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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 37AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot--Vol. 4, Issue 37

Volume 4, Issue 37 • September 13, 2002
In this issue:
TSA denies Chicago mayor's request for TFR
Cessna enters personal jet market
AOPA continues work on sport plane standards

AOPA Term life insurance

DTC Duat

AOPA Flight Explorer

King Schools

Comm 1 Radio Simulator

Pilot Insurance


AOPA Legal Services Plan

Sporty's Pilot Shop

AOPA CD Special

Garmin International

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 new head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), retired Adm. James Loy, this week pledged to work with AOPA "on issues of importance to general aviation." AOPA President Phil Boyer and Senior Vice President of Government and Technical Affairs Andy Cebula met with Loy to acquaint him with AOPA and the concerns of general aviation pilots. Boyer noted that Loy was more open than previous TSA leadership. Loy said that because of his past experience leading the Coast Guard, he "understood the need for a partnership with industry to accomplish critical tasks." See AOPA�Online.

Saying that there is no specific credible threat, the TSA on Monday agreed with arguments by AOPA and rejected a request by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to reimpose a temporary flight restriction (TFR) for GA aircraft over downtown Chicago. Daley had requested the TFR be reimposed several days before the September 11 anniversary and extended for an indefinite period. He contends that because VFR flights are not required to file flight plans or talk to air traffic control, all small aircraft are a potential threat. "AOPA is pleased that our efforts to bring some common sense to the security decision-making process is paying off," said Andy Cebula, an AOPA senior vice president. "TSA rejected the request based on available information, not some amorphous feeling of dread."

The TSA told AOPA on September 10 that there is "an enormous seriousness to TFRs," and warned pilots not to violate any TFR area. But at the same time, TSA is continuing a "Catch-22" that could lead to the prosecution of innocent pilots. The catch is this: the government won't tell you exactly where and when the TFR is in force, but it can "violate" you if you happen to stumble through a "stealth" TFR. AOPA is continuing its fight to eliminate this Catch-22. The issue is notam 2/3353, the infamous "blanket" sporting-event TFR prohibiting general aviation from flying within 3 nm laterally and 3,000 feet vertically of all large open-air gatherings. That notam effectively closes nontowered airports near stadiums during events, and shuts out banner towers and aircraft operated by the news media. But the FAA notam system does not alert pilots to the locations or times of these events. "For months AOPA has been insisting that the TSA eliminate or revise this notam because the wording is vague, confusing, and virtually unenforceable," said Andy Cebula, an AOPA senior vice president. See AOPA�Online.

AOPA asked a federal judge on September 6 to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the State of Michigan from enforcing a new law requiring felony background checks for flight school students. AOPA had originally filed suit August 2, contending the state law is unconstitutional and preempted by federal authority. AOPA has taken active steps to enhance general aviation security. The association has filed a petition with the FAA that would require pilots to carry government-issued photo IDs when operating an aircraft. And AOPA and the aviation industry have presented a 12-point plan to enhance aviation security nationwide. "If every state set its own aviation security policy, we'd end up with a patchwork of conflicting state laws that do nothing to make us more secure, but do everything to inconvenience and harm innocent citizens," said AOPA�President Phil Boyer.
Marion C. Blakey will start her first full day as FAA administrator on Monday. The Senate unanimously confirmed her appointment late Wednesday night. A top FAA official told AOPA that Blakey, the former NTSB chairwoman, will be shifting between agencies through the weekend. "Ms. Blakey had a solid record at the NTSB, and in our interactions with her, she seemed eager to work with the general aviation community," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We are looking forward to her assuming leadership next week."

Despite denials last week about the arrival of a bouncing baby jet, Cessna Aircraft Company unveiled on Tuesday at the annual National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) trade show in Orlando, Florida, a scaled-down Citation to compete in the emerging personal jet market. Called the Citation Mustang, it's expected to have a cruise speed of 340 knots and carry a price tag of nearly $2.3 million (in 2002 dollars). Cessna's announcement came after a company spokeswoman refuted a story published by Aviation International News that provided details about the new jet, saying that the publication was "reporting rumors." The Mustang will accommodate two pilots and four passengers in a club configuration and is designed to cruise at a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet. The avionics and engine manufacturers have not been announced. Cessna anticipates FAA certification by mid-2006. Cessna also introduced a stretched version of the Citation CJ2, dubbing it the CJ3. For more information, see Cessna's Web site.

