June 26, 2009
In This Issue: Use-tax relief for aircraft owners going to Fla. Hitler’s stealth fighter show to air Family-friendly events at AOPA Aviation Summit
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New out-of-state aircraft owners no longer need to fret about landing in Florida for short-term recreational visits. Whether touching down in the state for vacation, fly-ins, fuel stops, or even AOPA’s new Aviation Summit, you’ll be in the clear. The Florida Department of Revenue clarified its use-tax law in a letter to AOPA on June 19, stating that “a brief, recreational use of property in Florida will not, by itself, subject an aircraft owner to use tax.” “This is great news for AOPA members planning to attend our first Aviation Summit in Tampa this November,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. Previously, there was some confusion about when out-of-state aircraft owners could be hit with the tax. Read more >>
A mile of highway will take you just one mile... but a mile of runway will take you anywhere. Few people around the world have the freedom to take to the air and explore the nearly limitless sky. But in America, we have the special freedom to fly—over vast expanses of land, from sea to shining sea. So as you celebrate your freedoms this Fourth of July weekend, invite a friend along for an adventure in the sky! After your flight, share your story with AOPA. As part of our Freedom to Fly campaign, we’re going to plot each flight on an interactive map to show all of the locations where AOPA members took to the sky.
As the industry explores new fuels for general aviation aircraft, AOPA continues to be actively involved in fuel issues. The association participated in meetings this week with ASTM International, the organization that sets consensus standards for fuel used in FAA type-certificated aircraft. The meetings, held in Norfolk, Va., included discussions on leaded, unleaded, and diesel fuel specifications. Read more >>
The House passed an appropriations bill on June 24 to fund the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2010. A committee report accompanying the bill, H.R.2892, addresses several issues relevant to general aviation pilots, including the Transportation Security Administration’s proposed Large Aircraft Security Program. Read more >>
The Transportation Security Administration should first consider a recent report’s finding that general aviation poses only a “limited and mostly hypothetical” threat before it imposes burdensome regulations on the industry, the Alaska congressional delegation said on June 23. Read more >>
Maryland State Police Trooper 3 Photo courtesy of Maryland State Police
About 10 p.m. on June 21, Jefferson County Fire and Rescue requested assistance from the Maryland State Police to help rafters stranded on rocks in the Shenandoah River near Harpers Ferry, W.Va. Medevac Trooper 3, based at Frederick, Md., arrived first at the scene. After assessing the situation, the crew requested assistance from Medevac Trooper 5, based at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport. Using an on-board spotlight, Trooper 3 located several people clinging to rocks just a foot above the river’s raging waters. Read more >>
AOPA Air Safety Foundation President Bruce Landsberg has been chosen to participate in a working group to advise the government on how to transform the way weather information is managed and applied in the NextGen air transportation system. He is collaborating with several government agencies (including the FAA, NTSB, and National Weather Service) on GA weather issues facing GA pilots today. Read more >>
Waco Classic has developed a new biplane model with a larger, 300-hp Jacobs R755-A2 radial engine. The 275-hp engine of the older model is still available. The more powerful engine features an updated oil filtration system with a chip detector, a JPI EDM 930-7 engine instrumentation system, and a new Sensenich Taper Tip propeller. Read more >>
Are airworthiness standards for the certification of aircraft adequate for today’s modern aircraft? Probably not. A joint FAA-industry study of FAA Part 23 over the past 18 months is nearing completion, with AOPA playing a big role. “It’s time to review the original aircraft certification assumptions, including how well these assumptions match actual aircraft operations and maintenance practices,” said Leisha Bell, AOPA manager of regulatory affairs. Read more >>
Turbine engine innovator Dr. Sam B. Williams, founder and chairman of turbine engine maker Williams International, died June 22 at the age of 88. Williams is best known for his patented invention of the small fanjet engine that enabled the creation of small, efficient business jets. With FAA certification of Williams’ FJ44-1A engine in 1992, Williams International became the first and only company to break into the fanjet industry in the past half-century. Since that time, 4,000 FJ44 engines have entered service at the light end of the business jet market. Read more >>
