News You Can Use ---
Burt Rutan to Discuss New Space Craft at
EAA AirVenture Forums
Pioneering aviation designer Burt Rutan, who has continually expanded the envelope of personal flight over the past three decades, will
speak about his latest vision - private travel into space - at two forums during the 51st annual EAA AirVenture fly-in convention scheduled for July 29-August 4 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. Rutan unveiled his "SpaceShipOne" aircraft in Mojave, Calif., on April 18. It is designed to become the first private craft able to successfully achieve sub-orbital space travel, and win the $10-million "X-Prize" offered to the creators of the first private vehicle to accomplish such a feat. Always a popular speaker at EAA AirVenture, Rutan will talk about the project on Saturday, August 2 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, August 3 at 2:30 p.m.
EAA Member Gerard
Arpey Named CEO at AMR
EAA extends its congratulations to member Gerard Arpey (EAA 643524) who was just named the Chief Executive Officer for American Airlines Friday. Arpey and his wife, Lisa, are both active general aviation pilots, and he holds an FAA multi-engine instrument rating. “Obviously,
with the recent financial problems of American and many other airlines, Gerard faces some major challenges ahead,” said EAA President Tom Poberezny. “His strong interest in aviation will serve him well in his leadership role at American Airlines. We wish him the best.” Arpey was previously president of the airline.
Vintage Boards Meet In Oshkosh
Members of the EAA, EAA Aviation Foundation and Vintage Aircraft Association boards of directors are at EAA headquarters
this week in Oshkosh for their spring meetings.
EAA Adds NBAA Convention to Countdown To Kitty Hawk Tour
The Experimental Aircraft Association has extended its national tour of EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk Presented by Ford Motor Company with a new stop at the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) 56th Annual Meeting & Convention in Orlando, Florida, on October 7-9. This brings the total number of tour stops to seven, and will be the final stop before the historic re-enactment of the Wright brothers’ first sustained, powered flight on December 17, near Kitty Hawk in EAA’s authentic reproduction of the Wright 1903 Flyer. “Few things will be seen as more significant this December than the 100th anniversary of mankind’s first powered flight,” said EAA President and U.S. Centennial of Flight Commissioner Tom Poberezny. “Until the time our Wright Flyer reproduction attempts to duplicate the Wright brothers’ feat at Kitty Hawk, we want as many people as possible to have a chance to see the Flyer up
Tickets Now Available for Centennial Celebration at Kitty Hawk
Those planning to attend First Flight Centennial activities at the Wright
Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, can now purchase
advance tickets through the National
Park Service website for each of the five days, December 13-17, 2003. Adults are $10 per day, $25 for all five days; seniors (62 and older)/disabled
are $5 per day, $20 for all five days; and children 12 or under are free.
World's Most Complete Collection of Aviation Expertise at EAA AirVenture Forums Plaza
At EAA AirVenture's Forums Plaza, you can learn just about anything about everything to do with building, flying restoring or maintaining aircraft. Every year the forums Plaza draws the very best from the aviation world--more than 500 innovators, authors, experts, and legends—who share their accumulated knowledge with all who attend. It is the most comprehensive collection of aviation knowledge available anywhere, and it’s all in one location, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
EAA, Members Successfully Oppose Obstructive Alabama Utility Pole Project
The FAA’s recently concluded aeronautical study near the Wetumpka (Alabama) Municipal Airport (08A) found that Alabama Power Company’s (APC) seven tall utility poles near the airport’s approach path create a hazard to air navigation and violate the floor of the transition surface for a planned IFR and VFR runway.
After member Dan Horton, EAA 443866 alerted the government relations office of the situation, EAA registered its official opposition to the power pole construction by the APC and asked members to forward their objections to the FAA in the form of written comments to the proposal. FAA received a total 1,427 comments opposing the poles.
Poberezny, Boyer Videotape “Airport Watch” Segments
EAA President Tom Poberezny was joined by Phil Boyer, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh on Friday to videotape segments to be included in the “AOPA Airport Watch” video being distributed to EAA Chapters nationwide. Both Poberezny and Boyer emphasized the vital role pilots play in helping enhance security at their local airports. They asked pilots to be particularly vigilant of their surroundings when they are at the airport and report anything unusual. They also reiterated the need to practice the highest levels of responsibility and airmanship in their own flight planning and piloting skills.
