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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 42AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 42

Volume 4, Issue 42 • October 18, 2002
In this issue:
Cessna bans ethanol-based fuels
Lost Squadron P-38 set to fly
Congressman offers praise for AOPA's efforts


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].

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
421 Aviation Way
Frederick, MD 21701
Tel: 800/USA-AOPA or

Copyright � 2002 AOPA.

TO OUR READERS: Next week AOPA will be sending you special AOPA Expo 2002 editions of ePilot each day during the three-day event. Coverage of Thursday's Expo activity will be included in your regular ePilot on Friday. Information from the show will be posted to Virtual Expo on AOPA Online as it happens.

Protecting GA
In response to a request from AOPA's general counsel, the FAA has issued a legal opinion that state and local governments cannot pass laws regulating pilot certification. The FAA said specifically that state laws requiring student pilot background checks "would likely intrude into an area that Congress has preempted." The opinion letter will be filed today with the federal district court in Detroit to support AOPA's lawsuit against Michigan's requirement for student-pilot background checks. "This letter is important ammunition in our lawsuit," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The FAA says clearly that only the federal government can regulate pilot certification." Boyer noted that the issue is not about aviation security; AOPA supports reasonable, effective measures on the national level to enhance security. The issue is really about state and local governments attempting to illegally control who can fly in the nation's airspace. A public hearing is scheduled for October 29 on AOPA's request for a preliminary injunction that would halt the background checks until the court hears the case.

Restoring general aviation access to the Washington, D.C., area is one of the last major post-9/11 airspace hurdles remaining. AOPA has petitioned the FAA to restore full GA access to College Park Airport, Potomac Airpark, and Hyde Field in Maryland, which currently operate under a highly restrictive special flight rule (SFAR 94). In addition to restoring closed pattern work and flights between the airports, AOPA has asked that the FAA establish a waiver process to allow transient operations to resume. The so-called "DC3" airports have been closed to all but based pilots since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. (GA operations remain prohibited at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.) "It is clear that unless AOPA's recommended changes to SFAR 94 are adopted, the three impacted airports cannot survive," said Andy Cebula, an AOPA senior vice president. See AOPA�Online.

AOPA Flight Explorer Personal Edition has added graphical depictions of temporary flight restriction (TFR) areas, adding additional value to the real-time aircraft tracking service. "These days, a pilot accidentally violating a TFR is likely to lose his certificate, or worse," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But written notams identifying TFRs are notoriously difficult to interpret. This new AOPA Flight Explorer PE service is invaluable in helping pilots visualize places they must avoid." He added that FAA notams should still be reviewed as the official source for TFR information. The new TFR depictions are updated every 12 hours. See AOPA�Online.
Citing test results that found extreme corrosion, deterioration of rubber fuel bladders, electric fuel pump damage, and clogged fuel filters, Cessna has announced that current ethanol-based fuels are not approved for use in Cessna airplanes. A recently issued service letter highlights the results of a comprehensive Cessna evaluation and states that "operational safety may be compromised by the use of ethanol fuels." Ethanol is being explored as one of several alternatives to 100LL avgas, which is in danger of being phased out because of a shrinking global market for leaded fuel caused by growing environmental concerns. AOPA is continuing its search for solutions. Andrew Werking, AOPA associate director for regulatory and certification policy, is actively participating as a full member of both the Coordinating Research Council (CRC) and the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) groups tasked with identifying and writing standards for a safe, environmentally friendly, economical, and technically viable alternative to 100LL.

The number of preregistered guests–along with the large number of exhibitors and static display aircraft–indicates that this year's AOPA Expo in Palm Springs, California, from October 24 through 26 will be one of the biggest ever. If you plan to fly into the event, plan on a VFR arrival. "Given all the people who have preregistered, we expect the area airports to be extremely busy. The available IFR arrival slots could fill up very quickly," said Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of Aviation Services. FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey will speak on the opening day (next Thursday) at 9 a.m. This will mark her first major public appearance since taking the FAA's helm in September. Aviation humorist and AOPA Pilot columnist Rod Machado will be the featured speaker later that day at the Expo luncheon that runs from noon to 2 p.m. Limited luncheon tickets will be available on site. See AOPA Online for the arrival procedures and graphics or the Expo home page for complete information on the event.

Bruce Bohannon hopes to conquer the piston-aircraft world record for time to climb to 12,000 meters (39,370 feet) next Tuesday. He will launch his Exxon Flyin' Tiger from Desert Resorts Regional Airport near Palm Springs, California, on October 22 at 10 a.m. Following the record attempt he will reposition the aircraft to Palm Springs for the Parade of Planes to AOPA Expo on October 23. The aircraft will be displayed during the three-day event.