If you get the National Geographic Channel, you may want to watch “Hitler’s Stealth Fighter” on June 28 at 9 p.m. Working jointly, the television network and Northrop Grumman Corp. built a Horten 229 flying wing replica to determine if it had stealth capabilities three decades before the United States. With the construction and testing completed, the model has gone to the San Diego Air and Space Museum for display. The model was placed on a 50-foot pedestal at a formerly secret location in the Mojave Desert so that it could be hit with radar returns from every angle. Did the wooden aircraft prove to be stealthy? You’ll have to watch. The U.S. government has hidden a German-built prototype of the flying wing in a warehouse since World War II. For excerpts of the program, see AOPA Online >>
They called them “Race Pilots” back then, but the expression had nothing to do with flying small airplanes with big engines around pylons while trying to bust some speed barrier. Instead they broke the racial barrier. More than two decades after the Wright brothers, only one African-American, Bessie Coleman, had a pilot certificate. One man took it upon himself to change that—and in the process formed history’s first all-black aerobatic team. Read more in this AOPA Pilot special feature >>
For pilots like David Riffel, taking a vacation is no reason to stop flying. He's discovered that taking the time to get checked out on a rental airplane at a GA airport near his destination can be an economically feasible way to tour the area. For short- to medium-distance car trips, Riffel insists renting an airplane at your destination can allow you numerous sightseeing and piloting advantages. Read more in the latest installment of the Joy of Flight. For previous Joy of Flight articles, see AOPA Online.
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Bad landings aren't just a source of damaged pride—they're also the leading cause of damaged aircraft, with an average of eight crashes every week. Many of these accidents are due to poor judgment or poor airmanship, but some reflect the tricky landing environment unique to certain airports. Find out exactly where these mishaps are occurring with a new interactive map from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The Google-based map plots accident locations, displays summaries of the crashes, and provides links to additional resources. Filters allow you to select the specific time frame and make/model of aircraft involved.
Pilots planning to fly to Mexico need to know the latest U.S. Customs and Border Protection entry and exit procedures in order to have a hassle-free experience. If you haven’t recently flown south of the border, you may not know that the game has changed in many ways. Read more >>
Few sights in aviation are as dramatic—or as welcome—as IFR approach lighting piercing the misty void right at descent minimums. This elusive thrill comes alive in " Airport Lighting: IFR," the latest interactive safety quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Using flight simulator animation and interactive graphics, the quiz puts you “in the soup” and tests your knowledge of approach lighting systems, runway illumination, low-visibility taxi aids, and more.
Everywhere AOPA President Craig Fuller goes, the ongoing GA Serves America campaign is a key topic of interest. It continues to gain support. Fuller stresses that cooperation between AOPA, EAA, and NATA is of the upmost importance.“We can accomplish far more together than we could alone,” he said. Read more >>
As we approach the Independence Day holiday, remember that one of our most cherished freedoms is flight. In most countries, GA has effectively been legislated out of the airspace under the mantras of safety and security. Read more >>
Many figures are talked about as the fathers of the modern helicopter—Sikorsky and Hiller, for example. One overlooked figure is Arthur Young, an inventor who went from struggling with electric scale models to receiving grants from Bell to make prototypes. Read more >>
Excitement for the first AOPA Aviation Summit, Nov. 5 through 7, in Tampa, Fla., continues to grow—and with reduced package rates and family-friendly events, it’s a must-see event for the whole family! Read more >>
An update for AOPA Airports, powered by ForeFlight, is available for download on iTunes. The update includes fixes for bugs identified by AOPA members, including improved re-ordering and editing of airports on the “Favorites” tab, dramatically improved iTunes backup time, a more complete list of airports, a “download all” button, and improved support for downloading on slower cellular connections. Read more >>
Did you know that, as an AOPA member, you are entitled to a year’s free enrollment in the Hertz #1 Club Gold program? Imagine renting a car without the hassle of long lines and unnecessary paperwork while earning points toward free rental days and other rewards. By taking advantage of this special offer, you will enjoy faster reservations and returns, discounted rates, and special offers. Enroll online today.
