Project Police Det <DATAMASKED>
Originally published April 1998
"Weíre here to help!"
Target for the Month:
EAA Members Only
Date of Review: 15 March 1998
Itís April and Spring is in the air. Another month and itís the Scotty Horowitz Going Away Bash and BBQ. Canít wait for the great grub and the usual gathering of the Project Police Suspects, ah, the "Usual Suspects".
Once again Webmeister Erb gets a kudos for the fine and outstanding work on the Chapter 1000 coverage of the Raid on Flabob...Well done Erbman!
This month I execute a daring cyber-raid into the highly guarded backyard (Hangar?) of EAAís "Members Only" area of the EAA National Website. This is a new site (launched 2 March 98) so I am entering uncharted waters (Maestro; "Jaws" music please)...
To get to this site, you need to access through the EAA homepage at http://www.eaa.org, or just go directly to http://members.eaa.org (no need to include "www." here). Then the tricky stuff. In order to get into this area one needs to register as a member. Donít try to fool these guys, they have a database behind the site that provides authentication of your national EAA membership number. Now lets say you were in possession of someone elseís membership...Nah, that wouldnít work either. They ask you for the secret code word, found on page 110 of the last Sport Aviation...
After registration and successful entry you are greeted with the Membersí Area home page. Nicely done and not overloaded with graphics, as it seemed to download quickly over my 28.8 modem. The artwork is well done and very clean. Professional. Once on the site, hyperlinks direct you to Inside News (Top Secret EAA news), Aviation Advisors, Magazine Search, Flight Reports, Discussion Boards, Surveys, Online Events, Links, and Site Updates.
Investigating this site, I wandered into the "Inside News" area and discovered the latest on EAA. Updated 13 March, it contained some short news stories on subjects like Warbird Operatorsí Conference, Australians to Oshkosh in í98, Women in Aviation and new employees at EAA. Itís nice to see a site updated on a regular basis.
The Flight Advisor page lets you search for a Flight Advisor by either geographic location or by aircraft type / model. When you need to find help in your local area, itís right here. You can also locate a Technical Counselor, by geographic location or by chapter. You must specify either location or chapter (required fields). Then narrow the search by Tech Counselor experience (composite, tube and rag, metal, A&P, etc)
Pressing ahead with this incursion into the unknown, I hit the "Magazine Search" page. This is a really cool function of the site that can be way helpful. The database covers Sport Aviation (Jun 53 to Dec 97), Experimenter (85 to Dec 97), and Vintage Airplane (Dec 72 to Jan 97), so there is no lack of information. I would really hate to have been the typist who had to manually enter data for this one. Anyway, you can search for articles on your favorite Whiz-bang Firestreak and the site will return a laundry list of articles. If you so desire, EAA will bill you just $5 dollars for reprints of the article ($3.00 for additional articles). If you want the entire magazine, the price is listed by the article title. I entered "Breezy" and the database returned seven hits. In this case, the entire Sport Aviation was going to cost me five bucks for the back issue (of course, subject to availability).
The Flight Report section provides reprints from Sport Aviation of the flight reports to date. You can review either the Classic (J-3, Champ), or the CAFÉ reports.
Discussion Area gives members a forum to post their messages on a variety of subjects ranging from EAA Air Adventure, Classics/Antiques, Aerobatics, Ultralights, Chapters, Homebuilts, and Fly-ins. To post a message you simply click on the "Post New Message" button and press on. With the newness of the Members Area, there are few messages posted at this time, but as the site becomes known, message traffic should grow.
It looks like EAA will be running online surveys in the future but at this time, you can only update your membership profile. This information consists of the basic name, address, phone and e-mail. The only thing that this should do, but does not, is present your current information as they know who is logged on. As it stands, you need to provide your old information as well as the new. Overall, it makes updating addresses fairly simple.
Online Events appears to provide an interactive interview forum with selected aviation guests. Because of the newness of the site, there is little information here. Apparently, a member will submit questions for the interview prior to interview, as fodder for the guest's interrogation, in case he/she is unable to be online at the time of the interview. Otherwise, its interactive.
With a page called "Links", I guess you would expect links to other aviation sites. This links page is not the obvious set of hyperlinks to aircraft type sites and advertisers. This page contains hyperlinks to such entities as the FAA Safety Office, the Aviation Safety Reporting System, two links to the NTSB, a Query Page for Federal Proposed Rules and Actions and a couple more safety related sites. Hopefully this page will continue to be used for the safety aspects, as I donít need another link to Guidoís Hanger and Air Service.
If you want to know whatís new, then the Site Updates page clues you in on the latest on the site.
Overall, a great site thatís informative and very easy to explore. No gratuitous graphics or useless information and pretty much straight to the point. Since white is used for the background, all the text is easy to read with no eye strain. As previously mentioned this site is fairly new but with time the online data should grow as members find the site. Again, this should become a site everyone has on their bookmark list.
Now in closing for the month, I want to know how many of you really went looking for the secret code on page 110 of the last Sport Aviation It is April you know. (report to the webmeister at email@example.com)
As I donít waste time in the useless and trivial Web sites, I hereby grant this site
Contents of The Leading Edge and these web pages are the viewpoints of the authors. No claim is made and no liability is assumed, expressed or implied as to the technical accuracy or safety of the material presented. The viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of Chapter 1000 or the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Revised -- 12 March 1999