August 7, 2009
In This Issue: Economic recovery a three-year process GA must stand united, Congressmen say Animation re-creates thunderstorm accident
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Aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia said he “very strongly agrees” with a recent assessment of the economy by Cessna Aircraft President and CEO Jack Pelton that the economic depression may have reached the bottom, but recovery might not start until late 2010 and could take until 2012 before the recovery is complete. “We’re halfway through a three-year process,” Aboulafia said. He is vice president of analysis for the Teal Group. Aboulafia said the second quarter delivery results provide little in the way of an economic health indicator. “Delivery reports are the ultimate lagging indicator,” he said. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association shows in the second quarter that total airplane shipments worldwide fell 46 percent. Read more >>
Starting about Aug. 24, watch for the U.S. Bankruptcy for the District of Delaware to either select Eclipse Aerospace as the winning bidder or preside over an international bidding auction for the former Albuquerque-based Eclipse Aviation. Eclipse Aerospace was formed two months ago by one of two owner groups seeking control of the bankrupt personal jet manufacturer. Now it has the backing of the rival group, the Eclipse Owners Group (EOG). Eclipse Aerospace submitted a $40 million bid for the assets of Eclipse Aviation, former manufacturer of the Eclipse 500, that has passed an inspection by the bankruptcy court. Read more >>
Starting March 1, 2010, the FAA will no longer mail ADs and special airworthiness information bulletins for free. You will need to sign up for free electronic versions or pay for a subscription. “AOPA has been working with the FAA for four years on the transition from paper to electronic ADs and SAIBs,” said Leisha Bell, AOPA director of aircraft and environmental affairs. “Our goal is to ensure the transition goes smoothly and that the FAA continues to mail paper copies of emergency ADs.” The free e-mail system, called GovDeliver, was announced in 2007 and allows you to subscribe to all published documents or only those pertaining to a specific product make and model. Read more >>
Michigan’s Grosse Ile Municipal Airport sits so close to the U.S.-Canada border that pilots operating in the traffic pattern may cross into Canadian airspace. Currently, an international notam requires pilots flying at that airport or any airport near a U.S. border to talk to air traffic control and squawk a transponder code when crossing the border, with no exceptions to those operating in the local traffic pattern. But that will change Aug. 15. AOPA Acting Manager of Air Traffic Services Claire Kultgen worked with the FAA to modify the current international notam to allow VFR traffic pattern operations at airports close to the U.S. border. Read more >>
Flight Design Technik has designed hand controls for the handicapped and a cargo pod to carry a wheelchair aboard the Flight Design CT light sport aircraft. The new controls allow control of the aircraft without using the rudder pedals. The modified control stick has two grips. The right handle is fixed and equipped with a push-to-talk button and a switch for the throttle control. The left handle moves forward for right rudder and rearward for left rudder. As the left handle moves, both the nosewheel and rudder are controlled. The cargo pod can carry up to 66 pounds of bulky items and weighs 17.6 pounds. It can be used at up to 118 KIAS, or two knots less than the top speed allowed under light sport aircraft rules.
Pilots have been using Customs and Border Protection’s electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) for a couple of months. The kinks should be worked out, as AOPA has been working with CBP to try to create as easy of a cross-border process as possible. AOPA continued its talks with CBP and with EAA’s advocacy team at AirVenture last week in order to continue improving the process. But, in order to do that, we need feedback from you. Take our online survey, and tell us about your experience and concerns, and suggest resources AOPA can provide to smooth the process. Share the survey with those you know have used the system, too! Individual responses will remain confidential.
Six months after winning approval in Europe, the FAA has granted a type certificate for the 170-hp Austro AE300 diesel engine, clearing the way for FAA approval under a reciprocal agreement of the type certificate of the Diamond DA42 NG multiengine aircraft. Read more >>
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive, effective Sept. 9, for certain Superior Air Parts “investment cast” cylinder assemblies that have been used by aircraft owners on some Continental IO-520, TSIO-520, and IO-550 engines. It requires initial and repetitive inspections and compression tests to detect cracks in those cylinders with more than 750 flight hours. There have been cracks in the area of the exhaust valve and separation of cylinder heads. AOPA had filed comments requesting that the inspection interval be changed from 100 to 50 hours, but the FAA upheld the 100-hour interval.
