August 6, 2004    Volume 4, Number 41


Upcoming Tour Stops
August 6-8
Waukesha, WI
Waukesha County (UES)
August 10-11
Valparaiso, IN
Porter County (VPZ)
August 13-15
Grand Rapids, MI
Kent County (GRR)
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Q & A: 
Question of the Week
Question for EAA Aviation Information Services:

The Ercoupe C/D was certified at a gross weight of 1260 lbs, thereby meeting the weight limit for LSA. I know of a C/D which had its gross weight upped to 1400 lbs, with a proper Form 337, after some approved mods like a 100hp Continental. The airplane is still a C/D, though. Can it be used as a Sport Pilot-eligible plane?

The FAA definition of a light-sport aircraft (LSA) that will appear in 14 CFR 1.1 will include language prohibiting any aircraft that has not originally and continually met the definition of a LSA to be eligible for operation by a sport pilot, even if it is later modified to fall within the LSA definition.

This being the case, the aircraft that you refer to would not be eligible for operation by a sport pilot, even though it originally may have met the LSA definition. The fact that it was modified in such a way as to fall outside the LSA definition makes it ineligible.

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August 2004
EAA Desktop Calendar

There are literally thousands of airplanes on the grounds at Wittman Regional Airport during EAA AirVenture. Above is an extreme front view of a  Cessna 195 parked in the North 40 during the July 27-August 2 event. Visit the EAA website and choose one of five different resolutions to best suit your screen.

EAA Advocacy Results in Drivers License Medical;
Now Check Your Eligibility

EAA work on sport pilot/light-sport aircraft cleared the way for many pilots to use their valid state driver’s license to satisfy the medical requirements. According to the final rule published on July 27 in the Federal Register, only pilots whose most recent medical application was not denied, revoked, or suspended are allowed to use their driver’s license as proof of medical certification. The effective date of the rule is September 1, 2004. Those who wish to verify what the FAA has on record regarding their medicals can contact their Regional Medical Office of the Aerospace Medical Certification Division. Pilot name, Social Security number, and date of birth are required to run the check. For a listing of the FAA regional offices, visit
(read more)

Potential Light-Sport Aircraft List Updated
An updated “Likely Candidates for Light-Sport Aircraft” list is now available on EAA’s sport pilot website, Click on that title under the “Light Sport Aircraft” tab to access the list. EAA staff has spent the past week updating the list based on the latest information obtained from manufacturers, dealers, and distributors during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2004. The combined list includes fixed-wing aircraft, weight-shift trikes, and powered parachutes. The three aircraft categories are listed separately, and divided by those manufactured in the United States and those manufactured in Canada or overseas. It includes aircraft that are sold as plans, kits, or anticipated to be sold as ready-to-fly aircraft. (A listing for gliders and gyroplanes will be prepared at a later date.) 
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EAA Launches the Next Century of Flight With Safe, Successful Seven-Day Event 
Preliminary figures from the Experimental Aircraft Association’s 52nd annual EAA AirVenture fly-in convention indicate that the world-renowned event launched the “Next Century of Flight” with great success, as hundreds of thousands of EAA members and aviation enthusiasts enjoyed a week filled with glimpses of the future of flight along with celebrations of aviation’s past and present. Although total estimated attendance figures show a 10- to 12-percent decrease from the enormous 770,000 figure from 2003, due to weather, economic factors and other reasons, EAA President Tom Poberezny found little over which to be disappointed following this year’s event.
(read more)
Looking Back on an Outstanding Week
Another EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is in the rearview mirror. Sunburned outlines of thousands of airplanes parked in the North 40, North Fond du Lac, warbirds, homebuilts, and elsewhere are already beginning to fade. But the memories of the 52nd annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts will last for a long, long time. The following are some of the week's more unforgettable moments.

