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Copyright ï¿½ 2002 AOPA.
| Protecting GA |
| AOPA FIGHTS TO KEEP CATCH-22 NOTAM FROM BECOMING LAW |
AOPA President Phil Boyer on Wednesday sent a letter to every member of the U.S. House of Representatives, urging them not to support a bill about to be introduced by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.). Upton is attempting to garner support in Congress to ban flights near sports stadiums by writing into law the "Catch-22" notam. Notam 1/3353 bans all flight within 3 miles and 3,000 feet of major sporting events and large assemblies of people. The Upton amendment would effectively close as many as 55 nontowered airports that account for nearly two million operations annually. Depending on government interpretation, the closures could be for as long as three hours before until three hours after events. Boyer's letter explains that AOPA has worked with the FAA and Transportation Security Administration for the last several months on a process to address security issues around major sporting events. See AOPAï¿½Online for the latest updates on this issue.
CALIFORNIA COUNTY PASSES BACKGROUND CHECK LAW
First it was states, now local government wants to get into the student-pilot background check business. AOPA warned the Board of Supervisors in San Mateo County, California, that the association is prepared to fight a new county law requiring prospective student pilots to undergo criminal background checks conducted by the local sheriff. In a letter to Board President Jerry Hill, Anne Esposito, AOPA vice president of airports, said AOPA has already gone to federal court to stop a similar state law in Michigan, claiming that it unconstitutionally usurps federal authority. "Now, in San Mateo County, we have a local sheriff deciding who is and is not a fit candidate for flight training," said Esposito. "It is important to stop this kind of knee-jerk reactionary lawmaking and to recognize the longstanding federal laws and regulations already in place." The judge hearing the Michigan case plans a late October hearing to consider AOPA's call for a preliminary injunction, preventing the state from enforcing its background check law until after the constitutionality of the law is determined. See AOPAï¿½Online.
SENATORS TRY TO ENHANCE SECURITY OVER WEAPONS DEPOTS
Senators Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) have introduced legislation that would require enhanced enforcement of temporary flight restriction (TFR) areas over chemical weapons storage depots in seven states. The Department of Defense would be required to consider maintaining combat air patrols over the facilities. AOPA Legislative Affairs staff has met with Bayh's staff and has been in touch with Shelby to seek changes to the amendment that would help pilots know where the TFRs are. No date has been scheduled for a vote on the amendment. Chemical weapons storage depots are located in Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, and Indiana. See AOPA Online for the specific locations.
AOPA ASKS FOR ACTION ON PHOTO ID PETITION
AOPA is continuing to push the government to act on the association's simple, inexpensive proposal to improve general aviation security. This week AOPA staff met with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials to urge action on the association's petition for an FAA rule requiring pilots to carry government-approved photo identification (such as a driver's license) when flying. This would save the government the cost of initiating a new program. OMB is responsible for determining the cost and benefit of proposed regulations and is the final step in the rulemaking process. See AOPAï¿½Online.
For daily news updates, see AOPAï¿½Online.
| GAï¿½News |
| LANCAIR BOARD TO CONSIDER PURCHASE OFFERS |
The Lancair Company, builder of the Columbia 300 and 400 aircraft, is looking for a buyer after failing to find an investor. The Lancair board of directors was slated to meet last night to consider offers, but no announcement is anticipated this week. The Bend, Oregon, company has tried in past months to find $25 million in investment money to build the 172 aircraft now on order, but found that investors are reluctant to part with their money given the current economy. The action does not affect a sister company, Lancair International of Redmond, Oregon, that manufactures a line of Lancair kit models. Lancair Company President Bing Lantis said that nearly 400 interested parties have indicated interest in Lancair. There is still the possibility that a last-minute investor might be found, negating the need to sell the firm. Lantis said he is confident that those who have put down $28,000 deposits for aircraft will be able to take delivery. He told The Bulletin newspaper that he does not anticipate having to make refunds.
PILOT, MOUNTAINEER DIES
Ed Hommer, a man who could overcome almost any setback, died on Monday after being hit by a large rock on Mount Ranier in Washington state. Hommer, 46, a double amputee and pilot for American Airlines, was training to climb Mount Everest. His life story was that of triumph and survival despite long odds. In 1981, Hommer was flying a small airplane that crashed into the side of Mount McKinley. He spent five days in subzero temperatures along with one other survivor before they were rescued. Having battled depression and alcoholism, it took Hommer 20 years to recover from the crash. Using modern prosthetics, Hommer learned to run, bike, and mountain climb. In 1999 he climbed, McKinley, the mountain that almost took his life. He also returned to flying. He is the author of The Hill and was featured in the October issue of AOPA Pilot.