AOPA, ProJet Aviation, and new corporate sponsor, FlightSafety International, recently announced that the fourth annual Aviation Education Expo has been awarded a grant from the 2009 Alfred L. and Constance C. Wolf Fund Grant. The grant was established to provide funding to the most promising individuals and worthy projects which advance the field of general aviation. Read more >>
ForeFlight, the software company responsible for the popular AOPA Airports app for iPhone and iPod touch, has recently made another contribution to the general aviation community. It’s called ForeFlight Charts 1.0, and it makes current FAA sectional charts available on your iPhone or iPod touch devices. The interface allows pilots to easily browse any U.S. sectional, draw a route on it, and make simple calculations like fuel consumption, distance, and heading. This application is downloadable at Apple’s App Store, and a one-year subscription is $9.99 a year, with the first year being included in the purchase price. For additional information, visit ForeFlight’s Web site.
As the planned modernization of the air traffic control system progresses, Embry-Riddle/Los Angeles Metro Campus student John Cross, M.D., is studying pilots’ knowledge of the FAA's Next Generation Air Transportation System. Cross, who received an Embry-Riddle Worldwide Scholarship Award for the study, is surveying pilots about their knowledge of and confidence in flying in an environment that relies on GPS-based technology and provides primary flight navigation and air-traffic-control surveillance to all aircraft equipped with ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast). The results will be reported in aggregate only, so responses will remain anonymous. Take the survey >>
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Thousands of AOPA members visited the association’s Big Yellow Tent at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., last week during a show that drew 578,000 people—a 12-percent increase over 2008—and pleased attendees and exhibitors alike. “We connected with literally thousands of our members over the course of the week,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “It was encouraging that attendance was strong and exhibitors reported good sales. People seemed ready to set aside concerns about the economy and just enjoy their time at Oshkosh.” Read more >>
All segments of general aviation—from business aviation to light sport aviation—must stand united in the fight against user fees, said Reps. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), and Sam Graves (R-Mo.) during an open legislative forum Aug. 1 at EAA AirVenture. The forum, which gave children and adults the opportunity to meet the congressmen and ask questions regarding GA issues, focused largely on user fees and recent security measures in the works by the Transportation Security Administration. Read more >>
Seven business airplanes were parked in front of the Airbus A380 on AeroShell Square in Oshkosh, Wis., on July 31 as part of EAA AirVenture’s Business Aviation Day. During a press conference, representatives of the companies that operate those airplanes—a Pilatus PC-12, Cessna Citation CJ1, Hawker Premier, Piaggio Avanti II, Lear 40XR, Falcon 50, and Gulfstream G200—discussed how they use their business aircraft to manage rapidly changing situations and capitalize on new business opportunities that they otherwise could not. Read more >>
AOPA President Craig Fuller and AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers set aside time during EAA AirVenture to discuss what the group can do to help protect general aviation at the local level. “There are so many stories about how airports are helping their communities—those are the stories we are trying to tell people,” Fuller told 50 volunteers and their guests. “We cannot be successful unless we have very loud voices across the country,” he continued, explaining the importance of telling those positive GA stories and the value of airports to local elected officials and their national representatives. Read more >>
Diamond Aircraft will put Garmin’s new G500 glass cockpit in its DA20-C1 two-seat trainer, making the company among the first to offer the new system. Diamond President Peter Maurer said he had wanted to offer an entry-level all-glass cockpit in the DA20 for years, but certified systems then available were too expensive. The U.S. Air Force uses the DA20 at its flight screening facility in Pueblo, Colo., near the U.S. Air Force Academy. The system is also in the Aviat Husky tailwheel airplane, this year’s EAA sweepstakes aircraft. The G500 system, similar to the G600 but with fewer features, also will be used on aircraft built by Found, Maule, True Flight (Tiger), Waco Classic, and by Tecnam on the P2002 Sierra and Piper on the Seminole and Warrior. A DA20 with the Garmin G500 will be available starting in October and costs $184,980. Early purchasers will get enhanced avionics and synthetic vision free.
