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EAA Files Official Comments Opposing Air Tour NPRM
EAA again strongly opposed proposed new regulations for air tour operators today, this time in official comments made to the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on those regulations. Submitting the organization’s official comments prior to FAA’s April 19, 2004, deadline, EAA officials concluded that the rule proposals were not justified by any safety data, nor was there an indication that safety would be enhanced by the proposals. In addition, the rules as currently proposed would be devastating to many small businesses and the general-aviation industry in general.
Harrison Ford Named New EAA Young Eagles Chairman
Harrison Ford, best known as a renowned actor in more than three dozen films but also an extremely active pilot and member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), was introduced today as the new Chairman of the EAA Young Eagles Program, which has flown more than 1 million young people since 1992. During a welcoming program at Van Nuys, Calif., with EAA President Tom Poberezny, Ford accepted the chairmanship of the program, saying, “It’s daunting to step into General Yeager’s shoes, but aviation is about learning new skills and the satisfaction that comes with practicing them and doing better.”
EAA meets with Small Airplane Directorate on T-34 AD
The FAA has approved an alternative methods of compliance (AMOC) submitted by the T34 Association regarding revised airworthiness directive (AD) 2001-13-18 R1 that deals with T-34 wing spar failures. The revised AD recently invalidated previous AMOCs approved for the original AD because FAA feels they do not address all four critical areas prone to fatigue cracks in the aircraft’s wing spar assemblies. However, the T-34 association submitted new AMOCs that incorporate inspection of the rear spars. In support of the T-34 Association and all T-34 owners, EAA met with both Manager Dorenda Baker, and Deputy Manager Dave Showers of the FAA Small Airplane Directorate on Tuesday, March 9. EAA articulated the need for the quick review of the T-34 Association’s proposed AMOC so that there is a reasonable alternative to keep T-34s flying safely before the new AD effective date of Monday, March 15. Baker committed to making the review of submitted AMOCs a priority and she committed to help keep the T-34s safe and flying.
New FAA Small Airplane Directorate Manager Visits EAA
EAA welcomed Dorenda Baker, new manager of the FAA Small Airplane Directorate, and her deputy manager David Showers to EAA headquarters on March 9 for a get-acquainted session and discussions on a variety of important issues with EAA government relations staff. Baker, who assumed her post in January this year, heads the area responsible for small aircraft certification, engineering oversight of airworthiness directives (AD) and supplemental type certificates (STC), and field approvals.
EAAer Sets Unofficial Autogyro Distance World Record
Andy Keech, EAA 153637, Washington, D.C., reportedly set an unofficial world autogyro record for Distance Without Landing on February 22. Official world record authenticator Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) confirms the submission on its rotorcraft List of Record Claims Pending Ratification web page. According to FAI, Keech flew a Little Wing LW-5 nonstop from Little Rock to Hickory, North Carolina, a distance of 993 kilometers (617 statute miles, 536 nm).
Special Museum Gathering To Review ‘Countdown to Kitty Hawk’
EAA President Tom Poberezny will review the remarkable commemoration that celebrated powered flight’s 100th anniversary, when he presents “Reflections on EAA’s Countdown to Kitty Hawk” at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, at the EAA AirVenture Museum. Poberezny was the only general-aviation community member of the national Centennial of Flight Commission, which was chartered by Congress to commemorate the Dec. 17, 2003, observance of the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first successful flight. A major highlight of that celebration was EAA’s Countdown to Kitty Hawk program, presented by Ford Motor Company.
‘Angel 100’ Ready For Take-Off Next Week
With less than a week to go, Marine Helicopter Squadron One pilot and EAA member Lt. Col. Charles L. “Lindy” Kirkland and fellow pilot and EAAer Maj. Rob Krieg are making final preparations for their March 16 fund-raising flight throughout the state of Virginia to raise money for Angel Flight East.
EAA’s Kermit Weeks Hangar Holds Open House
EAA invites the public to a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of EAA’s aircraft maintenance and restoration center during the Kermit Weeks Hangar Open House on March 20 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. See EAA’s B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast and 1929 Ford Tri-Motor as they prepare for the 2004 flying season with their annual maintenance inspections. Also on display are a 1925 Swallow mail plane, which is near the end of a three-year restoration, and EAA’s fleet of support aircraft.