Want everyone to know you’re an AOPA member who supports general aviation? Sign up for a qualifying AOPA checking account by Aug. 31 and receive $100. A minimum opening balance of $1,000 and a debit card transaction within the first 30 days are required. Your checks, check cards, and statements will have AOPA’s logo, and you’ll support GA with every debit card purchase. Bank of America will return a portion of all revenue generated back to AOPA. That money will be reinvested to fund our mission to maintain the freedom, safety, and affordability of GA. Open your AOPA checking account online, or visit your local Bank of America. Use offer code SPEP100. For more information, call 800/414-4229.
Have a question about anything ranging from advanced technology to airspace? AOPA Senior Aviation Technical Specialist Claire Kultgen can help. Kultgen, who joined the AOPA Pilot Information Center team in 2006, has a commercial airplane single-engine land certificate with instrument and multiengine ratings, is an advanced ground instructor, and is completing her CFI training. Kultgen specializes in issues regarding ADS-B, WAAS, and GPS. She reviews VOR and NDB decomissionings, tracks airspace issues, and oversees distribution of temporary-flight-restriction alerts. She also was a key voice in developing AOPA’s Internet Flight Planner, working to ensure that member feedback was integrated into future versions. Rest assured, when you call 800/USA-AOPA (800/872-2672), Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time, Kultgen and other experts will be ready to help.
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: I have heard that the Transportation Security Administration requires CFIs to complete initial security awareness training and then recurrent security training every 12 months. Does AOPA have a course that satisfies these requirements?
Answer: Yes, AOPA worked with the TSA to create an online course for initial and recurrent security awareness training. You can print a certificate of completion, but the certificate does not include all the information required for record keeping under 49 CFR 1552.25(a)(1-7). If the course is used for recurrent training, you will need to review new security measures at your flight school, and any security incidents at the flight school and lessons learned as a result. You must fill out the online certificate of completion in the TSA Recurrent Flight School Security Awareness Training Module and include the information outlined under 49 CFR 1552.25(a)(1-7). Training can be completed the month before, during, or after it is due. Keep the certificate for your records and be able to produce it upon request.
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.
Sgt. Joshua Ben, a youthful former cavalry scout in the 82nd Airborne Division, cast a wary eye on AOPA’s 2009 Sweepstakes Let’s Go Flying SR22 before boarding it at Florida’s Orlando Executive Airport. Ben, 22, received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service in Afghanistan in 2007, when he lost his right leg in an ambush. He is moving from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to Orlando, where he’ll become a full-time student at the University of Central Florida in the fall. But on this warm June night, he needed to return to Walter Reed—and that’s where the Let’s Go Flying SR22 came in. Read more >>
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for a Director of Airspace and Modernization and an Aviation Technical Specialist. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
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 Newark, N.J., July 11 and 12; Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn., July 18 and 19; Pittsburgh, Pa., July 25 and 26; Costa Mesa, Calif., Atlanta, Ga., and Champaign, Ill., Aug. 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 Oshkosh, Wis., July 29, 30, and 31; 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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Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller Contributors: Jill Tallman, Sarah Brown, Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh, Dave Hirschman, Tom Horne, and Ian Twombly Summer Intern: Ethan Cirmo
The FAA has asked the National Transportation Safety Board to review a judge’s ruling reversing a fine it levied in an unmanned-aircraft case.
The Tucson Soaring Club is trying to grow the sport by training the next generation of glider pilots.
Able Flight has received and $8,000 check from the AOPA Foundation.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.