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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| GA News |
| FAA APPROVES INTERNET AS WEATHER, NOTAM SOURCE |
Thanks in part to the efforts of AOPA, the FAA now formally recognizes the Internet as an official information source for aviation weather and notams. Until now, only information from a flight service station or DUATS was considered valid. The FAA has issued an Internet Communications Advisory Circular that explains how vendors may become a Qualified Internet Communication Provider (QICP) and disseminate information to pilots via the Internet. The agency will provide a public listing of all QICPs on a designated Web page. That means GA pilots will legally be able to use flight information from the approved aviation Web sites. See AOPAï¿½Online.
MOONEY TAKES STEPS TO BOOST PROFITS
Mooney Aerospace Group's new CEO, Nelson Happy, has trimmed two top managers to improve the company's profitability. Let go were former CEO L. Peter Larson and Operations Manager Dale Ruhmel. Ruhmel's expertise was with multiengine and high-end aircraft, talents Mooney apparently doesn't require given renewed focus on single-engine aircraft production. The company must deliver five aircraft per month to be profitable, Happy said. It exceeded those numbers in October and will be ahead of requirements for November as well. Orders and interest generated at AOPA Expo last month played a key role in the new orders, Happy said. The price reduction announced earlier this year also helped. There were 20 aircraft in production when Mooney Aerospace acquired the company; 11 of them have been sold. Mooney will custom-build aircraft for future orders. Happy thinks a pace of five aircraft a month can be sustained. In the meantime, Happy said the entire Jetcruzer project that was carried over from the former AASI company is up for sale.
EXXONMOBIL AGREES TO REPLACE OIL
ExxonMobil officials say sediment found in a select number of quarts of Exxon Aviation Elite 20W-50 oil is harmless to aircraft engines, but the company will nonetheless replace unused quarts at no charge. The company discovered in August that about 1,100 cases of the oil distributed in early summer had been contaminated with small amounts of fine metal particles from a wearing pump used in the manufacturing process. ExxonMobil alerted its distributors at that time and offered to take back any unsold oil. The metal particles settle out of the oil during shipment and adhere to the bottom of the bottles even when the oil is poured into the airplane, according to ExxonMobil. If the particles enter the engine, at sizes smaller than 5 microns, they pose no threat to the engine. Even with the contaminants, the oil is well within industry specifications, ExxonMobil reports, and causes no safety or maintenance issues.
An AOPA member alerted the association Wednesday afternoon when he noticed sediment in the bottom of a bottle of the oil. AOPA was expecting to receive a case of the contaminated oil Friday morning and will submit it to independent labs for testing; ExxonMobil will also examine the samples. Oil affected by the sediment is in quart bottles with the following lot number printed on the bottles: 002933K4132050 and Fill Code P020430B. ExxonMobil officials say the metal in the oil will not affect results of oil analysis that some owners do as part of routine engine trend monitoring. To prevent any chance of future contamination, ExxonMobil has implemented changes to its manufacturing processes and has added an additional filtering step to all of its aviation oils. Anyone owning the affected oil is asked to call AOPA's Technical Services Department at 800/USA-AOPA. Those who do not wish to use the affected oil may return it to an ExxonMobil distributor. For a list of distributors, see ExxonMobil's Web site or call ExxonMobil Lubricants 800/44-Exxon.
RETIRED AIRLINE PILOT WINS GLIDER TITLE
John Lumley, 59, won the Unlimited Glider Championship national aerobatic title during competition in Denison, Texas, in late September. His win qualifies him to compete in world aerobatic glider competition in Hungary next year. Lumley is a retired TWA captain with 23,000 hours. "When I flew a glider for the first time it was just like being a bird. It was a whole new experience, and I was completely captivated with glider aerobatics," he said. He won the national aerobatic glider title in 1999, 2001, and 2002. He flies a Polish Swift glider made especially for aerobatics.
AIRCRAFT REFUELING TRUCKS GO ELECTRIC UNDER MANDATE
Think of it as a rather large golf cart carrying a fuel tank. Air BP Aviation Services has placed the first-ever electric-powered general aviation refueler into active service at Million Air Long Beach in California. The vehicle will be used to fuel piston-engine aircraft requiring 100LL fuel. Previously, electric-powered refueling equipment was limited to hydrants and commercial refueling equipment. The new vehicle has a 750-gallon tank. Major airports in California and Colorado have mandates that require all ground-service equipment to be powered by electric, propane, or natural gas by 2010.
NEW LOW-COST MFD DEBUTS FROM BENDIX/KING
Bendix/King will offer the relatively low-cost KMD 250 multifunction display in spring 2003. The full-color, 3-inch unit for nonradar-equipped aircraft can display datalinked weather, traffic, and lightning information, as part of Honeywell's Integrated Hazard Avoidance System. An optional internal GPS will be offered as well to serve as a back-up receiver or to save panel space. Price for the unit will be under $5,000. For more, download the company's brochure.