Eclipse Aviation Corporation saw Cessna's announcement as a "validation of what we are doing," said CEO Vern Raburn, who seeks to revolutionize air travel with the Eclipse 500 personal jet. He predicted that Eclipse, with its $837,500 price (2000 dollars), will retain an advantage over the new Cessna jet. What both companies need, however, is a market. Based on recent figures, there appears to be one. As of Wednesday morning, a day after the announcement, Cessna had more than 160 deposits on the Mustang worth $10,000 each. This includes Formula One racecar driver Nelson Piquet, who also ordered a Citation X. Cessna Chairman and CEO Russ Meyer predicted that the Mustang would be an affordable upgrade for more than 12,000 people and companies that operate piston twins and turboprops. Eclipse, meanwhile, reported that it has 1,371 firm orders to date. If options to purchase are added in, the order book tops out at 2,000 aircraft. The Eclipse 500 made its first flight last month.

New Piper Aircraft President Chuck Suma says new production Malibu Meridians will come with an increased useful load. The 235-pound increase comes via aerodynamic and airframe mods–adding vortex generators and making structural beef-ups to the wing spars. New Meridians will have a maximum gross takeoff weight of 5,092 pounds, up from the earlier versions' 4,850 pounds. The useful load upgrade will not be offered as a retrofit on Meridians produced to date.

This week OMF Aircraft, based in Neubrandenburg, Germany, announced that it had secured $5 million in investment funds. A combination of bank financing, with a German government guarantee, and an infusion from parent company, Stinnes Group, the funding will be used to seek out a new powerplant designed to run on Jet-A, and to develop a new aircraft model. "Now that the development of the Symphony has settled down, we're looking forward to being able to expand the range of our products," said Derek Stinnes, managing partner of OMF Aircraft. OMF currently offers the single-engine, two-seat Symphony in VFR- and IFR-certified versions for $120,000 and $140,000, respectively. For more, see the Web site.

Despite the effects of last year's terrorist attacks, interest in taking a Be A Pilot introductory flight lesson is up 4.2 percent in 2002. "Many flight schools report business close to normal or better, a surprisingly good year," said Drew Steketee, Be A Pilot president. "Moreover, FAA data show that 2002 student pilot certificate issuances hit 39,733 in July, also up 4 percent–the best pace since 1993." Steketee said that the upgraded Web site has attracted more than 500,000 site visits so far this year. Nearly 20 percent of those interested in flying use its "Find a Flight School" feature. Users can then print a $49 certificate for the first flying lesson.

See AOPA�Online for complete NBAA news, or for daily news updates.
Inside AOPA
AOPA is actively participating in the development of industry consensus standards required by the proposed Sport Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft rule. AOPA's Andrew Werking was recently nominated to serve in an executive capacity on the Light Sport Aircraft Standards Committee of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). The committee is working to quickly develop standards for the design, quality assurance, and continued airworthiness of light sport aircraft. "Standards development continues at a steady pace, but there's a long way to go," said Werking, associate director of air traffic, regulatory, and certification policy. "AOPA continues to work to minimize delays and ensure the standards meet the needs of pilots."

A recent federal court ruling has determined that the FAA has not done enough to accurately measure aircraft noise effects over Grand Canyon National Park. Of significance to AOPA members and GA pilots, the court says that the FAA hasn't given a good explanation for why its noise standard does not include noise from other types of aircraft, including commercial and military air traffic. See AOPA�Online.

AOPA this week presented Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a check for $17,500 for the AOPA Career Pathways Scholarship fund. AOPA President Phil Boyer made the presentation during a Pilot Town Meeting in Daytona Beach, Florida, home of one of the university's two residential campuses. Some 550 ERAU students and local aviators attended the Pilot Town Meeting. AOPA established the scholarship in 1997, and to date has given some $70,000 to the fund. The university applies the contributions to an endowed scholarship to help aviation students. See AOPA�Online.

