January 23, 2009
In This Issue: Hudson landing offers lessons for GA Joy of Flight: Prison landing Colds call for flying with care
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Within minutes of being sworn in, the Obama Administration put a hold on all new and pending regulations—a move that could affect implementation of a rule making the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone permanent. Rahm Emanuel, Obama's White House chief of staff, on Jan. 20 issued a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies asking them to stop moving forward with all regulations that have not yet been published or taken effect until they can be reviewed by the new administration. In some cases, agencies have been asked to reopen the comment period. Read more >>
When the three auto execs flew three large corporate jets to Washington, D.C., to beg for money, it struck a lot of people as inappropriate at best. It infuriated many members of Congress, including Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), House Financial Services chairman, who put a requirement in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bill that forced any business getting TARP money to get rid of its corporate aircraft. But the committee reconsidered its position once it learned the impact that the bill could have on businesses large and small. They heard from many, including Kansas Representatives Dennis Moore and Todd Tiahart. The language was struck from the bill. Rep. Frank said on Jan. 21, "The private aircraft industry is an important industry in America." Read more >>
U.S. pilots should beware that satellite monitoring of 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) ends on Feb. 1. However, existing 121.5 MHz ELTs will continue to meet the FAA’s regulatory requirements after that date. Even though the satellites will no longer monitor 121.5 MHz signals, the search and rescue community will still respond when notified through other means. An upgraded ELT, the 406, will be monitored by satellites and contains a 121.5 MHz ELT within it. When linked to a GPS, it provides precise coordinates to search and rescue responders, narrowing the search area. Read more >>
Pilots seeing images of US Airways Flight 1549 floating in the Hudson River probably shared three thoughts: Those pilots did everything right; I hope I could do it right if I ever had to; I hope I never have to. Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, says general aviation pilots can learn valuable lessons from the airliner's amazing emergency landing and increase their odds of a successful conclusion to any emergency. Read more >>
When an emergency occurs in flight, three skills are in great demand: situational awareness, creative problem solving, and energy management. One doesn't have to be flying a large aircraft with 155 people over a crowded urban environment to recognize the value of developing these skill sets. Piloting an Airbus 320, US Airways Capt. Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger made a successful emergency landing on the Hudson River after the loss of engine power essentially turned the airliner into a giant glider. This was not his first glider landing. Along with thousands of hours as pilot in command and a career as a safety expert, the captain holds a glider rating. Read more >>
Approximately 300 people turned out on a sub-zero day in Chicago to let the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) know about their concerns regarding the proposed Large Aircraft Security Program. The program would apply to noncommercial aircraft weighing more than 12,500 lbs. In its comments, AOPA told the TSA that it needs to go back to the drawing board. Kirk Van Tine, a consultant working with AOPA on the issue, and formerly the general counsel for the Department of Transportation, told panel members at a public meeting called by the TSA that he "believe(s) TSA needs to do more work to arrive at a balance between its security interests and the privacy and property interests of the parties affected by the proposed rule." Read more >>
Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, presided over the House of Representatives Jan. 20. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi selected Costello to call the House to order before the assembly headed to the front of the Capitol to observe the inauguration of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. "This is an important honor," said AOPA President Craig Fuller, "and it reflects Chairman Costello's respect and leadership." Read more >>
Eclipse Aviation will be known as EclipseJet Aviation International now that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware has approved the sale of its assets to EclipseJet Aviation International, Inc. A closing date is expected to be set in two or three weeks. EclipseJet bid $28 million in cash, plus promissory notes and equity for the assets of Eclipse. In the meantime, Eclipse expects to continue its current operations through the closing date. EclipseJet is an affiliate of ETIRC Aviation, Eclipse's largest shareholder, and a principal driver of the very light jet industry in Europe. ETIRC Aviation's Chairman, Roel Pieper, became the acting CEO of Eclipse in July 2008 and has served as Eclipse's chairman since January 2008.