Sport Pilot Arrives Just in Time for AirVenture
The sport pilot/light-sport aircraft final rule, which was published in the Federal Register on opening day, made for some very busy EAA staffers and FAA Sport Pilot National Office representatives during EAA AirVenture 2004. Daily discussions, questions and answers, forums, and presentations on all aspects of  the new rule took place, with the centrally located Sport Pilot Center serving as home base. Administrator Marion Blakey spent two full days at Oshkosh, with a significant portion devoted to SP/LSA.
Read daily AirVenture Today sport pilot page reports on the AirVenture website.

Burt Rutan and Mike Melvill
It's always a thrill when Burt Rutan makes a presentation at AirVenture, but never so exciting as his appearances last week with the country's first civilian astronaut, pilot Mike Melvill. Both longtime EAAers; Rutan and Melvill drew quite a crowd at their scheduled appearances as they explained the SpaceShipOne program, especially Thursday's overflowing evening program. Rutan announced on opening day that the team would make its attempt for the $10 million Ansari X Prize on September 29. Later in the week, X-Prize Foundation Founder Dr. Peter Diamandis announced that, in his estimation, the prize was about to be won. EAAers around the world will be rooting at the end of September.
(read more)

Bohannon's Attempt Falls Short
Bruce Bohannon, holder of some 28 world altitude and time-to-climb records, tried to set a U.S. record on Saturday by surpassing 49,348 feet of altitude in his highly modified RV-4, the Exxon Flyin' Tiger, but it was not to be. He reached 45,500 before a having to give up, thanks to a problem the crew later discovered was a busted wastegate bracket. “There’s a parking lot at 45,500 feet, and I parked and couldn’t get out of it,” a disappointed Bohannon said moments after stepping out of the cockpit. “I just sat there.”
(read more)

Awards, Awards, and More Awards
EAA's annual awards along with several other industry honors, were handed out throughout the week. They included Phil Lockwood, August Raspet award; Dick VanGrunsven, Freedom of Flight award; Paul Rosales, Bax Seat Trophy award; Alex Sloan, Tony Bingelis Homebuilders award; Bobby Younkin, World Airshow News Bill Barber Award for Showmanship; Young Eagles awards for Richard and Ginny Largent, Sally Wilson, Linda Carney, and EAA Chapter 272; Presidents Awards, Bob Hasson, Butch Joyce, and Lloyd Richards, and the National GA awards to Douglas “Doug” Stewart, Gary Goodpaster, Keith Lewis, and Walt Schamel.

EAA Thanks Ray Fiset for 50 Years
A lot has changed since EAA’s early days. But there has been some constants, one being Ray Fiset, Quebec City, Canada, who this year celebrates his 50th year as an EAA convention volunteer. Ray got a special visit Monday from EAA Founder and Chairman Paul Poberezny and EAA President Tom Poberezny, who presented him with a special plaque in recognition of his half-century of service.
(read more) 

EAA AirVenture Cup Pilots Like New Format
Responding to the fact that previous 1,000-mile, two-day EAA AirVenture Cup Races had run on schedule only once, race organizers this year changed the course to 500 miles flown over a single day. The race ran Monday from Dayton, Ohio, to a flying finish just south of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. After gathering at Fond du Lac the racers departed for EAA AirVenture, arriving en masse at 3:00 p.m.
(read more)

Seaplane Setting a World Apart
What sets the AirVenture Seaplane Base apart from the main convention? There is the water, of course. There is literally a forest of trees. There is almost no concrete, and it is quiet, except the occasional run-up of an airplane taking off from the water. Mostly, it's a more relaxed atmosphere that draws up to 20,000 visitors from the main gig during the week.
(read more)

Record-Breaking World Trek Stops at AirVenture
Two South African pilots stopped in Oshkosh in their already-record world flight in a weight-shift trike. Ricky De Agrela and Alan Honeyborne embarked on a flying journey on December 17, 2003, to celebrates the first century of flight; the first decade of South African democracy; and awareness for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital of South Africa.
(read more)

Ultralights: It’s All About Having Fun
More than 300 ultralights were parked at the AirVenture Ultralight area this year at the south end of convention grounds. There seems little doubt that this number will grow substantially, given the fact that sport pilot/light-sport aircraft does not affect FAR Part 103, the most accessible area of aviation.
(read more)

