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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 47AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 47

Volume 4, Issue 47 • November 22, 2002
In this issue:
AOPA sidetracks pilot background checks
Man dies in fall from Cessna 152
Cessna warns more layoffs ahead

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Copyright © 2002 AOPA.

Protecting GA
A modified version of Sen. John Breaux's (D-La.) stadium overflight legislation passed the Senate Monday night. The amendment to the Aviation Security Improvement Act (S. 2949) was passed by a voice vote. The legislation includes some of the changes AOPA had lobbied for, including a provision that would permit operations by most general aviation aircraft from nontowered airports near major sports stadiums. However, the legislation would still effectively ban aerial advertising aircraft near stadiums. The bill is not likely to be considered by the House in the waning hours of this session, which means the legislation would have to be reintroduced in the new session of Congress next year. "While the legislation was changed so that it would have minimal impact on the majority of general aviation pilots, we still believe it's bad public policy to allow commercial sporting interests to dictate who may fly in the nation's public airspace," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. For more, see AOPA Online.

A New Jersey bill that would require a criminal background check and a photo ID for student and renter pilots in the state has been sidetracked. The bill's sponsor agreed to withhold the legislation after meeting with AOPA on Monday. AOPA Senior Vice President of Government and Technical Affairs Andy Cebula met with state Sen. Peter A. Inverso to explain why the legislation was unneeded. "We talked at length about the measures the federal government and the aviation industry have taken since 9/11 to address aviation security nationwide," said Cebula. "That includes the new regulation adopted by the FAA following AOPA's petition that requires a pilot in command to carry a government-issued photo identification along with their pilot and medical certificates." The senator was also enthusiastic about supporting AOPA's Airport Watch effort. For more, see AOPA Online.

The Senate Tuesday night passed a bill creating the Department of Homeland Security. The new 170,000-employee department will include the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), currently in the Department of Transportation. It creates a cabinet-level department with a Senate-confirmed secretary and a $37 billion budget. Tom Ridge, who currently heads the Office of Homeland Security for the White House, is expected to be nominated as the first secretary for the new department. AOPA secured language in the bill to protect general aviation, directing TSA to continue its congressionally mandated mission of safeguarding efficient movement of people and goods throughout the nation and its borders. The language requires that the secretary for Homeland Security consult with the FAA administrator before taking any action that might affect aviation safety or use of airspace. It also establishes a liaison office within the new department for consulting with the FAA. "It is encouraging that Congress has reaffirmed the mission of TSA, allowing the association to build on the extensive network of contacts within the TSA on common-sense approaches to general aviation security," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "This also recognizes that the U.S. aviation system is critical to the nation's economy." For more, see AOPA Online.
GA News
A 47-year-old Houston-area man died in a fall from a Cessna 152 on Sunday, Texas law enforcement officials said. Russell Edward Filler, an employee of a NASA subcontractor, rented the aircraft and hired an instructor from National Aviation Services at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport in Spring, Texas, to renew his flying skills, said Lt. John Kremmer of the Waller County sheriff's office. FAA officials told ePilot that Filler's second-class medical certificate expired in 1979. Filler told instructor Benito Frank Munoz that he wanted to go to 9,000 feet to see if a past problem with his ears had been corrected by recent treatments. Munoz told officials Filler took the aircraft to 9,000 feet, turned the controls over to Munoz, and asked him to demonstrate a steep turn, the Houston Chronicle reported. As Munoz entered the turn he heard a bump and glanced over to see Filler's feet going out the door, according to the Chronicle story. His body was found on Tuesday. Kremmer said examinations of the aircraft seatbelt and door have shown no defects. Other area law enforcement officials told reporters they had previously interviewed Filler about a laptop computer that was missing from NASA, which Filler said he had bought in a parking lot after answering an ad placed on a grocery store bulletin board.

Construction crews working on the new AOPA pilot facility at First Flight Airport (FFA) in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, expect to have the structure completed in time for the ninety-ninth anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flight on December 17, 2002. It includes indoor restrooms to replace the portable toilets now available to pilots. The facility, donated by AOPA on behalf of its members, will be the only permanent structure to remain after the centennial celebrations end in December 2003. When fully operational, it will include a pilot work area with computerized weather stations and telephones for contacting flight service.

Cessna Aircraft Company says it will lay off additional workers during the first three months of 2003, the Wichita Eagle has reported. The newspaper obtained a copy of a memo from Cessna Chairman Russ Meyer to employees about the job cuts. Cessna officials confirmed the layoffs and told ePilot they have not determined the number of employees affected, but the newspaper quoted a union official as predicting that 500 workers will be cut. The newspaper reported that in total, Wichita's aerospace manufacturers have cut 9,000 workers in the past 18 months. Additionally, sales have been sluggish and production schedules are to be reviewed soon. However, long-term prospects for sales appear strong. The newspaper reported that, "Raytheon Aircraft Company will have laid off more than 2,200 workers by the end of the year. Raytheon's layoffs began in April 2001. Bombardier Aerospace has laid off 875 workers. It plans to lay off 50 more workers by the end of the year and furlough 500 for several months as it temporarily halts production of Learjet 45 and Learjet 60 business jets."