An effort by Cirrus Design Chairman Alan Klapmeier to purchase the company’s SF50 Vision single-engine jet program has stalled. “Basically we’ve put an offer in front of them and we’ve negotiated,” he said July 31 at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. “It doesn’t appear we’re going to be able to reach an agreement.” Read more >>
Jim Adams of Pontiac, Ill., just completed a five-and-a-half-year rebuild of the 1946 Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser that he’s owned since 1963, finishing the airplane just in time to fly it to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. In an interesting twist, he modified the airplane into a configuration that pipeline patrol pilots might have flown. Until recently, Adams owned a 90-hp Super Cub that had been used by Gleason Romans Pipeline Patrol Co. of Tulsa, Okla., to patrol pipelines. “Nobody ever makes a point of pipeline patrol being a part of general aviation history,” Adams said. “That’s a good thing to pass along.” Read more >>
It’s not uncommon for several generations of a family to attend EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., together—even when it’s the family of a U.S. senator. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) has attended the fly-in with his sons, James M. Inhofe II and Perry Inhofe, for 31 consecutive years. “These kids were 15 years old when we started,” Inhofe said, pointing to his sons. “We always camp out in the same place and see people we haven’t seen all year. It’s a lot of fun.” Read more >>
Talk about the future of leaded avgas, and you’ll have a captive audience of pilots. That was the case last week during an EAA-facilitated fuels panel discussion at Oshkosh, Wis. Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, FAA, and Coordinating Research Council spoke to a packed pavilion of 150 pilots. The panelists discussed the EPA’s recent call for information about the use of leaded avgas in general aviation aircraft. An EPA representative said that it is possible that an “endangerment” finding could be made. Read more >>
At the famed AirVenture Gathering of Eagles dinner July 30, EAA raised more than $1.8 million for the Young Eagles program and bid farewell to six-year honorary chairman pilot and actor Harrison Ford. Ford, however, will continue to be active in Young Eagles. The evening’s silent and live auctions featured such exotic items as a flight in a Sikorsky Air Crane by Erickson, an aerobatic experience with Sean Tucker and The Collaborators, trips to high-end resorts in the Caribbean and Lake Tahoe, and a custom, one-of-a-kind AirVenture branded 2010 Ford Mustang. The Mustang alone sold for $250,000. Read more >>
Hundreds of women pilots gathered July 31 at EAA AirVenture to celebrate the second annual WomenVenture. Wearing lavender T-shirts, the women assembled under a crystal-blue sky for a group photo and waved and cheered. Standing in the front row were several members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). President Barack Obama on July 1 signed into law a bill to award the WASP the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. WomenVenture is jointly sponsored by Women in Aviation International (WAI) and EAA. During the day, AOPA announced that it would be forming a WAI chapter. Read more >>
In 2006, an 82-year-old man drove to see his son in California’s Mojave Desert. He took a wrong turn along the way and his car became stuck in a dry river bed. Concerned by his father’s delay, the son called the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (SBCSD). Helicopters searched in vain for two days. The department then dispatched Ted Schwabenbauer and David Guthmiller, both volunteers with the SBCSD’s Aero Squadron, who added their airplanes to the search. Guthmiller’s crew spotted the car, and Schwabenbauer’s crew reported its coordinates. The man was found, dehydrated but fine. “It reinforced the reason we’re there,” Schwabenbauer said. “It’s not necessarily because we can assist someone every day of the week, but (we) provide additional manpower. We’re an adjunct. We’re another resource—and aviation is a resource.” Read more >>
On August 24, 2006, the noninstrument-rated pilot of a Piper Cherokee flew low over the bogs of North Dakota as weather conditions deteriorated around him. He managed to dodge numerous obstacles and terrain in his path but couldn't avoid flying into the turbulent maw of a level-three thunderstorm. Watch the accident re-creation and read this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation >>
Looking for an affordable way to stay current or work toward new ratings and certificates? Consider flight training devices. For example, if you used all allowable simulator time for every rating from private through ATP, you’d have saved nearly 100 hours of actual flight time. Read more >>
Like earning proficiency credit but hate jumping through bureaucratic hoops? Here's good news: Gone is the cumbersome, 12-step verification process for receiving FAA Wings credit for AOPA Air Safety Foundation online courses. A new system communicates with FAA servers in real time, awarding instant Wings credit for qualifying foundation courses. Pilots need only click a button at the end of the course; confirmation is received by return e-mail. Most interactive safety courses can be completed in less than an hour, and progress is saved if you need to come back later. Your ASF Transcript keeps track of courses started or completed.