NASA Administrator Wowed by First Oshkosh Visit 
NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe, whose two sons are Young Eagles, paid his first visit to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh on Tuesday and was impressed to say the least. "It’s spectacular. This is beyond description. I’ve heard it’s an overwhelming event, but this is times two at least!" The Administrator 
(read more)

AeroShell Square Provides Center Stage
With aircraft ranging from a Husky bush plane to vintage warbirds and current military aircraft like the huge C-5 and the C-141 Starlifter known as the Hanoi Taxi, AeroShell Square again lived up to its reputation as EAA AirVenture 2004's main showcase. Starlifter number 66-0177 was the first to carry American POWs from Hanoi to freedom in 1973.

AirVenture by the Numbers:

  • More that 10,000 airplanes from North America, Europe, South Africa, South America, and Australia

  • 2,500 showplanes eligible for judging

  • A near-record 802 exhibitors (807 in 2003)

  • More than 30,000 campers (including Camp Scholler and aircraft camping)

  • More than 4,000 volunteers contributing over 250,000 hours of service

  • 1,429 international visitors from 61 countries (Canada, 438; Germany 144; and Australia 117 were the top three)


Competition Heats up for Ansari X Prize
Don't concede the $10 million Ansari X Prize to Scaled Composites just yet. The Canadian da Vinci Project Team became the second organization to give the required 60-day notice to the Ansari X Prize that it intends to launch a spaceship -- its rocket Wild Fire -- on October 2, 2004, marking its official entry in the international, commercially-funded space race competition. On July 27, Scaled Composites officially notified the Ansari X Prize it would make its first launch for the prize in SpaceShipOne/White Knight on September 29. At EAA AirVenture, Burt Rutan said the second launch to secure the prize is planned for October 4. The X Prize Foundation will award $10 million to the first privately funded organization to launch a reusable space vehicle to 100 kilometers (62.5 mile) altitude with three passengers (or weight equivalent) twice in two weeks.

“With two teams launching within days of each other for the $10 million prize (U.S.), we truly have a remarkable race for space,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and founder of the X Prize Foundation. Brian Feeney, who plans to pilot Wild Fire approximately 110 kilometers into suborbital space, said the team is finalizing construction of the rocket as well as logistical details related to the event, which will be held in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.

“We’re very close to achieving our mission, thanks to the organizations and individuals that understand the significance of this race,” said Feeney. “The da Vinci Project is on the cusp of a new era of space travel for humankind.”
For more information, visit and

Van's RV-9/9A Joins 1,000 Club
Van’s Aircraft reached another milestone during EAA AirVenture 2004 with its 1,000th order for an RV-9/9A kit, five years almost to the day after the first kit was sold. It is Van’s fifth models to reach to 1,000 threshold, including the RV-4, RV-6/6A, RV-7/7A and RV-8/8A. About 109 RV-9/9A kits have been completed and flown. “It is just such an easy airplane to fly, but the performance, even on low power, is positively exciting,” said President Dick VanGrunsven “It is nice to see the increasing numbers on the flight line at AirVenture.” Total kit starts on all RV models exceeds 12,000. Over 3,700 RVs of all types have been completed, and the company reports that first flights are averaging more than one a day.

Embry-Riddle CAPT Chooses Diamond 
Students enrolled in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Commercial Airline Training Program (CAPT) will fly Diamond DA40FPs and DA42 Twin Stars exclusively, reports Diamond Aircraft. ERAU-CAPT has ordered 10 DA40FPs and three DA42 Twin Stars. All aircraft will be equipped with Garmin’s G1000 all glass cockpit, offering cockpit commonality and making this the most modern training fleet anywhere. CAPT is a fast-track airline-specific training program for individuals who want to become regional airline pilots. “CAPT cadets will find that using the Twin Star’s advanced all-glass avionics and FADEC engine controls quickly and thoroughly prepare them for the Boeing MD-90 EFD jetliner, which uses similar systems,” said Paul Woessner, executive director of the CAPT program. For more information, visit and

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