A historic Lockheed P-38F fighter from World War II is almost set to make its first flight in more than 60 years. It was one of eight P-38s and two B-17s en route to England on July 7, 1942, that encountered bad weather, ran low on fuel, and made precautionary landings on the Greenland ice cap. The crews were rescued, but the aircraft became entombed in the ice. An expedition in 1992 recovered Glacier Girl from beneath 268 feet of ice. Roy Shoffner, who sponsored the expedition, shipped the airplane to Middlesboro, Kentucky, where it has been undergoing restoration ever since. Weather permitting, the Lost Squadron Museum plans for liftoff on Saturday, October 26, at 2 p.m. Eastern time from Middlesboro-Bell County Airport (1A6). Bob Cardin, project manager for the restoration, cautions that the airport will close at 1 p.m. the day of the flight, and that while visitors are welcome, transient parking will be limited. He said the museum plans to provide a live video feed of the flight on its Web site. If you miss it, The History Channel is preparing a documentary on The Lost Squadron–and Glacier Girl's restoration and first flight–that is scheduled to air March 3, 2003, at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

If you've got questions, Mooney's got answers. Mooney Aerospace Group has posted a Q&A page on its Web site that covers everything from warranty issues to the prospect of a diesel-powered aircraft. The information was derived from a Mooney Aircraft Pilots Association meeting in late September. To read the 18-question section, see the Web site.

For daily news updates, see AOPA�Online.
Inside AOPA
The headline of a recent press release from Hawaii Gov. Benjamin J. Cayento reads, "Governor Cayetano says proposed closure of five small airports will make system more efficient." According to the Hawaii Airports Division, however, the governor actually wants to find contract managers to manage Dillingham, Waimea-Kohala, Upolu, Kapalua, and Port Allen airports. "Governor, I do not agree with that headline," AOPA President Phil Boyer said in a letter. "Closing airports, reducing airport capacity, shutting off a community from the benefits of air transportation, and limiting the number of airports available for general aviation pilots to land never makes the air transportation system more efficient." Citing budget problems and the lack of revenue generated by those airports, the state plans to entertain bids until October 27 for people interested in operating and maintaining the airports, after which a decision on the airports' future will be made. Some of the airports have accepted federal funding which requires the state to keep them open. See the letter on AOPA�Online.

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On Capitol Hill
AOPA President Phil Boyer recently received a pleasant surprise when an unsolicited letter of thanks and support arrived by fax from Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), an AOPA member and respected member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "I wish to take this opportunity to thank you," said Boswell in his letter. "What you do is so important to all Americans." See AOPA�Online.
Airport Support Network
One of the questions that AOPA Airport Support Network headquarters gets from time to time is, "Why isn't my airport listed in your target list of airports or mentioned in ePilot?" ASN wants every public-use airport in the United States to have a volunteer who will let AOPA know about potential problems and be able to help work toward sound solutions. An intermediate goal for volunteer recruitment is to target public-use airports in each state that are part of the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems and are obligated to the FAA either through airport improvement grants or land transfers. However, nominations from members who want to become volunteers at nonlisted airports are always welcome. For complete information about ASN, see AOPA�Online. Below are just a few of those targeted airports in your region.

To nominate a Volunteer, which can be yourself, visit 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 can I find the codes explaining aircraft registration numbers in different countries?

Answer: The aircraft nationality and registration marks can be found in a couple of different resources. They are located in Supplement 1 to ICAO Annex 7, Aircraft Nationality and Registration Marks. The FAA has extracted these registration marks and included them in Chapter 4 of FAA Order 7340.1, Contractions. Marks are listed either by country or by code. See the FAA Web site.

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].
Coming Up In AOPA�Pilot
Fly The New Piper Seneca V, learn what not to say on the radio, and read about the ins and outs of small-airplane fractional ownership-like programs in the November issue of AOPA Pilot. It will be mailed tomorrow.
Waco Update
Rare Aircraft employees worked through the weekend and on Monday, Columbus Day, to speed progress on the AOPA Centennial of Flight Waco UPF-7. The aircraft is in final assembly and the first flight could occur as early as today. That means, assuming all goes well, it could leave as early as Saturday for Palm Springs, California, for display at AOPA Expo. See AOPA�Online.
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
Learn everything you want to know about notams and temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) on AOPA Online's special page about flying in a post-September 11 era. See AOPA�Online.
Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA�Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
Palm Springs, California. AOPA Expo 2002 takes place October 24 through 26 at the Palm Springs Convention Center in California. For complete details, 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 Windsor Locks, Connecticut; Columbia, South Carolina; and Reston, Virginia on October 26 and 27. A clinic is also scheduled in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, on November 2 and 3. 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].

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

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