October 24, 2008
In This Issue: Campaigns square off on transportation Chinese learn about GA from AOPA 10 tips for aircraft buyers
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With only days left before the presidential election, AOPA staff members were in Washington on Oct. 22 attempting to understand how the presidential candidates might structure transportation policies. At a National Journal policy breakfast on transportation, representatives of the Obama and McCain campaigns expanded on their candidates' transportation policy plans. Mortimer Downey, transportation advisor to Sen. Obama, noted that infrastructure improvements across all transportation sectors need more investment, including "getting an ATC system that works." Meanwhile, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Sen. McCain's senior policy adviser, labeled transportation an "important" issue. He said McCain was committed to moving away from imported oil and toward energy independence through alternative energy sources. Read more >>
The Environmental Protection Agency has strengthened the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for lead for the first time since 1978. In an Oct. 15 announcement, the EPA lowered the NAAQS for lead by a factor of 10 to .015 microns per cubic meter, setting in motion a multi-year effort requiring state and local governments to ensure they meet new standards by 2017. AOPA testified at a public meeting in June held by the EPA to gather additional information on the impact of lowering the standard that had been in place for 30 years. Andy Cebula, AOPA's executive vice president of government affairs, cautioned the EPA that any changes that would force an immediate change in the current composition of avgas would have a "direct impact on the safety of flight and the very future of light aircraft in this country." Read more >>
Thousands of U.S. pilots could stop flying to Canada if transport officials go ahead with plans to require all foreign-registered aircraft traveling in Canadian airspace to carry a 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT), AOPA warned Canadian aviation officials. In formal comments filed Oct. 23 with Transport Canada, AOPA proposed an alternative—allowing foreign-registered aircraft to carry a 406 MHz personal locator beacon in addition to the 121.5 MHz ELT already installed in most U.S. general aviation aircraft. Read more >>
No one understands general aviation better than the world's largest GA association. That's why 34 delegates from China's Air Traffic Services visited AOPA headquarters recently to learn more about how general aviation operates in the United States. "While most U.S. airspace is open to civil aviation, the situation is reversed in China," explained Randy Kenagy, AOPA government affairs chief of staff. "That gives U.S. pilots an unequaled level of freedom and serves as a great example to leaders in other countries who want develop a robust network of airports and a healthy GA industry." Read more >>
Eclipse Aviation is the broker for 28 Eclipse 500 jets that DayJet, a Florida air taxi company, once used for service in Florida and throughout the South. The aircraft are in different stages of operational capability and all have between 150 and 450 cycles on them. They are to be sold as is, and that means you must take the DayJet paint scheme and interior. DayJet collapsed in September after failure to find the next round of $40 million in funds needed to expand. Read more >>
Join two pilots from the Carolinas—Chris Hildreth of Durham, N.C., and Dan Douglas of Columbia, S.C.—as they embark on a cross-country adventure. They set out from North Carolina on a 4,300-nm round trip to Catalina Island off the California coast. Will they make it back with a new badge of aviation honor, the $1,500 T-shirt? See a slide show and read more about their adventure.
On Friday morning, Oct. 17, a fleet of 31 privately owned airplanes and a corporate jet took off from airports around the U.S. Southwest to deliver much needed relief supplies to Alamos, a small town in northern Mexico. The town of 9,000 had been deluged by a hurricane just one week earlier. But thanks to the efforts of Jim Swickard, owner of the Hacienda de los Santos fly-in resort and spa in Alamos, and Jack McCormick of the Baja Bush Pilots, within a few days, more than 10 tons of donations were stockpiled for delivery and a large number of airplane owners had volunteered their time and use of their airplanes to the effort. Read more >>
If you've been thinking of owning an airplane for business use, there may be no better time than now to make your move. There are excellent tax benefits for those who use an airplane for business and, if you've got good credit, you can find some real bargains. Slow sales of piston aircraft combined with worries about economic conditions have created strong availability at reasonable prices. And, with insurance and fuel costs declining in recent weeks, your cost to own is falling. Read more >>
It's time for our annual warning to stay above fall foliage, not in it. Many northern states are already enjoying peak color, while those of you just reaching peak, or anticipating it (that's everyone in the great South) might appreciate this map. For the best aerial photos, shoot in the first or last hour of daylight, use a fast shutter speed, use a polarizing filter to increase color saturation, and avoid shooting through the window if possible, or at least scrub the windows clean before you launch. Piper Cub and biplane owners, you've got it made. And watch out for fellow leaf-peeping pilots. Here's an AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Advisor on how to avoid them.
Do you think a "roadable" airplane is doable? Would you buy one? Will it be possible to overcome all of the issues relative to making a car that meets modern automotive safety standards that can also safely and practically fly? Find out what AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines has to say on the subject and share your thoughts on his entry in the Reporting Points blog.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
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Every flight consists of a series of decisions. A single lapse in judgment is cause for concern, but a string of poor choices invites disaster. On Jan. 1, 2006, a Beechcraft 55D Baron crashed while circling in IFR conditions at Dawson Municipal Airport in Dawson, Ga. The 1,500-hour pilot had already attempted instrument approaches at two other airports, and was nearly out of fuel. While attempting to locate the runway below a 100-foot overcast, the pilot stalled the airplane. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
Recent changes to AOPA Online might have you wondering where your Air Safety Foundation (ASF) course transcript went. Don’t worry—it’s still there. The blue login/logout box at the top of the site now contains a plus sign (+). Click it to expand the box, then click on the ASF transcript link. You’ll get a detailed account of the online courses, minicourses, and Real Pilot Stories you’ve viewed. The transcript function tracks your progress, your highest course quiz score, and whether or not you’ve earned a completion certificate. You can also access your transcript from the Air Safety Foundation’s drop-down menu on AOPA Online.
