News You Can Use
Invisible Velocity Aircraft: An Incomplete Story?
On January 22, the CBS Evening News
broadcast a segment featuring the Velocity aircraft and how its fiberglass
construction could be an advantage for drug smugglers looking to evade
radar detection. The news report indicated that radar is “absorbed” by
the Velocity’s fiberglass fuselage, making it difficult to track by law
EAA representatives have discussed the radar “trackability” of the
Velocity and other fiberglass
aircraft with FAA and other government officials on several occasions. The
researched conclusion each time was that the metal in the engine was more
than enough substance to allow the aircraft to be easily tracked on radar
- unless specific modifications were made to the engine to shield it from
radar detection, such as radar absorbing paint or other methods. Such
paint's distribution is tightly controlled by its manufacturer, but it’s
possible to assume that an illegal smuggling operation with money and
connections might be able to obtain it.
More than anything, EAA believes the CBS News report displays that nearly
any legal mode of transportation can, sadly, be turned into a resource for
illegal activity. The same news report noted that drugs are loaded on
boats, trucks, even school buses. The Velocity aircraft is an outstanding
homebuilt airplane that is used lawfully and enjoyed by many recreational
aviators throughout the world.
CBS News story:
Comments to CBS News:
(“Feedback” section on lower left corner of main page)
EAA Aviation Foundation Announces B-17 Spring “Freedom Tour”
EAA’s B-17 Aluminum Overcast will launch its spring “Freedom Tour” with a series of one-day stops in Florida following Lakeland’s Sun n’ Fun Fly-In (April 7-13). The aircraft will be open for ground tours during the first four days of SNF, then will begin the
official tour at Lakeland Linder Airport on April 17.
Aluminum Overcast then makes its way north with stops in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Illinois. Following maintenance in Oshkosh on May 20, the tour resumes in West Bend, Wisconsin, then on to Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginian, Pennsylvania and Ohio before returning to Oshkosh July 15 in time for AirVenture.
Fall tour dates are being finalized at this time, and organizers hint it will cover the West Coast. Look for more details of the fall tour in March.
To reserve a flight on the Spring Freedom Tour, visit the B-17 website or call 800-359-6217.
(View the entire spring schedule.)
Sport Pilot NPRM is Coming Soon ... Really
FAA confirmed again this week that the sport pilot/light-sport aircraft notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was delivered to the office of the Federal Register.
However, it arrived at the same time as the backlog of mail that been held for irradiation following anthrax contamination at the Brentwood postal facility. Needless to say, our faithful government employees at the Federal Register's office are swamped. (Remember, every government rulemaking document passes through that office.)
As soon as the document is available EAA will make that announcement on www.eaa.org
and www.sportpilot.org, along with a link to the NPRM. EAA will also examine, identify, and highlight those portions of the NPRM that we believe are most important to our members. This information, as well as the complete text of EAA's initial response to the NPRM, will be posted on the web. In the meantime, EAA remains in frequent contact with FAA and will provide updates when warranted.
Latest Revision of the Chicago TFR
Late Thursday morning January 24, the
FAA cancelled TFR NOTAM 1/1786 which "protected" a
relatively small portion of downtown Chicago and established a new NOTAM in its place. The new TFR
expanded the protected airspace
over Chicago by about 2 and a half times, from 3.4 square nm to 7.9 square
nm, extending the TFR airspace north up the coast of Lake Michigan. The
rationale for expanding the TFR is reportedly to address public perception
and provide time for the city to educate the public regarding traditional
air routes over the city. A graphical
map provided by EAA Flight Planner is available on the EAA website.
Note: FAA has issued several revisions to the the first NOTAM (latest
revision: 2/0711) and new maps will be posted as they become available.
Hundreds Attend Annual Skiplane Fly-In at Pioneer Airport
About 20 airplanes and more than 300
people were at EAA AirVenture Museum’s Pioneer Airport for the annual
mid-winter EAA Skiplane Fly-in on Saturday, January 19.
Airplanes came from as far away as Flint Michigan, Northern Indiana and
Minnesota on the mostly cloudy and breezy day. Luckily, one of the main
requirements for a skiplane fly-in – snow – was in adequate supply
even though as recently as the previous weekend the ground was bare. J-3
and Super Cubs, Bellancas, Taylorcrafts, Cessnas and others flew in mostly
during the mid-to-late morning. Several airplanes departed in the early
afternoon to beat forecast high winds that were moving in. Volunteers from EAA Chapter 237, Blaine,
Minnesota, were again on hand to help park the airplanes. Other special
thanks go out to Chief Chili Chef Janet Davidson and the crew responsible
for the food service. Thanks to them, nobody went home hungry. (See
Photos of the Skiplane Fly-in)
Naval Aviation Works of Art on Display at AirVenture Museum Feb. 1-May 31
More than 40 works depicting Naval Aviation life during World War II will make their debut at the EAA AirVenture Museum on Friday, Feb. 1, as the museum unveils a traveling exhibit of artwork from the U.S. Naval Historical Center.
The exhibit, which will be presented in the museum’s Gorman Art Gallery through May 31, showcases the glamour and danger of naval aviation. It includes works from artists such as Howard Baer, Lawrence Beal Smith and Joseph Hirsch, who were among civilian artists hired by Abbott Laboratories during World War II to serve as “art correspondents” from combat areas.
