User fees have reared their head in President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 proposed budget. Longtime General Aviation News columnist Charles Spence wrote about a letter 100 mayors sent to President Obama regarding the budget’s potential $100-per-flight fee. The comments that follow are interesting. Commenter “gbin” says: “I wonder how many of the mayors who signed that letter were deliberately misled into thinking that the user fee pertains to all or nearly all of general aviation, rather than just to jet aircraft users?” and continues with “I wonder why the author of this piece felt entitled to obscure the rather significant fact that piston aircraft users — the great majority of general aviation — are exempt from the fee (as certain other writers here have also omitted), and to label the Obama administration’s proposal as “attacks on GA” (rather more politically partisan than most reporting here)?”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — After causing the FAA to limp along on 23 temporary funding extensions, Congress finally passed a four-year authorization last month. A question now facing FAA watchers is: Will this steadier funding mean a smoothing of the turbulence the agency has seen in developing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)?
A report released Feb. 16 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that of 30 major NextGen programs studied, costs for 11 have increased from initial estimates by a total of $4.2 billion and 15 programs experienced delays ranging from two months to more than 14 years. Of the 15 programs experiencing schedule delays, 10 also had cost increases. The WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) program, which the FAA estimates will be completed in 2013, is the one experiencing the 14-year delay.
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive (AD) on carburetors installed on many Lycoming engines. According to a report at EAA.org, the AD targets only 409 carburetors, but 10,700 engines must be inspected to determine if they have one of the defective carbs. Effective date for the AD is March 27, 2012.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is hosting a free webinar “Aircraft Ownership: Tips on Buying and Owning an Aircraft,” Wednesday, Feb. 29.
Tempest has introduced 12 new magneto repair kits for Bendix magnetos — six repair kits and six deluxe repair kits. A repair kit is generally used for 500 hour inspections, where a deluxe repair kit is for major repairs and overhauls, company officials said.
An indoor Civil War Encampment at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum on Saturday, March 3, will bring history to life for visitors. Civil War re-enactors from the 140th New York Volunteer Infantry and the 21st Georgia Volunteer Infantry will set up camp at the museum, where visitors can talk with them, ask questions about the life of the soldiers and Civil War history, and watch the troops practice drills and fire their muskets.