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On Capitol Hill
Appearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee this week, James Loy, director of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), recommitted the agency to customer satisfaction and teamwork among all transportation stakeholders. Loy said his goal is to "restore mobility to all Americans... that is an inalienable right. " He promised to continue to improve communication with Congress, private industry, agencies, and airports. Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) renewed his inquiry regarding a plan to reopen Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to general aviation. Loy offered to brief the senator privately on the progress of a plan to restore GA to National rather than disclose sensitive information in the public hearing. See AOPA�Online.
Airport Support Network
What would you do if your airport closed tomorrow? Ask yourself these questions: Has my flying been affected by development near, restrictions on, or negative public relations to my local airport? Have local issues or political pressures affected my use and the efficiency of my local airport? If the answer is yes to either question, you may be just the sort of person we are looking for to help ensure the health and availability of your airport. Every day, more than 1,300 Airport Support Network volunteers are working with AOPA headquarters on a local level to help save their airports. That's a lot but not enough. Below are just a few airports in your area where an ASN volunteer could make a difference.

To nominate a volunteer, which can be yourself, visit AOPA�Online.
AOPA�Air Safety Foundation News
A new online refresher course for instrument-rated pilots is debuting on the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Web site. The free interactive online course, titled IFR Adventure: Rules To Live By, uses Flash technology to take pilots through a realistic IFR cross-country flight, exploring how specific IFR regulations apply to various real-life instrument-flying scenarios. Among the challenges of the flight: diverting to an alternate airport, suffering communications failure, and evaluating the weather. Completion of the course with a score of at least 80 percent allows the pilot to print out a handsome completion certificate that may be used to satisfy the ground instruction requirement for the FAA Wings pilot proficiency program. The new course was developed with a generous grant from the William H. Donner Foundation. See AOPA�Online.
Quiz Me!
Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge.

Question: I'm considering lasik eye surgery. Is it acceptable to the FAA?

Answer: The FAA currently accepts lasik, photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), or radial keratotomy (RK) for all classes of medical certification. Following the procedure, when the treating physician is satisfied that visual acuity has stabilized and there are no other post-operative symptoms, the FAA requests that the pilot submit a brief report from the ophthalmologist to the Aeromedical Certification Division in Oklahoma City. No other action is required until the time of the next scheduled FAA physical examination, when a completed report of eye evaluation, FAA Form 8500-7, should be submitted with the medical application. If the visual acuity meets the standard for the class of medical applied for and there are no significant persistent complications (glare and compromised night vision), the aviation medical examiner may issue the certificate at the time of examination. See AOPA Online.

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
Come and see the actual AOPA Sweepstakes Waco UPF-7, fresh from the restoration shop, at AOPA Expo 2002 in Palm Springs, California. This year's Expo, October 24 through 26, promises to be the best ever with a sold-out exhibit hall, close to 90 aircraft on display, and a vast variety of seminars to interest any pilot. Arrival and departure information has just been posted on AOPA Online.
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 AOPA�Online
Are you aware of the hazards of rotating propellers and helicopter rotor blades? Click here to download FAA Advisory Circular 91-42D from AOPA Online.
Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA�Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
Grand Junction, Colorado. Airshow! Western Colorado takes place September 20 and 21 at Walker Field (GJT). Twilight show Friday evening, featuring Army Golden Knights. Saturday show featuring Army Golden Knights, Gene Soucy and Teresa Stokes, Smoke 'n Thunder, F-18 Hornet demonstration, and the Air Force Thunderbirds. Call 970/243-7718, or visit the Web site.

Farmington, New Mexico. Wings, Wheels, and Waves 2002 takes place September 21 at Four Corners Regional Airport (FMN). Family event featuring airshow acts, an F-117 fly-by, antique cars, activities for children. Free admission. Contact Joe Baker, 505/324-0688, 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 Richmond, Virginia, on September 21 and 22. A Clinic is also scheduled in Baltimore, on September 28 and 29. 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 San Jose, California, October 13. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Rogers, Arkansas, September 16; Springfield, Missouri, September 17; and Wichita, Kansas, September 18. The topic is Single-Pilot IFR. For the complete schedule, see AOPA�Online.

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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