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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 41AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 41

Volume 4, Issue 41 • October 11, 2002
In this issue:
AOPA continues to question expanding TFRs
Cirrus parachute scores a save
Lawmakers order university to keep airport open

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA CD Special

Garmin International

AOPA Term life insurance

DTC Duat

AOPA Flight Explorer

King Schools

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Pilot Insurance


AOPA Legal Services Plan

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.

Protecting GA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has partnered with AOPA to develop a nationwide aviation watch system. Key to the program will be a toll-free hotline and a centralized system for reporting and acting on information supplied by general aviation pilots. AOPA's Airport Watch program will enlist the support of some 550,000 general aviation pilots to watch for and report suspicious activities that might have security implications. The hotline will be formally launched in December. AOPA will also distribute materials to the 5,400 public-use airports in the nation, pilot groups, and individual pilots. "We appreciate AOPA's proactive approach to enhance security for the general aviation community," said Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Security James M. Loy. "It makes sense that the world's largest civil aviation organization would offer their expertise for the collective effort in the war on terrorism." See AOPA�Online.

The problem of general aviation incursions into temporary flight restriction (TFR) areas has been compounded recently by the increase in size of presidential TFRs and the lack of specific air traffic management procedures. This has prompted a meeting among AOPA, other industry representatives, and senior FAA officials. "While AOPA looks forward to working collaboratively with the FAA in addressing the ongoing problem of TFR incursions, the answer seems pretty clear," said Melissa Bailey, AOPA vice president of air traffic policy. "If you create large enough restrictions, you're going to trap more pilots."
With a pull, a pop, and a sense of relief, a 53-year-old architect unwittingly made aviation history last Thursday near Dallas when the rocket-launched parachute in his Cirrus SR22 may have saved his life. It marked the first time a certified aircraft has landed using an airframe parachute. Lionel Morrison was on a return-to-service flight when he experienced a serious control problem. Morrison told "ePilot" that when the airplane was in the shop, the left aileron was removed and put back on. Later while he was in the air he noticed that it was hanging on by a hinge. Morrison said it took both hands on the side-stick yoke to keep the airplane level. He launched the chute and the airplane landed in cedar and mesquite trees in northern Texas as golfers at a nearby golf course looked on in amazement. "I've never had any desire to go skydiving," he joked. Morrison, the sole occupant, was uninjured in the incident. He said that Cirrus Design is replacing his aircraft. Photo courtesy television station KXAS.

With more than 300 aircraft in the fleet, it was only a matter of time before Cirrus had a real case study. For the company the event spelled vindication after spending $10 million to develop the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). "A lot of people thought we were nuts," said Cirrus President Alan Klapmeier. "They believed the parachute was an unnecessary expense that added weight to the aircraft to boot. To make things worse, they thought competent, macho pilots didn't need it and wouldn't use it anyway. Lionel Morrison proved them wrong." The parachute system, made by Ballistic Recovery Systems, has been used to save the lives of many ultralight pilots, but was recently certified as an aftermarket option for Cessna 172s. It is also available for Cessna 150/152 aircraft. The system is designed to be used as a last resort.

The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) has passed the critical 60-day test. That proves that WAAS can reliably provide satellite-guided, ILS-like instrument approaches into almost all airports. Some 4,000 airports today lack ILS approaches. And AOPA has learned that Raytheon, the WAAS contractor, can turn the system over to the FAA in February, well ahead of schedule. "We met with FAA last week and encouraged them to approve WAAS for IFR by June of next year," said Randy Kenagy, AOPA director of advanced technology. "There's no reason to wait for the scheduled December implementation date when the system works now." WAAS improves the accuracy, integrity, and reliability of the GPS signal. While GPS provides lateral guidance, WAAS adds vertical capability. It will bring a new level of safety and utility to general aviation airports around the nation. See AOPA�Online.

A lot of electrons have to cross the Atlantic Ocean for this aircraft to become reality, but take note: Diamond Aircraft, maker of composite single-engine aircraft, wants to build a jet. To be exact, Diamond CEO Christian Dries wants to start work on a personal jet that could fly by 2006. Initial design review is just beginning. That means that Diamond engineers in Canada and Austria are beginning to make the equivalent of drawings on dinner napkins, but using aircraft-design software. The concepts will be e-mailed between Canada and Austria until a final design emerges. The resulting aircraft might carry two pilots and three passengers plus baggage and cruise close to 300 knots at 25,000 feet or less. It could be a single-engine jet costing $600,000, or it could be a twin. The engine might be Russian or Western-built. Who's to say? The company could announce by the end of the year whether plans will proceed.