WEATHER MAY HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO MIG-15 CRASH
Dr. Tom Righetti, an airshow performer and cofounder of an aviation museum, Wings Over Miami, died September 18 in a remote North Carolina forest after his MiG-15 jet fighter crashed while en route to perform in an airshow at Oceana Naval Air Station, Virginia. The flight departed from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. TV news broadcasts in Virginia and North Carolina reported that Righetti told air traffic controllers that he was in a storm and was returning to Myrtle Beach. Righetti frequently used the jet and his F-86F Sabre to perform Korean War demonstrations with fellow performer Dale Snodgrass. The wreckage was found the next day near Wilmington, North Carolina. A physician in the Miami area, Righetti gathered a group of individuals to reopen the Weeks Air Museum at Kendall/Tamiami Executive Airport as Wings Over Miami and was chairman of the museum's board. He also owned and displayed a Boeing Stearman PT-17 and a Nanchang CJ-6A.
AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM ANNEX SET TO OPEN ON SCHEDULE
National Air and Space Museum officials say they are within $93 million of the amount needed to complete funding for a new companion facility at Dulles International Airport, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The museum will open on schedule in December 2003, just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flight. Display aircraft will be moved into the building starting next March. The total cost of the project, including initial staffing, moving exhibits, construction, and fund-raising, is $311 million. For more information and updates on the construction, see the Web site.
RILEY LOWERS PRICE OF DIESEL ENGINE
Riley Aero International announced this week that it has reduced the price of the 230-hp SMA SR305-230 turbodiesel engine package from $110,000 to $80,000. The price includes the prop and full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system. The company is pursuing a supplemental type certificate (STC) for installation in Cessna 182 aircraft.
For daily news updates, see AOPAï¿½Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| FAA FAILS TO NOTIFY PILOTS ABOUT 9/11 AIRPORT CLOSURES |
AOPA President Phil Boyer sent a sharply worded letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, protesting the agency's conscious decision to ignore its own regulations and procedures for communicating flight restrictions to pilots. At issue is the decision made late on September 10 to close two Washington, D.C.-area airports (College Park Airport and Potomac Airfield) through September 12, but declining to issue a notam advising pilots of the closures. "The lack of formal notification to pilots through the notam system is unacceptable," said Boyer. The problem was compounded on September 12 when the closures were extended an additional day. Again, no notam was issued. The only notification of the closure or the extension of the closure was a last-minute phone call to the two airport managers. See AOPAï¿½Online.
PENNSYLVANIA PROPOSES TOUGH AIRPORT LICENSE RULES
AOPA has taken a strong stance against Pennsylvania's proposed airport licensing requirements because it would result in the closure of some important and perfectly safe airports. Pennsylvania is one of 25 states that issue licenses to airport operators. The license requirements often can be costly without providing an appreciative increase in safety. In some cases, the recommended design criteria are the same for an airport whether a Cessna 150 or a Learjet operates there. "Airport safety is very important; however, the cookie cutter approach to airport design isn't going to work," said Anne Esposito, AOPA vice president of airports. Airports presently in the system would not be grandfathered under the new state requirements, and if the airport were sold, the airport would have to comply to the new standards before it could be reopened.
AOPA CHARTER MEMBER TURNS 100
Congratulations to Jerry Lederer, AOPA member No. 21 (that's right, the twenty-first person to join AOPA back in 1939). He marked his 100th birthday yesterday. Lederer was born when powered flight was still just a dream, and was fascinated by flight from a very early age. He received one of the earliest aeronautical engineering degrees and went to work for the Air Mail Service, the world's first successful scheduled air transportation system. "Jerry Lederer's lifelong devotion to aviation and flight safety is inspirational," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "He was there at the founding of AOPA, and went on to create one of the world's preeminent organizations [Flight Safety Foundation] promoting commercial flight safety. Although never a pilot himself, he made the safety of those of us who are his life's work." See AOPAï¿½Online.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| INHOFE PUSHES FOR GA ECONOMIC RELIEF |
AOPA member Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) filed an amendment last week to the Senate bill to create a Department of Homeland Security that would provide economic relief for those general aviation businesses still reeling from substantial economic injury as a result of last year's terrorist attacks. Inhofe's amendment would also require the government to justify airspace restrictions in the event of another shutdown, and provide regular updates to the public on when airspace would be reopened. Inhofe's senior staff has told AOPA that it is unknown when the amendment will be considered on the floor. Inhofe's amendment is one of nearly 160 amendments the Senate must consider before voting on final passage of the bill.