When air traffic control gives you vectors to final on an instrument approach, they should guide you to intercept the glideslope from below. Sometimes it doesn’t work out quite that way. Find out why it matters and share your experiences on the latest blog from Bruce Landsberg, AOPA Air Safety Foundation executive director.
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Expo 2008 boasts a fantastic lineup of seminars, ranging from safety and medical topics to aviation humor. Some of the most notable seminars include “Medical Certification: Getting It Right the First Time,” presented by Gary Crump on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.; “What Every Pilot Should Know about FAA Enforcement,” presented by John Yodice on Friday at 4:30 p.m.; and “Aviation Humor,” presented by Rod Machado on Saturday at 11 a.m. Download the full Expo seminar schedule online. And, if you are planning to fly into one of AOPA’s two host airports, Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International and Reid-Hillview of Santa Clara County, you can download arrival procedures now.
The day has arrived, you are ready to purchase an aircraft—it may be your first purchase, or perhaps you’ve done this before. First, take a few minutes to brush up on the intricacy of the process with our “ 10 tips for financing your aircraft purchase.” Learn how important aviation financing experience is when you want to close your loan quickly, and find out what steps you should take before signing on the dotted line to avoid surprises at closing. For everything you need to know about financing an aircraft, call 800/62-PLANE.
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's aviation holiday cards are now available. Choose from various designs. There are 25 cards in each box. Imprinting is available and you will also receive return address labels and decorative seals. A portion of the proceeds from each box sold will help the foundation's mission of improving general aviation safety. To view the cards or to place an order, visit the Web site or call 800/308-4285.
The Triple Play Campaign for Air Safety Foundation is back. Any charitablSe donation you make to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s permanent endowment before the end of this year can be tripled, thanks to the Erral Lea Plymate Memorial Endowment and the matching gift challenge. In the past, matched donations made by AOPA members have helped to grow this fund to well over $500,000. Glenn Plymate, a volunteer lecturer with the Air Safety Foundation, wants the fund, named for his wife and flying partner, to continue to grow, and he has offered up to $100,000 in 2008 if members do their share. To learn more, please request the Erral Lea Plymate Challenge Brochure today by phone at 800/955-9115 or by e-mail.
Meet AOPA’s medical certification specialists and members of the AOPA Board of Aviation Medical Advisors at this year’s AOPA Expo, to be held in San Jose, Calif., Nov. 6 through 8. This year, Dr. Warren Silberman, manager of the FAA Aerospace Medical Certification Division, also will be on site during Expo. It’s a great opportunity to expedite your special issuance renewal and keep you flying without interruption. Meetings with Dr. Silberman are by appointment only. Read more >>
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Ensuring the health and vitality of your airport is up to you—residential development and economic and political pressures can restrict your flying. Every day more than 1,900 Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers are working with AOPA headquarters to help save their airports, but we need more.
To nominate yourself or an associate to be a volunteer, visit the Web site.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit the Web site.
Here's a question asked by an AOPA member who contacted our aviation services staff through the AOPA Pilot Information Center. Test your knowledge.
Question: If satellites are going to stop monitoring 121.5 MHz ELTs on Feb. 1, 2009, and the FAA is not requiring me to transition to a 406 MHz ELT, do I still need to have my 121.5 MHz ELT inspected?
Answer: Yes, you still need to comply with FAR 91.207, which requires that each emergency locator transmitter be inspected every 12 calendar months.
Got a question for our aviation services staff? The AOPA Pilot Information Center is a service available to all members as part of the annual dues. Call 800/872-2672, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to email@example.com.
Now that work on AOPA’s 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer is completely finished, we wanted to take some time to address those burning questions you've been dying to know the answers to all year. Learn more in this week’s sweepstakes update.
Looking for some really fabulous aviation photography? All the air-to-air photos and beautifully detailed ground images used by AOPA Pilot magazine over the years are yours at the click of a mouse button. Download your favorite images to use for wallpaper or send an e-postcard. For more details, see AOPA Online.
Want something to do this weekend? Wanting to plan an aviation getaway? See our online calendar of events. We've enhanced our calendar so that with one click, you can see all of the events listed in the calendar regions you selected when personalizing ePilot. Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.
To submit an event or to search all events in the calendar visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Columbia, S.C., Oct. 25 and 26; Austin, Tex., Reston, Va., Nov. 1 and 2; and San Diego, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., and Albuquerque, N.M., Nov. 15 and 16. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Concord, Calif., Oct. 27; Fresno, Calif., Oct. 28; Palmdale, Calif., Oct. 29; Pikeville, N.C., Nov. 1; Flat Rock, N.C., Nov. 3; Thomasville, N.C., Nov. 4; and Pinehurst, N.C., Nov. 5. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributors: Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh
AOPA staff members updated attendees of the Montana Aviation Conference Feb. 27 through March 1 on the association's involvement in issues that affect pilots.
Pilots from Maine and New England turned out in numbers for the annual Maine Aviation Forum hosted by EAA Chapter 1434.
A bill to move aircraft tax revenues to the state aviation fund needs member support to get through the Washington State House.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.