Kirby Chambliss recently won the U.S. national aerobatic championships during competition in Denison, Texas, flying a Zivco Edge 540. He competed in the Unlimited category. Of 24 aircraft in that category, nine of the aircraft were Edge 540s. Chambliss is automatically on the U.S. Aerobatic Team as a result of the win. Mike Mangold came in second, while Steve Andelin took third place; both were flying Edge 540s. They will also represent the U.S. in world competition. The top-ranking female pilot was Debby Rihn-Harvey flying a CAP 232, an aircraft now considered the most competitive in the world. Coming in second was Julie Mangold, wife of Mike Mangold, flying an Edge 540. Chandy Clanton, who also flew an Edge 540, took third place.

The NTSB has expanded its Web site to include aviation accident synopses and data covering the years from 1962 to the present. Previously, data issued prior to 1983 were not available online. More than 90,000 additional data records, from air carrier and general aviation accident investigations, have been added. These include five years of investigations conducted by the board's predecessor agency, the Civil Aeronautics Board, before 1967. See the Web site. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation also maintains a searchable database comprised of NTSB data and is specific to smaller aircraft.

For daily news updates, see AOPA�Online.
Inside AOPA
Horace Williams Airport in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, will remain open until at least January 1, 2005. The state legislature recently included a provision in the budget bill that prohibits the airport's owner, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from closing the airport until then. AOPA has been pushing to keep the airport open for a definite period of time, following a surprise announcement in April that UNC was going to close the airport and redevelop the land. "The legislature's action was the result of the collective efforts of North Carolina AOPA members and AOPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Representative Chris Hudson," said Andy Cebula, an AOPA senior vice president. See AOPA�Online.

The FAA has announced that it will establish new instrument approaches allowing aircraft with flight management systems to fly ILS-like approaches. Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approaches are similar to those currently used by general aviation pilots with IFR-approved GPS receivers. AOPA is closely watching this activity to ensure that it doesn't adversely affect GA IFR access to large airports. AOPA will continue to urge the FAA to implement RNP by taking advantage of existing GPS equipage and voluntary participation rather than setting standards that require costly new equipment, upgrades, or additional training.

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On Capitol Hill
Two important members of Congress have joined the fight over who controls access to the nation's airspace. House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) and Ranking Member James Oberstar (D-Minn.) sent a letter urging Appropriations Chairman C.W. "Bill" Young (R-Fla.) not to "summarily rescind Notam 2/0199 without a full review by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee." That notam governs stadium overflights. Major sports interests have been trying to use the federal budget process as a backdoor way to ban banner towers. Similarly, some other influential members of Congress are concerned about attempts by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to legislate airspace restrictions. Ten members of the House aviation subcommittee, led by Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.), have written a letter to a key committee chairman saying that decisions about national airspace policy should be made by the appropriate committees in Congress and the proper regulatory agencies.
Quiz Me!
Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.

Question: Is it possible for me to get a copy of my pilot records from the FAA?

Answer: Yes, you can get a copy of your airman certification records. Submit a signed written request that includes your name, date of birth, social security number, and/or certificate number to the FAA. Mail your request to: FAA, Airmen Certification Branch, AFS-760, Post Office Box 25082, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73125-0082. Include a check or money order for $10. Your certification records will be copied and mailed to you.

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].
On The Road To Expo
It doesn't cost much to park your aircraft in a beautiful place, at least at AOPA Expo in Palm Springs, California. It will only cost $5 a day to park your plane at Palm Springs International (PSP) or Desert Resorts Regional (TRM) airports during the event that runs from October 24 through 26. Make plans to attend AOPA Expo now. See AOPA�Online.

Book now to ensure you get the car you need for Expo. Cars are going quickly! AOPA Car Rental Programs are offering great meeting rates. See the Web site.
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
Old insulation allows the mags to short out on a Mitchell B-25, leading the crew to a single-engine approach. Declaring an emergency would have saved the crew time and possibly some heartache. See the latest Never Again Online, titled "B-25 adventure," exclusively on AOPA Online.
Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA�Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
West Chester, Pennsylvania. Rotorfest takes place October 19 and 20 at the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center. Featuring Army Black Daggers, Otto the helicopter clown, helicopter rides, simulators and exhibits like the V-22 Osprey. Contact Kathy Bratton, 610/436-9600, or visit the Web site.

Jackson, Tennessee. Skyfest Tennessee takes place October 18 through 20 at Mckellar Sipes Regional Airport (MKL). Airshow on the 19th only. Balloons evening of the 18th and morning of the 20th. Contact Doreen Warren, 731/660-1088, or visit 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 scheduled in Ontario, California, and Nashville, Tennessee, on October 19 and 20. Clinics are also scheduled in Windsor Locks, Connecticut; Columbia, South Carolina; and Reston, Virginia on October 26 and 27. 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 Windsor Locks, Connecticut, October 27. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Palm Springs, California, October 24 through 26. Topics vary, check AOPA�Online for the complete schedule and topic listing.

To make submissions to the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For comments on calendar items, e-mail [email protected].

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