For daily news updates, see AOPAï¿½Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA WORKS TO EASE BORDER-CROSSING RESTRICTIONS |
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has responded positively to AOPA's recommendations to reduce the complexity of flying internationally by restoring border-crossing regulations to their pre-September 11, 2001, status. AOPA calls for canceling the security notam that prohibits cross-border operations. "AOPA points out that the restrictions essentially duplicate existing U.S. Customs and INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service] processes and that special exceptions, or 'blanket waivers,' exempt thousands of aircraft from the notam restriction," said Andrew V. Cebula, an AOPA senior vice president. For example, the FAA has issued exceptions for U.S., Canadian, and Mexican-registered aircraft to operate between their respective countries. There are also exceptions for operations to/from the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. TSA is expected to make a final decision within 45 days.
AOPA SEEKS TO PROTECT AIRCRAFT OWNERS FROM MORE COSTS
In a letter to the FAA, AOPA said that general aviation aircraft operators will face higher maintenance expenses unless the FAA delays implementation of new rules affecting certificated repair stations, which typically perform factory-authorized maintenance work. The rules are slated to take effect April 6, 2003, but the FAA still has not published any formal guidance for manuals required by the new rules. The FAA also will need adequate time to train all of its inspectors. Several aviation organizations have formally petitioned the FAA to postpone the implementation date and AOPA is supporting the petition. "The absence of published guidance and FAA employee training will result in increases to the repair stations' cost of doing business, and those added costs will simply be passed on to our members," said Melissa Bailey, an AOPA vice president.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| ELECTION BRINGS NEW SUPPORTERS FOR GA |
In analyzing Tuesday's 2002 midterm election results, AOPA Legislative Affairs reports that general aviation fared well. Of the candidates supported by the AOPA Political Action Committee, 90 percent were elected to serve in the 108th Congress, with a 93-percent success rate in the House and a 78-percent success rate in the Senate. Among AOPA members who will be returning to the Senate are Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). AOPA members returning to the House include Robin Hayes (R-N.C.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Charlie Bass (R-N.H.), each of whom had a competitive race, as well as Vern Ehlers (R-Mich.). They are joined by five new AOPA members: Steve Pearce of New Mexico, John Kline of Minnesota, Michael Burgess of Texas, Chris Chocola from Indiana, and former South Dakota Gov. William Janklow. All were strongly supported by AOPA PAC.
SWITCH IN SENATE MEANS CHANGES FOR AVIATION
One of the election's most important outcomes for the aviation subcommittee is the upcoming change of key Senate committee chairmanships–particularly the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation that oversees the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the FAA, and authors the legislation that sets spending limits for these entities. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has not always agreed with AOPA positions, takes over the gavel for the second time from Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.), a long-time supporter of GA. The Senate Appropriations Committee, equally essential to the aviation community and responsible for funding for the DOT and the FAA, will also see a change in leadership–it reverts from Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), who has always worked faithfully with the transportation community, to AOPA member and pilot Sen. Ted Stevens. See AOPAï¿½Online.
| AOPAï¿½Air Safety Foundation News |
|How much do you know about airspace rules? Take The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's latest interactive online safety quiz on AOPA Online. |
| Quiz Me! |
|Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: Where do I find a complete list of the aircraft color abbreviations that I should use when filing an FAA flight plan?
Answer: The online flight planning service in AOPA Online's "Members Only" section offers these abbreviations. Access the service's main menu and select "flight plans." Then choose the "file a domestic" flight plan. Once there, Box 16 ("color of aircraft") has a drop-down menu with a complete listing of the proper aircraft color abbreviations.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? Call 800/872-2672 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to email@example.com.
| 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 AOPAï¿½Online. |
| What's New At AOPAï¿½Online |
| NEVER AGAIN |
A fluctuating needle on takeoff doesn't necessarily means a bad gauge–it can be the first cry of a failing engine. See the latest Never Again Online, titled "Bad rush" exclusively on AOPA Online.
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPAï¿½Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Fort Myers, Florida. A symposium, Earth Shine: The Shared Vision, The Shared Legacy of Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, takes place November 15 at Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, call 239/334-2154, or visit the Web site.
Alabaster, Alabama. A Super Viking Fly-in takes place November 16 at Shelby County Airport (EET). Contact Hugh P. Harbin, 205/849-5589.
Tea, South Dakota. Fly-in/Drive-in Breakfast takes place November 16 at Lincoln County Airport (Y14). Sponsored by EAA Chapter 289. Contact Jim Glenn, 605/339-0242.
Wickenburg, Arizona. A Fly-in and Explore Wickenburg Event takes place November 17 at Wickenburg Municipal/Wellik Field (E25). Join fellow pilots for a one and a half-hour horseback ride through the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Reservations required. Contact Maria Langer, 928/684-5690, or 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 Anchorage, Alaska; Cincinnati; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, on November 16 and 17. A clinics is also scheduled in Baltimore, on November 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 School will take place in Baltimore, November 24. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in West Columbia, South Carolina, November 11; Hudson, North Carolina, November 12; RDU Airport, North Carolina, November 13; and Southport, North Carolina, November 14. The topic is Single Pilot IFR, check AOPAï¿½Online for more information.
To make submissions to the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For comments on calendar items, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.