A Laird-Turner Ring Three Meteor aircraft replica lifted off the runway at Chino Airport, California, recently on its first flight test. The flight, by test pilot David Morss, was the first flight by a Meteor in 60 years. However, the flight was brief, and Morss landed shortly after liftoff when the engine began to run rough. The Ring Meteor first raced in 1937, and Roscoe Turner won the Thompson Trophy in 1938 and 1939 flying the Meteor. Capable of speeds in excess of 350 mph, it is powered by a 1,000-hp Pratt & Whitney R1830 radial engine. The aircraft was built by Bill Turner, owner of Repeat Aircraft at Fla-Bob Airport in Riverside, California.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Inside AOPA
Momentum has shifted slightly in favor of Fort Wayne, Indiana's Smith Field (SMD), thanks in large part to events like this week's rally by more than 100 supporters. AOPA Vice President of Airports Anne Esposito told the rally audience, "This is truly a community airport. One of the most refreshing things about the Smith Airfield For Ever [SAFE] group is that it's made up of both pilots and community members who live near the airport and want to see it saved." Earlier this year, the Ft. Wayne Airport Authority Board voted 4 to 1, with one member not voting, to close the airport on July 1, 2003. Since then, one board member has been replaced, and at a Monday afternoon meeting, the board deadlocked, 3 to 3, on a measure to keep Smith Field open until 2004. For more, see AOPA Online.

Barnard Foote is the latest lucky member to experience the thrill of open-cockpit flying in a Waco biplane. Foote got to spend several hours with Mike and Kendle Hanson of Biplane Rides in Long Beach, California, after been selected as a monthly winner in AOPA's two-year Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes, the grand prize of which is a fully restored Waco UPF-7 biplane. For your chance at one of the monthly trips including a Waco ride, and at the Waco itself, simply join or renew your membership in AOPA.

You will notice an important new slogan on your 2003 AOPA membership card: "Celebrating the past...ensuring your future." Although it's difficult to explain AOPA's complex mission in only a few words, this summarizes what all of us need to do in the coming year. During the centennial of flight, we should reflect on the accomplishments of the past 100 years-and remember the many challenges we face in an increasingly uncertain future. The new card's design-a collage showing the original Wright Flyer, a Waco UPF-7 similar to the grand prize in the AOPA Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes, and the futuristic Cirrus SR22-reflects the theme. The reverse of your card displays contact information for AOPA member services and programs.

For information on ordering audiocassettes of AOPA Expo 2002 seminars, visit the distributor's Web site.

Changing your mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
On Capitol Hill
In one of its last actions this year the Senate passed legislation that would require all foreign nationals seeking flight training in the United States to complete a Department of Justice background check. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), removes the current provision that the checks apply only to students who seek to fly aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or more. However, the legislation would offer exemptions for those foreign nationals currently holding an FAA type rating or pilot certificate, or the foreign equivalent of a commercial certificate, and would allow ground training to take place during the requisite background checks. The House is not expected to act on the bill this year, but Congress is likely to revisit the flight school issue when it convenes in January.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation News
With the holidays fast approaching, don't forget to order your AOPA Air Safety Foundation holiday cards. Proceeds from the cards help fund ASF programs. Many designs are available, and imprinting is free with an order of three or more boxes.
Quiz Me!
Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.

Question: Do you know where, or even if, it is possible to get an outdated sectional chart? I would like to have a Dallas Sectional from around 1972, when I first learned to fly.

Answer: The National Aeronautical Charting Office (NACO) does not provide obsolete charts to the general public out of concern for flight safety. But you may purchase copies of out-of-date charts for collecting or historical purposes from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). You may contact them at NARA, 8601 Adelphia Road, College Park, Maryland, 20740. The phone number is 866/272-6272, or you may contact them via e-mail at [email protected].

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
Just in time for holiday gift giving, we've made it easier than ever to order photographic prints from the AOPA Online Gallery. The fabulous photography that has helped make AOPA Pilot the world's most popular aviation magazine can now be yours to enjoy anywhere, in a variety of sizes. Select your favorite photo from among the hundreds in our collection, make a few keystrokes into a secure e-mail form, and a high-quality print of your selection will be shipped to your doorstep. And of course you can still download your favorite images to use on your computer. For more details, see AOPA Online.
Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
McArthur, Ohio. A fly-in takes place December 1 at Vinton County Airport (22I). Call Nick Rupert, 740/384-2649.

Key West, Florida. An EAA Chapter 1241 Young Eagles Rally takes place November 30 at Key West International Airport (EYW). Contact E. Waldorf, 305/743-0835, or visit the Web site.

Houston, Texas. The Houston Aviation Alliance monthly meeting takes place December 2 at the Houston Hobby Hilton from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Contact John King, 713/567-5054, or visit the Web site.

Wickenburg, Arizona. A Fly-in and Explore Wickenburg Vulture Peak Hike takes place December 1 at Wickenburg Municipal Airport (E25). Contact Maria Langer, 928/684-5690, or visit the Web site.

Aviation activities traditionally slow down at this time of year, and you may not receive a regional calendar each week. To submit an event to the calendar, or search all events, visit AOPA Online. For airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online .

For comments on calendar items, contact [email protected].

(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Austin, Texas, and Denver, December 7 and 8. Clinics are also scheduled in Orlando, Florida, and Chicago, December 14 and 15. Attend a FIRC during the month of December and receive a free ASF umbrella! For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.

(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter® Ground Schools will take place in Denver, December 8; and Orlando, Florida, December 15. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminar schedule will resume in January, featuring The Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings. See video clips and read the Safety Advisor publication that accompanies this new program on the ASF Web site.

Got news or questions? Send your comments to [email protected].

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