spirit of Liberty," the airplane has a red, white, and blue paint scheme and a state-of-the-art Honeywell Bendix/King instrument panel. The auction began on Wednesday and bidding closes on August 31.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: Is there a way to tell the last revision date of a particular approach chart published by the FAA's National Aeronautical Charting Office (NACO)?
Answer: The last revision date on the NACO terminal procedures is found in the lower left-hand corner. It is a five-digit number, printed after the amendment number, such as "02092." The first two digits are the year of revision and the last three are the day in that year of the revision. The example "02092" means the approach chart was revised on the ninety-second day of 2002, or April 2, 2002. The U.S. Terminal Procedures published by NACO are available on AOPA Online. 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].
| AOPA Sweepstakes Waco Update |
| The effort to restore a vintage biplane comes with some hidden challenges. See our latest update on the AOPA Sweepstakes Waco on AOPAï¿½Onlin e. |
| Picture Perfect |
|Did you know you can create a personal e-card using the images from the AOPA Online Gallery? Send one to a friend today. See AOPA Online. |
| What's New At AOPAï¿½Online |
| 'NEVER AGAIN' IS ONCE AGAIN |
What's the most popular feature in AOPA Pilot? It's the "Never Again" column written by AOPA members about instructive–and often frightening–flight experiences. Now, never-before-published "Never Again" features are available on AOPA Online. A new installment of "Never Again Online" was just posted. See AOPA Online.
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPAï¿½Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Austin, Texas. The sixth Annual Pilatus Owners and Pilots Association Convention takes place May 8 through 11 at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). Contact Laura Mason 520/299-7485 or visit the Web site.
Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minnesota Aviation Expo takes place May 10 at Flying Cloud Airport (FCM). A display of the most popular piston-engine aircraft and products built today. Raytheon, Cessna, Mooney, Piper, Bendix/King, Garmin and others. Finance, insurance, repair, and overhaul companies will be on hand. Contact Mike Turner, 309/799-3183 or visit the Web site.
Lincoln Park, Newï¿½Jersey. The Lincoln Park Aviation Open House takes place May 11 at Lincoln Park Airport (N07). Open house for the flight school, maintenance, and sales facilities. Event includes scenic rides, static displays, and safety seminars. Contact 973/872-6213 or visit the Web site for more 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 Clinics are scheduled in in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; and Albany, New York, May 11 and 12. Clinics are scheduled in Sacramento, California; Baltimore, Maryland; and Houston, Texas, May 18 and 19. 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 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 12. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in San Luis Obispo, California; and Weyers Cave, Virginia, on May 13; El Monte, California; Blacksburg, Virginia; and Maugansville, Maryland, on May 14; Danville, Virginia; and Costa Mesa, California, on May 15; and San Diego, California; and Melfa, Virginia, on May 16. Topics vary–for complete information, see AOPAï¿½Online.
To make submissions to the calendar, visit AOPAï¿½Online. For comments on calendar items, e-mail [email protected].