BILL REQUIRES MORE SCREENING OF FOREIGN STUDENTS
The Senate Commerce Committee last week passed an amendment to the Aviation Security Improvement Act that would require background checks for all foreign flight school candidates regardless of the weight class of aircraft they wish to learn to fly. AOPA has been actively working to keep U.S. citizens out of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). Currently, the law requires that the Department of Justice approve any foreign student seeking flight training in aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds. Nelson's amendment would extend that check to all foreign students. It also would change the existing law to allow foreign flight school students to begin ground training while the background check is under way. It would allow exemptions for foreign pilots who have earned an FAA type rating or are legally able to fly in and around the United States in planes weighing more than 12,500 pounds.
| AOPAï¿½Air Safety Foundation News |
| ASF RECEIVES AWARD FOR RUNWAY INCURSION PREVENTION |
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation has again been honored for its creative efforts to reduce the number of runway incursions, this time by the FAA's Safe Flight 21 program. Safe Flight 21 is the FAA program specifically charged with developing methods for improving flight safety. ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg chaired a committee that devised a low-tech, low-cost "runway occupied" warning system that flashes glideslope indicator lights at incoming aircraft if another aircraft is already on the runway. The system is currently being tested in Long Beach, California. See AOPAï¿½Online.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here's a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: I sometimes see that an NPRM is issued for possible new or revised FAA regulations. Just what is an NPRM?
Answer: NPRM stands for notice of proposed rulemaking. According to CFR 14 Part 11.5, an NPRM proposes the FAA's specific regulatory changes for public comment and contains supporting information. It includes proposed regulatory text. It can be followed by a final rule, which sets out new or revised requirements and their effective date. When preceded by an NPRM, the final rule will also identify significant substantive issues raised by commenters in response to the NPRM and will give the agency's response. You may access NPRMs dealing with airworthiness issues and airspace issues on AOPA Online. In addition, you may access AOPA's comments on selected NPRMs in the "Advocacy" section.
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 |
| POLITICAL COLUMNIST TO ENTERTAIN AOPA EXPO CROWD |
Mark Russell, a syndicated columnist and political comedian will be the special guest at AOPA Expo's closing banquet. Russell will entertain you and your guests with the side-splitting observations that have made his PBS comedy specials hits for more than 27 seasons. The closing banquet is Saturday, October 26 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. For tickets, call 888/GO2-EXPO (888/462-3976).
| Attention Pilots |
| EVER THOUGHT ABOUT WORKING FOR AOPA? |
We currently have employment opportunities at our Frederick, Maryland headquarters for:
Vice President of Safety Education – AOPAï¿½Air Safety Foundation
Aviation Technical Specialist
Please visit our Web site to learn more about these exciting employment opportunities.
| 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 AOPAï¿½Online. |
| Weekend Weather |
|See the current weather on AOPAï¿½Online, provided by Meteorlogix. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Midland, Texas. The Fina-CAF Airshow 2002 takes place October 5 and 6 at Midland International Airport (MID). Contact Tina Corbett, 915/563-1000, or visit the Web site.
Salinas, California. The California International Airshow takes place October 4 through 6 at Salinas Municipal Airport (SNS). Featuring the Navy Blue Angels, F-117A stealth fighter, Sean Tucker, Les Shockley and Shockwave, and others. For more information, 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 Clinic is scheduled in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Corpus Christi, Texas, on October 5 and 6. Clinics are also scheduled in San Jose, California; Indianapolis; and Wichita, Kansas, on October 12 and 13. 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 San Jose, California, October 13. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Jacksonville, Florida, September 30; Gainesville, Florida, October 1; Orlando, Florida, October 2; and Vero Beach, Florida, October 3. The topic is Single-Pilot IFR. For the complete schedule, see AOPAï¿½Online.
To make submissions to the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For comments on calendar items, e-mail [email protected].