Lawrence, Lenz Work on Vintage Airworthiness Issues
EAA Vice President of Industry and Regulatory Affairs Earl Lawrence and EAA Director of Aircraft Maintenance Daryl Lenz took part in a two-day conference focusing on aging aircraft issues at the FAA Small Airplane Directorate in Kansas City April 23-24. Focus was on airplanes older than 30 years not substantially in commercial service, as well as periodic maintenance at 10-, 20- and 30-year levels, utilizing guidance available from type clubs and FAA for owners of vintage and soon-to-be vintage aircraft. The ad hoc team aims to draft advisory materials that will assist the owners and mechanics in maintaining the airworthiness of vintage aircraft. Other areas of discussion included: Minor Alterations; Field Approval Guidance/Library; Limited Repair Station/Type Clubs; Replacement Parts Guidelines; and Education.
EAA AirVenture Museum Welcomes Back Gary Powers Jr.
Francis Gary Powers Jr., son of U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers, will speak at EAA AirVenture Museum on Saturday, May 3, to mark the final day of the museum’s Gary Powers U-2 exhibit. His presentation, a reprise of the well-received opening in April 2002, coincides with the 43rd anniversary of the May 1, 1960 incident. Powers’ unique insights deal with still-unresolved issues surrounding the downing of his father’s spy plane, such as how his father survived an ejection from 70,000 feet; whether he collaborated with the Soviets or if his aircraft was sabotaged. The program begins at 11 a.m. and is free with regular admission.
Group to Celebrate Aircraft’s 50th Anniversary at EAA AirVenture
The year was 1953, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s first, and founder Paul Poberezny was outside the hangar at Curtiss-Wright Airport, Milwaukee, talking with Steve Wittman. Soon the discussion turned to picking a more suitable name for Wittman’s two-year-old airplane design.
“He called it the Flying Carpet,” Paul recalls. “I said, ‘Well, it’s fast,’ and Steve said, “Maybe like a tail wind?’ Now that, I told him, would be the proper name for the airplane.”
Fifty years later, the Tailwind Group, an Internet-formed group of owners, will celebrate the airplane’s 50th birthday at—where else—EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
Legal Defense Fundraisers
Planned by Friends of Meigs Field
The Friends of Meigs Field (FOM) will host a series of fundraising events to benefit its legal defense fund, beginning this Sunday, April 27, in Wheeling, Illinois, near Palwaukee Regional Airport. The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Compass Rose at the Palwaukee Inn, 1090 S. Milwaukee Ave. Minimum donation is $60 per person. FOM has incurred considerable legal bills in obtaining a temporary restraining order to prevent further destruction of Meigs Field through at least May 16. Other fundraising events will be held May 4 in the Western suburbs near near DuPage and/or Aurora airports, and May 9 in the South/Southwest suburbs. Details will be announced when
finalized on the FOM website, www.friendsofmeigs.org or call 312-458-925.
Centennial Homebuilt of the Week
Fagan, Pearblossom, California, EAA 480925, spent six years building his
Bearhawk - from scratch. N232PF is powered by a Bob Barrows-built Lycoming
0-540. "In the true spirit of EAA, my wife and I performed every part
of this project," he said. Read
more about the airplane. (To highlight the EAA Centennial
Homebuilts' program, each week e-HOT LINE features one plane from
the growing list submitted to EAA. Visit the EAA
Centennial Homebuilts website for program details.)
On The Flight Line ---
Be A Pilot Ad Campaign Ramps Up This Week
Be A Pilot, the nationwide general aviation pilot-start organization, begins its $1 million summer advertising campaign this week hoping to build on its successful 2002 results.
A total of 2,000 ads will appear on targeted cable outlets through September,
including the Discovery Wings and Science channels, Tech TV, ESPN, and CNBC.
“Be A Pilot is general aviation’s first use of regular, national TV advertising to attract consumers to the benefits of flying,” said Be A Pilot president/CEO Drew Steketee. He noted that of the nearly 35,000 people who requested Be A Pilot’s Introductory Flight Certificate for a $49 first flying lesson, about 25,000 did so in response to the TV ads.