In an effort to give pilots, aircraft owners, and the entire general aviation industry more access to the FAA during the exploration of airworthiness issues, AOPA submitted formal comments to the agency on Jan. 15 requesting the airworthiness concern process be included in the revised Airworthiness Directive Manual. The manual provides detailed procedures for developing, issuing, and distributing ADs. AOPA, which championed the airworthiness concern process, recommended that the process be added to the manual so that the FAA has the opportunity to gather information from type clubs. Read more >>
Just as pilots everywhere are beginning to plan their fly-out destinations for 2009, so is AOPA. This year the association will trade its annual one-day fly-in for a whole year of fly-outs—opportunities to bring AOPA and its staff to pilots and prospective pilots nationwide. In keeping with AOPA's "Let's Go Flying" campaign to make general aviation widely accessible, the association will bring the excitement of GA flying to new venues throughout the year. Read more >>
Piper Aircraft has confirmed to Florida media that the company has laid off 150 of its workers, based on a prediction of a 40-percent slump in production this year because of the weak economy. Development of the PiperJet is not affected. Read more >>
Earlier in January, Superior Air Parts filed for protection under Chapter 11 of federal bankruptcy law. Recently, the company issued a public notice of auction and sale of assets. Superior filed Chapter 11 in order facilitate the sale of its assets to a Textron subsidiary that is already in progress. Superior sells engine parts created by Teledyne Continental Motors and the Lycoming Engines division of Avco Corp., which is a subsidiary of Textron Inc. and other companies.
Garmin's big, tablet-style GPSMAP 696 didn't stay on pilot kneeboards very long. The company announced that the combined multi-function display/electronic flight bag will jump to the instrument panels of light sport and experimental aircraft in a slightly altered form known as the GDU 370 and GDU 375. There, with the addition of components now under development, they can be upgraded to primary flight displays and engine monitors that show real-time weather, traffic, terrain, and charts. Read more >>
General aviation has positively affected many professional careers, and this is certainly true of the Gorman family. Jeff Gorman, president and CEO of Gorman-Rupp, reveals that although he flies for pleasure, about 80 percent of his flight time comes from business travel. Because his company is located close to Mansfield Lahm Regional but more than an hour from the nearest commercial airport, Gorman says that flying his clients or potential clients into the GA airport for a tour of the plant is extremely valuable. Gorman also flies himself to other Gorman-Rupp plants throughout the United States, saving valuable time. Gayle Gorman Freeman, Jeff's sister and president of Manairco, an airport and heliport lighting company, uses GA to meet her clients' needs and exceed their expectations. Watch this second installment on the Let's Go Flying Web site.
When Bob Jordan planned a five-state birthday flight, he included a landing at a correctional institute near Jackson, La. Read about his preparation and experience landing at the airstrip in the latest installment of the Joy of Flight. Previous articles are available online. Share one of your flying adventures by submitting your story to ePilot.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
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Cold and flu season is here again, and you may find yourself wondering whether or not you are OK to fly. While the FAA allows pilots to self-certify their medical ability to fly under FAR 61.53, that responsibility also comes with some limits. You can't fly if you have a "medical deficiency" that is medically disqualifying. And you shouldn't fly if you're taking a medication that is not on the FAA's "allowed" list. What's more, if you're wondering whether or not taking that flight is a good idea, it probably isn't. Read more >>
With recent advances in technology, GPS is rapidly bridging the gap between traditional avionics and fully integrated flight management systems. This profound evolution was the impetus for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's new safety seminar, "GPS from the Ground Up," which began its nationwide run earlier this month. Pilots have shown their enthusiasm for the topic by coming out in force—attendance figures have topped 400 in some locations. Packed with real-world tips and practical advice, the free seminar is coming soon to a location near you. If you can't attend, or you'd like to get a tip or two in advance, see the new GPS from the Ground Up Safety Advisor.