Art Contest Entry Period Winding Down
Time is running out for entries in the 28th annual EAA Sport Aviation Art Competition. This is the longest running aviation art contest in the country, and serves as an annual showplace for some of the best aviation art produced today. This year's theme is "Launching the Next Century of Flight." To enter, artists must complete and sign a competition entry form; submit entries in either a 35mm slide or an electronic (digital) image format for preliminary judging; and pay an entry fee of $20 by March 26, 2004. Visit the EAA AirVenture Museum website for complete details or contact Mary McKeown, 920/426-6880, EAAArtcomp@eaa.org.
On The Flight Line ---
SkyStar Prepares For SP/LSA
SkyStar Aircraft Corporation boosted its production staff by 30 percent over the last two months to prepare for publication of the sport pilot/light-sport aircraft rule. Emphasis is on improving production efficiencies, says Frank Miller, president and CEO of the SkyStar Aircraft Corporation, Experimental and Manufacturing Division. “SkyStar made important reorganization commitments in January, and now it is time to enhance our manufacturing abilities,” he said. “SkyStar wants to be sure that we can deliver product of high quality in the least amount of time, and that will not happen if we simply wait until the rule is finalized. We need to stay on the front side of the power curve.”
Eclipse Opens New Friction Stir Weld Center
Eclipse Aviation opened its new 50,000 square foot friction stir welding facility on March 10 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. City and state leaders turned out for the dedication ceremony, took tours, and saw demonstrations of Eclipse’s breakthrough process. The new facility is where most parts of the Eclipse 500 fuselage will be assembled. Staffed by up to 150 employees, it will support manufacturing of up to four aircraft per day through 2008. In 2009, Eclipse will move to Double Eagle II airport, where the facilities will support assembly of 1,500 aircraft per year. “Our pioneering work in friction stir welding dramatically accelerates traditional aircraft manufacturing cycle times, enabling us to produce the Eclipse 500 more quickly and cost effectively than any small jet in history,” said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse Aviation.
Cirrus’ Unveils its Latest Offering: The SR22-G2
Sales Surpass 70 Aircraft in February
Cirrus announced the launch of its newest aircraft, the SR22-G2, touted as the second generation of the SR22 airframe, currently the world’s best-selling personal aviation certificated aircraft model. The SR22-G2 boasts a new fuselage with several enhancements and interior appointments. “A significant investment in proprietary tooling resulted in an advanced manufacturing process that enabled Cirrus to eliminate four stations from the production line and take another leap forward in overall fit, finish and quality,” stated David Coleal, chief operating officer. The new tooling will help boost production capacity beyond the current level of two aircraft per day to meet growing SR demand. This comes as the Duluth, Minnesota manufacturer reports an all-time monthly sales total of 74 in February 2004, its first month over 70.
100-Percent Computer Optimized Camshafts From Superior
Superior Air Parts is now shipping 100 percent computer optimized camshafts to participating engine overhaul shops and distributors. They are designed to provide better cruise economy, lower valve-train loads and smoother operation at idle and higher-power settings. “This is a dramatic leap forward in camshaft performance quality and reliability,” said Keith Blockus, Sr. Director of Engineering and Product Development. Superior uses the advanced camshafts exclusively in their Certified Millennium Pre-Owned Engines and its XP-360 Engine for the experimental homebuilt aircraft markets. The intake and exhaust valve lobes have been computer optimized. The lower valve-train loads reduce camshaft and lifter spalling, guide wear, and friction, adding up to a smoother running and reliable engine. Thielert Company of Hamburg, Germany, crafts the new camshafts to Superior’s exacting specifications. For more information call 972-829-4609, or visit www.superiorairparts.com.
Ercoupe Region 10 Plans Spring Fly-In
Region 10 of the Ercoupe Owners Club welcomes the fist day of Spring with its first fly-in of the year, March 20 at Shiloh Airport (78N) in Reidsville, North Carolina. Lunch, hanger talk, and prizes for the Best of Show, Youngest Pilot, Most “Seasoned” Pilot, and Most Miles Flown, along with other door prizes. Contact J.E. “Buck” Robbins at email@example.com or 336 342-5629 for more information.
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