Be A Pilot supported by the entire GA community. EAA president Tom Poberezny serves on its Board of Directors. Over 1,700 participating flight schools honor the Be A Pilot Introductory Flight Certificate.
For more information, visit www.beapilot.com.
First Quarter GA
Shipments Fall 16.4 Percent
First quarter shipments of general
aviation airplanes fell 16.4 percent compared to the same period last
year, from 531 units in 2002 to 444 units this year, reports the General
Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). First quarter industry billings
were $1.87 billion, down 33.2 percent from the first quarter of 2002. GAMA
President Ed Bolen said the results were expected. “Since 9-11, many
general aviation manufacturers have had to lay off workers and slow or
even temporarily halt production lines. These are very tough times.” The
only stable market segment in the first quarter was the single-engine
pistons which, at 315 units, was down only one from 2002. Turboprop
shipments decreased from 46 to 31, and business jets fell hardest, from
169 units last year to 98, or 42 percent. First quarter exports of
U.S.-produced GA airplanes fell 20 percent. For more information, visit www.GAMA.aero.
Goldman-Sachs Makes ‘Significant Investment’ in Adam Aircraft
GS Capital Partners 2000, L.P., a private equity investment fund managed by Goldman, Sachs & Co., has made a "significant investment" in Adam Aircraft Industries, Inc., the Colorado-based aircraft manufacturer announced on April 22. The investment, terms of which were not disclosed, will help fund Adam Aircraft through FAA certification of its A500 twin piston centerline thrust aircraft and A700 twin light jet aircraft, and as well as certified aircraft production.
Scaled Composites Reveals Entry Into X-Prize Sweepstakes
Burt Rutan's innovative aircraft design company, Scaled Composites LLC, Mojave, California, unveiled on Friday, April 18 a secret manned space program first conceptualized in 1996 and in full development since May 2001.
Scaled showed off its two new aircraft, the White Knight, an airborne launcher; and suborbital space ship, SpaceShipOne (SS1), along with rocket propulsion, avionics, simulator and ground support elements it hopes will propel the project into space by the end of 2004 to win the X-Prize Foundation's $10 million award.
Mooney Returns to Europe
Mooney Airplane Company has returned to the European market with its participation in Aero 2003 in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
(The company had discontinued overseas shipments under previous owners.) Rheinland Air Services is currently representing the Mooney Airplane Company in Germany.
For more information, visit www.mooney.com
SR-71 Program at Love’s Field May 5
Forty-one years ago, the Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” set a speed record that stands to this day. On May 5, the Frontiers of Flight Museum located at Love Field, Dallas, Texas, presents a special focus on the unique contributions to aviation's first century made by the Blackbird. Featured speaker is SR-71 Pilot, Colonel Rich Graham, The program begins at 7 p.m. on the mezzanine of the Main Terminal lobby. Colonel Graham will be available to autograph his new book on the Blackbird during the evening. Call the museum at 214-350-3600, or e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation.
ICAS Foundation Aviation Scholarships Open for Applications
The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) Foundation sponsors several aviation-related scholarships awarded annually to commemorate loved and much-missed members of the close-knit air show
community, including: the Jan Jones Memorial Scholarship, awarded to a woman to further aerobatic training;
The French Connection (Daniel Heligoin and Montaine Mallet) Memorial
Scholarship, awarded to one man CFI and one woman CFI to further aerobatic training; and the
Charlie Hillard Memorial Scholarship, awarded to a man or a woman age 18-35 who has demonstrated community involvement. ICAS is accepting applications for these awards, each of which provides $1,000 to the recipient. Applications must be submitted
by September 1, 2003, on an application form available from the Foundation’s web site,
The ICAS Foundation is also accepting applications through May 31 for the Air Show Hall of
Fame. Nominees may include pilots, announcers, stunt persons, producers, designers and builders, but are not limited to these categories.
Scholarship winners and HOF inductees will be announced during the 2003 ICAS Convention on December 9, 2003 in Dallas, Texas.