Deteriorating weather threatened the safety of a pilot and flight instructor in an R22 on a night cross-country . Listen to the story >>
AOPA is sponsoring a pilot safety seminar at the Twentieth Annual International Women in Aviation conference in Atlanta from Feb. 26 to 28. Kathleen Vasconcelos, manager of safety education for the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, will present the foundation's "Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make" free seminar at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 26. Three-quarters of all accidents in an average year are caused by pilot error—and for the most part, they result from the same mistakes pilots have been making for decades. This seminar is full of practical tips for avoiding these errors. Earlier that evening, AOPA and the University Aviation Association will host a College/University Student Seminar and Social. For more information or to register, see the Web site.
AOPA continues to oppose efforts to build a powerplant a mile and a half from Hayward Executive Airport, based on the hazard for pilots and airplanes, the association said this week in a letter to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. AOPA has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the powerplant. In the letter, AOPA requested the district deny a permit to the Russell City Energy Center because of the danger posed by thermal exhaust plumes from the proposed plant. Read more >>
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit the ASN web site.
"Frankly, there has been no other moment during my two-plus decades in Washington where so many people filled our nation's capital for such an historic event," writes AOPA President Craig Fuller in his blog. Read more >>
When Cirrus added the FIKI (flight into known ice) option to their SR22 series, they joined an exclusive group of single-engine piston aircraft. Read more >>
Some events have transpired lately that make it seem as if aviation may be splitting into two distinct camps—the no-foolin'-around-go-somewhere type, and the very-light-airplane-fly-around-the-pattern type. Read more >>
Every pilot would love to spend more time in the cockpit than in front of the computer monitor. Depending on where you live it can become very challenging to log a consistent number of hours during the winter. Read more >>
The AOPA Business Credit Card with WorldPoints Rewards is a great option for business owners and AOPA members. With free online account access, including the capability to view purchases by category and download summaries, managing your business finances is easier than ever. With WorldPoints Rewards, every dollar you spend on purchases with your card will earn you one point. Rewards start as low as 2,500 points, and you can use them for airline travel, hotel stays, and gift certificates. By choosing this product you will be providing valuable revenue to AOPA, helping to fund daily efforts to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of general aviation. Call 866/494-3299 or enroll online today.
The AOPA Online Travel winter sale starts today. If you are thinking about your next vacation, think about saving up to 50 percent on select hotels in sunny destinations including Puerto Rico, Mexico, Hawaii, and many more when you book on AOPA Online Travel. Plus, book your flight and hotel to save even more! You must book by March 29 and travel by May 31 this year. Every trip you book on AOPA Online Travel, powered by Orbitz, provides valuable revenue to AOPA. See more details >>
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: How long does the FAA have to notify me of a possible enforcement action? Is there a statue of limitations?
Answer: According to the NTSB, the federal civil statute of limitations would not apply to an FAA enforcement action. However, there is an NTSB limitation placed on the FAA, called the stale complaint rule. This rule requires that the FAA formally notify the pilot of a proposed enforcement action within six months of the date of the incident, unless the FAA has good cause for the delay or unless the FAA alleges that the pilot is unqualified to hold a certificate. For more information, read "Pilot Counsel: A 'statute of limitations' for pilots".
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.
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? Wanting to plan 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 calender 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 Louisville Ky., Baton Rouge, La., and Las Vegas, Nev., Feb 7 and 8; Sacramento, Calif., Melbourne, Fla., and Nashua, N.H., Feb 14 and 15. 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 San Diego, Calif. and Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 26; Costa Mesa, Calif., and Houston, Texas, Jan. 27; Ontario, Calif., and San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 28; Burbank, Calif., and Austin, Texas, Jan. 29; Little Rock, Ark. and Maryville, Tenn., Feb. 2. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller Contributors: Elizabeth Tennyson, Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh, Dave Hirschman, Tom Horne, and Ian Twombly
You'll never guess what goes on inside this sleepy-looking, country home.
It is full of history, and ready for you to come browse.
The Senate has joined the effort to expand the FAA's third-class medical exemption to more pilots and aircraft.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.