Petition asks White House to explain user-fee figure | Idaho pilots are upset over proposed $100 user fee for GA | AOPA's Fuller discusses challenges facing general aviation
April 26, 2012
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Petition asks White House to explain user-fee figure
The General Aviation Airport Coalition has posted a petition on the White House website protesting a proposed user fee. If the petition receives 25,000 signatures by May 16, the government will have to respond on how it determined that the proposed $100 fee is a fair amount. "In the interest of transparency and in order to maintain a healthy aviation industry, we request that the White House explain how it calculated that a $100 per flight segment user fee is a fair contribution to fund FAA," the petition says.
General Aviation News (4/25) 
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Aviation Update
AOPA's Fuller discusses challenges facing general aviation
Craig Fuller, president and CEO of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association was interviewed by SmartBrief editor Angela Giroux Scheide on his leadership philosophy and challenges facing the general aviation industry. An edited transcript of their conversation follows. Read more here.
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Air service to regional hubs continues to suffer
The lack of U.S. airline regulation has meant that regional hubs such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and St. Louis are being priced out of service from carriers focused on high-volume routes, a panel of transportation experts in Washington said this week. Memphis, Tenn., is an example of a city that has seen a 25% decline in flights as well as increased ticket prices. In addition, the Essential Air Service program to guarantee service for small communities is facing opposition in Congress.
The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) (free registration) (4/24) 
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Lower aircraft cost would attract more pilots, GAMA says
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association said the cost of new aircraft should come down to make general aviation appealing to a wider audience. "A four-seat entry-level piston single like a Cessna 172 cost around $8,750 in 1956. By 2000 the price for a typical four-seat piston single like a Diamond Star had risen to nearly $190,000," said Greg Bowles, the association's director of engineering and manufacturing. (U.K.) (4/25) 
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Blog: Flight instructors should market to students
Blogger Jamie Beckett says certified flight instructors should actively recruit flight students. In his first job as a flight instructor, he called former students who had not finished their training. "I had students in no time," Beckett writes. "And better than that, my students flew well, learned what they needed to know, and went on to pass their check rides." (4/24) 
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Airport Focus
La. airport seeks to send abandoned planes to junkyard
The Baton Rouge airport in Louisiana wants to get rid of abandoned aircraft parked on the tarmac. The airport offers free parking, and some owners have left their planes parked at the airport for years without flying them. The city is considering an ordinance that would allow abandoned planes to be towed to a junkyard.
WBRZ-TV (Baton Rouge, La.) (4/25) 
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Avionics & Technology
FAA grants production certificate to Eclipse 550
The Eclipse 550 very light jet has earned a production certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. Eclipse Aerospace looks forward "to advancing the Eclipse 550 aircraft to full-scale production," said Cary Winter, an Eclipse senior vice president.
AVweb (4/25) 
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Pilot Spotlight
Lessons in landing planes is offered for spouses of pilots
A Canadian airport is offering a Learn to Land course for spouses and partners of pilots. The course was inspired by an 80-year-old woman who recently landed a small plane after her husband passed out at the controls. "If something happens, I'm in control and I know what to do," said student Brigitte Smutny. "It won't be pretty, but at least I know what's coming." (Canada) (4/25) 
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Training News
Arkansas airport welcomes Flight School of the Ozarks
Danny and Gayla Hendricks' new flight school at Carroll County Airport in Arkansas "offers flight instruction for people of all ages and all skill levels," this feature says. "At Flight School of the Ozarks, you just come ready to learn. The plane is here and available," Danny Hendricks said.
Carroll County News (Berryville, Ark.) (4/24) 
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Policy Watch
N.Y. lawmaker unveils legislation in bid to cut bird strikes
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has proposed legislation that would allow the removal of Canada geese from a wildlife refuge near a New York airport in a bid to reduce the number of bird strikes on planes. The Federal Aviation Administration this year has received reports of 1,090 bird strikes through March 31.
USA Today/The Associated Press (4/26) 
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Industry experts question accuracy of FAA near-miss data
The Federal Aviation Administration's reporting of near misses has come under scrutiny by industry watchdogs. Jeffrey B. Guizetti, assistant inspector general for aviation, says error rates will likely increase once automatic tracking software is installed. "The chances of a collision on the ground or in the air is low, but if it does occur, there will be a catastrophic loss of life," he said.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/25) 
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Hangar project confirms airport's turnaround
Airport advocates in Venice, Fla., are welcoming completion of a $1.15 million hangar facility as strong evidence that a turnaround that began at the airport last year is gaining momentum. AOPA Online.
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Sony Creative Software announces special AOPA-member offer
Vegas Movie Studio HD from Sony -- the perfect way to edit and enhance your flight videos with music, titles, and special effects. Share videos of your cross-country or training sessions online, on DVD or on Blu-ray. Save 25% on all Vegas Movie Studio HD applications. AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts.
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One person with a belief is equal to a force of 99 who have only interests.
John Stuart Mill,
British philosopher and political economist
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AOPA, the world’s largest, most influential aviation membership association, has achieved its prominent position through effective advocacy, enlightened leadership, technical competence, and hard work. Providing member services that range from representation at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, advice, and other assistance, AOPA has built a service organization that far exceeds any other in the aviation community. To learn more about general aviation and AOPA, go to
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