Q & A:
Question of the Week
Question for EAA Aviation
Have there been any cautionary articles published on the risks and hazards of static electricity when fueling homebuilt aircraft with auto gas from portable gas cans? Much is made of the cost advantages of using auto gas in GA engines and some people even have their certificated engines TSO’d for auto gas. Rotax and other engine manufacturers tell us that their engines run better on auto fuel. Yet no one mentions the practical difficulties of doing this. Not many airports have pumps for auto gas, so how is one to safely fuel a plane other than by filling it up in stages using small cans, unless one has sufficient means to buy one’s own tanker truck? And even so, how is one to fuel one’s plane at an en-route airport which does not have an auto gas pump? Carry additional fuel (and weight) on-board in more small cans? I don’t think so.
The possibility of static discharge when using portable fuel containers is well known, and has been documented in both aviation and automotive publications. Persons using portable fuel containers should always take precautions to reduce if not eliminate the possibility of static spark. Hear are some suggestions that will help reduce the hazard:
Always place fuel containers on the ground when filling them at the pump. NEVER fill the containers while they are in your car trunk or truck bed! Also, always keep the fuel nozzle in contact with the container while fuel is flowing, and for a couple of seconds after the fuel flow is stopped. This will minimize the static electricity buildup and offer a path to drain the static charge away, either to the ground or through the fuel pump hose (which is grounded to protect against static buildup).
When transferring the fuel from the portable container into your airplane, boat, lawn mower, or whatever, the very best practice is to ground both the can and the vehicle/implement. If you have a metal portable container, this is not difficult to do. If you have a plastic container, grounding is a bit more difficult, but a minor modification of the container will help. Here’s one method:
To properly ground the plastic fuel can, you’ll need to add a conductor of some sort. There are a couple of ways to do this, but my favorite is to get a length of “grounding strap” (a flat, woven metal strap) from the local auto parts store (or from an aviation supply house). This length of grounding strap must be long enough to run down the inside of the can from the filler neck to the bottom, and then all the way along the length of the bottom of the can (inside the can). You’ll also need a brass screw, a couple of large diameter washers and an appropriate nut. The screw should be long enough to pass through the can, the grounding strap, the two washers and the nut and still have enough length left to clip a ground wire to it.
Drill a hole in the can, just below the filler neck opening. This hole should be JUST big enough to get the brass screw through, and should be in a location where you can touch it by reaching down through the filler neck with your fingers. Also drill a hole in the grounding strap for the screw to pass through. Feed the grounding strap down through the filler neck so that it runs down from the filler neck and across the bottom of the can. Then put a large diameter washer on the screw, pass the screw through the grounding strap and then through the hole you made in the can.
You’ll need some kind of fuel-proof sealer to put around the screw where it passes through the plastic can. Again, your auto parts store will be the best source for this. Put some sealer on the screw where it comes out of the can, then put another large diameter washer on and secure with the nut. Now you’ve provided a path for the static to get from the can to the aircraft, through the screw and a short “jumper” wire that you’ll clip to the screw and to the filler neck of the aircraft. Of course, this will only work properly if you then ground the aircraft itself to a good ground source. A well pipe or a copper rod driven into the ground will work well for this, so you’ll have to make a ground wire to go from the chosen grounding source to the aircraft itself. Even better, you can also run a ground wire from the grounding source to your fuel can. That way, the static electricity will have multiple paths to use to get to ground.
This method can also be used when transferring fuel to your lawn mower, boat, or whatever unit you have that needs to be refueled from a portable container. If there’s no method available for grounding the fuel container, at least always be sure to keep the outlet nozzle of the container in contact with the fuel filler neck on the vehicle/implement at all times while fuel is flowing. Also, whenever possible, keep the end of the nozzle below the level of the fuel in the tank being filled. All this will help minimize static buildup.
Never carry fuel in portable containers in the cabin of the aircraft. If you feel you need to carry a portable can, so as to go off-airport to get auto fuel at an en-route stop, you should carry appropriate grounding wires along as well. This way, you can properly ground your container and your aircraft while you transfer fuel. From a safety standpoint, rather than carrying a fuel container in the aircraft with you, it’s probably a better idea just to use aviation fuel if auto fuel isn’t available on the airport.
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EAA SportAir Workshops
May 16-18, 2003, Oshkosh, WI
Topics: RV Assembly
May 16-18, 2003, Griffin (Atlanta), GA
Topics: TIG Welding
See the complete schedule of
upcoming SportAir Workshops.
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