If you fly across the U.S. border, by now you’ve heard of eAPIS (electronic Advance Passenger Information System). AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg shares his experience with eAPIS for a flight he recently made to Toronto for a conference with collegiate aviation educators. Read more >>
Just recently (July 23) a couple booked a sightseeing tour of the Bruges region of Belgium. In flight, one of the passengers pressed a gun to the pilot’s temple. He then took away the pilot’s headset and ordered him to land at a nearby prison. Once on the ground, three inmates climbed on board the helicopter. Forcing the pilot to land near Bruges, the escapees carjacked a vehicle and drove away. They remain at large. Using a helicopter to escape from prison is nothing new. Read more >>
If you attended EAA AirVenture last week, you might ask, “What recession?" The camp grounds were overflowing with tents and the flight line with spectators. Let’s Go Flying blogger Andrew Schmertz captured the excitement of the event on camera. See the video >>
AOPA has partnered with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Providing service to more FBOs and airports that serve general aviation than any other rental car company in the industry, Enterprise and its slogan, “From your wings to our wheels,” is well known to GA pilots, making the partnership a natural fit. AOPA members receive a 5-percent discount on Enterprise’s low rates; courteous and personalized customer service; and free enrollment in Enterprise Plus, a program that offers faster reservations and rentals. In turn, each rental will support GA. A portion of all the revenue generated will be returned to AOPA and reinvested to support our daily advocacy efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of GA. Visit Enterprise’s Web site, designed specifically for AOPA members, to reserve your car or call 866/315-9155 and mention discount code AOPAP9.
Plan for one last great flying adventure before the winter months: Head to AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., Nov. 5 through 7. If you’re flying in for Summit and recently purchased an aircraft, the special AOPA Summit exemption to the Florida use tax probably applies to you! ( See AOPA Online for details.) So, register today and plan your stay in Tampa for Summit.
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: My engine is soon approaching the manufacturer’s recommended time between overhaul (TBO) of 2,000 hours. Am I required to have this completed before then, or can I fly beyond that time?
Answer: You are under no obligation to overhaul at TBO unless the aircraft is being flown for hire in a Part 121 or 135 operation. However, it is important to note that airworthiness directives or mandatory service bulletins may be due at TBO, or cycle or time-limited parts may need to be replaced at that time. If the airplane is subject to these requirements, and if they are not accomplished at the required time, flying the airplane beyond TBO would be in violation. Also, you should check your specific insurance policy to see if requirements exist for engine maintenance. If an accident is connected to an engine failure that may have been prevented by overhauling the engine at the recommended TBO, the insurance company might void the policy. AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg discusses this issue in his recent blog, “ Engine Overhauls—Arbitrary or Necessary?”
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 email@example.com. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
AOPA's new online photo gallery allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others' photos. Your favorite aviation images from AOPA Pilot are still available online through this new gallery. Take a look, and submit your own photos!
Want something to do this weekend? Planning an aviation getaway? See your personalized 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. You can also bookmark the personalized calendar page to check it as often as you want. 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 Costa Mesa, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., and Champaign, Ill., Aug. 15 and 16; Reno, Nev., and Allentown, Pa., Aug. 22 and 23; Fort Worth, Texas, Aug. 29 and 30; Phoenix, Ariz., and Sacramento, Calif., Sept. 12 and 13. 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 Torrance, Calif., Aug. 17; Germantown, Tenn., Aug. 31; Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 1; Maryville, Tenn., Sept. 3. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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