FAA Working With Airport Managers To Open D.C.-area
A glimmer of hope emerged Friday for three general aviation airports near Washington, D.C., that have been closed since Sept. 11. FAA officials, along with those from the Homeland Security Office, have been working with airport managers to resume operations at those facilities, which include College Park (CGS), Washington Executive/Hyde (W32) and Potomac (VKX) in Maryland. All of those airfields are under the Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) area placed over Washington airspace since Sept. 11. EAA, FAA, local airport managers and other industry representatives participated in Friday’s conference call regarding the issues.
A Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) is expected to be released in the near future that would allow limited operations from the three affected airports. The SFAR would enable an approved security plan to be implemented for each airport, opening the field to operations. This is significant movement on the issue, which had not been fully addressed in the past four months. The FAA has developed this SFAR, which has been submitted to the Office of Homeland Security and others for review. Approval of the SFAR would lead to its final publication.
On The Flight Line ---
New Glasair/New GlaStar Relaunch Includes 10 Percent Kit Discounts
New Glasair/New GlaStar announced its official "kick-off" this week to re-introduce Glasair and GlaStar kit production, and the company is offering significant discounts to those who are ready to place orders. Those who order a kit by March 15, 2002, will receive a 10 percent discount. What’s more, the first 10 Glasair orders and the first 10 GlaStar orders received will get additional optional equipment savings. For all the details, visit the
New Glasair/New GlaStar
Tests In-Flight Engine Ignition in Eighth Flight
XCOR Aerospace achieved another step in development of rocket-powered
flight with the successful shut-down and re-start of rocket engines during
flight. EZ-Rocket. The flight
took place on January 24 at the Mojave Civilian Test Flight Center and
lasted a total of about seven minutes. XCOR test pilot Mike Melvill flew
the EZ-Rocket while XCOR Chief Test Pilot Dick Rutan, who appeared at EAA
AirVenture Museum the previous week, piloted the chase plane. At 5,000
feet, Melvill shut down one of the engines for 19 seconds, restarted it,
then shut down the other engine for 10 seconds and restarted. After the
fuel was exhausted at 8,100 feet, the EZ-Rocket glided back to earth for
power-off landing. XCOR President and CEO Jeff Greason called the test
flight "flawless" and said the company is moving closer to its
vision of making rocket-powered operations as routine as any other form of
transportation. For more information, visit the XCOR
Diamond DA20, DA40 Outfitted with GARMIN Avionics
Garmin International announced this week that Diamond Aircraft will offer GARMIN's integrated avionics suite as standard equipment in its DA40 Diamond Star and DA20-C1 Eclipse aircraft. Included as standard are the GARMIN GNS 430, GTX 327 digital transponder, and GMA 340 audio panel. Upgrades to dual GNS 430s or GNS 530 are also available. The GNS 430 is an integrated radio that delivers navigation data on a single screen for easy pilot scanning and reduced cockpit workload. The GTX 327 provides superior surveillance capabilities and its solid-state design requires no warm-up time, reduces power consumption and lowers heat emissions. The GMA 340 audio panel provides pilots with reliable, versatile communications in the cockpit and features a four-position stereo intercom. For more information, visit
www.garmin.com, and www.diamondair.com.
Rare TBM Avengers For Sale
The world’s last working fleet of WWII-vintage TBM Avengers has been put up for sale by the Forest Protection Ltd, Lincoln, New Brunswick, Canada. The seven planes, which have been modified for firefighting purposes, are priced from $130,000-$150,000 each. The company is also offering a package deal for all seven airplanes. Also available is one of the most extensive parts inventories for TBMs. Those interested should contact Gerry Cormier at 506-446-6930, or
firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website
Q & A:
Question of the Week
Question For EAA Aviation
Information Services - I'm working on a Lancair Legacy. I understand that to expedite the FAA inspection and, more importantly, to be able to get insurance coverage for the first flight, my project must be inspected at three points during construction. My questions are:
1. At what points must the inspections be done?
2. How do I find someone certified to conduct the inspections?
Answer: Many years ago, in-process inspections were conducted by FAA inspectors. Over the years, budgetary and manpower constraints caused the FAA to shift these inspections to non-FAA individuals. The most common person to conduct an in-process inspection is your local EAA Technical
Counselor - volunteer EAA members who have experience in aircraft
construction and are willing to help other members who are building or restoring an aircraft. Some Tech Counselors are A&P mechanics as well. In-process inspections can also be done by A&P mechanics who are not EAA Tech Counselors. The important thing is to have some experienced and knowledgeable individual go over your project with you periodically, in order to offer guidance during construction.
You are allowed and encouraged to have as many in-process inspections as you want, and the more the better. If you have a minimum of 3 in-process inspections, you can qualify for a
5 percent premium discount from AVEMCO. Also, the FAA inspector who does your final inspection will want to see record of in-process inspections in order to assure him/her that you've had qualified oversight during the construction of your project.
Tech Counselor in-process inspections are commonly done, at a minimum, before major portions of the project are
"closed." This is why the term "pre-cover" used to be used when talking about in-process inspections. When many homebuilt projects were tube/wood/fabric aircraft, the FAA would look at the project before the fabric was on, or
"pre-cover." The same theory applies to metal or composite aircraft. Having experienced eyes look at the project before the major components (wings, fuselage, tail group, etc.) are closed up is a good idea. A Tech Counselor inspection of the engine installation is a good idea as well. Then, a final TC inspection before the FAA inspector looks at the aircraft is a good
EAA can put members in contact with EAA Technical Counselors in their area who will be able to help
with in-process inspections.
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