AOPA is raising the alarm after combing President Barack Obama’s first budget and finding the term “direct user charges” in relation to FAA funding. In fact, the Obama administration targets raising $7 billion annually, roughly half the FAA’s budget by “repealing some aviation excise taxes and replacing these taxes with direct user charges.” The charges would begin in 2011. The language is on page 129 of the budget. Not surprisingly, AOPA President Craig Fuller is not amused.
The stimulus package recently passed by congress is partially targeted at airplane owners as states try to spend up to $1.1 Billion that was intended for airports. It will be seen as an accelerated depreciation to give the manufactures a way to begin recovering from the economic downturn.
Todd Tiahrt, a Republican Representative from Kansas, has seen his state account for some 7,000 of those job losses (mostly from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft). Tiahrt told The Associated Press, “this is exactly the type of financial incentive that should be included in a stimulus bill.”
AOPA as actively been admonishing state governers about multiple airport imorvements that are “shovel ready.”
The $1.1 billion investments was signed into law to create 40,000 jobs and to improve the aviation infrastructure.
A proposed rule from the Transportation Security Administration aimed at general aviation could have “serious implications,” says AOPA. “This proposed rule is an unprecedented imposition of security requirements on the general aviation community, affecting 10,000 individual operators and hundreds of airports,” said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. “An overwhelming majority of our members surveyed last week expressed strong concerns about the proposal.”
The huge 260-page TSA proposal would require all U.S. operators of aircraft exceeding 12,500 pounds maximum takeoff weight to implement a TSA-approved security program. Mandated measures would include fingerprinting and background checks of flight crews, vetting passengers against terrorist watch lists, and security requirements for GA airports.
The complete text of the proposal is available in PDF format at the TSA Web site.
Please note that all air traffic communications for LaGuardia tower (LGA), Teterboro tower (TEB), and the New York Tracon (N90) in the time period surrounding the accident are included below. However, most of the communications with the pilot while the aircraft was in the air are contained in the tape and transcript for the New York Tracon. All times are in Zulu time, which is the same as Greenwich Mean Time.
Space enthusiasts around the world waited to see todays unveiling of space bound White Knight Two. Deep in the Mohave desert, hanger doors peeled back to reveal the worlds largest all carbon-composite aircraft, named White Night Two. Richard Branson and Burt Rutan were stationed inside the craft waving to the crowd through the ships windows. Although the space aircraft, Space Ship Two is only 70 percent complete, the program is completely funded by a private company, Virgin Galactic. For $200,000 you can also be a participant in a space flight, where you will ride White Night Two to an altitude of 50,000′. At that point Space Ship Two would fire its hybrid rocket and take you to an altitude of 62 miles above the earth (327,000′). Over 250 people have put deposits down to take this ride into space.
FINALLY some good news for the aviation industry. The FAA has recently announced new terms to the FAA Medicals. Pilots who have not yet turned 40 years of age now have 5 years between medicals if they are operating under 3rd class priviledges. As of July 24th, a third class medical lasts five years. First class priviledges are extended from 6 months till 12 calendar months. AOPA stated that it reactivates medicals that expired on the day the new regs came into effect. Even before the new regulations came into existence you can renew your medical the day before you turn 40 and the pre-40 rules apply. Example: If you renew your medical the last day of your 39th year, you can operate for 5 years under 3rd class priviledges. Outgoing AOPA President Phil Boyer stated that, “This is welcome news for the GA industry.” “AOPA supported the FAA’s move that makes it easier and more affordable for younger pilots to fly.”
The FAA has approved Micro AeroDynamics vortex generators for the tapered wing series of the Piper Dakota’s. The new STC covers PA-28-151, PA-28-161, PA-28-181, PA-28-201T, PA-28R-201, PA-28R-201T, and the PA-28-236.
Flight test have shown that the Vortex Generators provided a nine percent decrease in stall speed, a faster roll rate and increased stability in slow configurations. The vortex generators allow the boundary layer of air to adhere to the aircraft longer in high angle of attack and slow speed configurations.
The VG’s are made of aircraft grade aluminum and can be painted to match the color scheme of your aircraft. They can be applied in one day and cost around $1,450. The VG’s are glued on with Loctite Depend and are 1″ by 1/4″ high.
Micro AeroDynamics claims that there is no top end speed loss, but generally there is a 1-3% loss of top end cruise speed with VG kits.
By one of the narrowest margins in Red Bull history, Arizona native Kirby Chambliss, pilot of the Red Bull Aircraft, won the Detroit Red Bull Air Race title with a final race time of 1:12.08 beating runner up Paul Bonhomme by a mere 0.15 seconds. Austrian pilot Hannes Arch and Mike Mangold came in third and fourth place.