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April 19, 2013
In This Issue:
VOLUME 15, ISSUE 16 — April 19, 2013
Fly the new Just Aircraft SuperSTOL
IFR Fix: Controlled airspace, sort of
MEDICAL PETITION SUPPORT WANING AT FAA?
QUIZ ME: IMPORTING AN AIRPLANE
Picture Perfect >>
AOPA Live >>
The landing procedure in Just Aircraft's new SuperSTOL seems nothing short of suicidal. On final approach at 500 feet agl, chop engine power to idle and hold the control stick full aft. Then just sit there. Leading-edge slats on the wings deploy automatically at 55 KIAS, and the airplane slows to 40 KIAS while the rate of descent increases to about 800 feet per minute. The touchdown on 29-inch Alaskan Bushwheel tundra tires is remarkably soft as two long, externally mounted shock absorbers on the main landing gear (and another shock absorber on the tailwheel) cushion what in almost any other airplane would be a seismic event. With moderate braking, the airplane comes to a halt after a landing roll of 50 feet. See how it performs >>
Cessna Aircraft Co. will pause its entry-level jet production lines to await stronger demand, a move that has caused parent company Textron to reduce its forecast for earnings per share in 2013. Aircraft already in production will be built to a point where they can be quickly completed when demand for the jets increases. The Cessna CJ2, -3, -4, plus the Mustang will be paused. Read more >>
Last year an unlikely company unveiled an unlikely flight school. Headquartered in a retail strip mall in Alabama, Zulu Flight Training is owned and operated by Continental Motors and relies heavily on simulation, mainly from Redbird Flight Simulations' full-motion FMX devices. Based on the school's initial results, it seems as though an engine manufacturer can effectively run a flight school. Read more >>
Cirrus Aircraft announced April 11 a renewed effort to woo buyers without pilot certificates: pilots on demand for those who may or may not have an interest in learning to fly. The two-tiered program is being formalized again as post-recession business picks up, and Cirrus said a growing number of customers want to leave the details of flying—and other tasks associated with owning an airplane—to others. Read more >>
The trademark green is still there, but the brand-new headset from David Clark Co. is a departure from past models, with lighter weight, and an on-the-ear rather than full-ear-cup design. Read more >>
Tecnam North America is offering two new programs only for the U.S. market designed to make flying more affordable using the Tecnam P92 Echo Classic Light. From $59 per hour plus fuel, participants will be given exclusive use of a Tecnam P92 Echo Classic Light. Fly coast to coast, visit the Florida Keys, share the time with a friend, build time toward the commercial rating, or just have fun. The program will be rolled out nationwide over the next year but will start with aircraft pickup and dropoff in Richmond, Va., and Winter Haven, Fla. Read more >>
Velocity Aircraft of Sebastian, Fla., will offer builders of its pusher prop and canard-equipped V-Twin kitplane a choice of 160-horsepower or 180-hp engines by Superior Air Parts for their aircraft, the two companies said in a news release. Read more >>
Almost 40 years ago, the Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter was the workhorse of Army aviation during the war in Vietnam—flying troops into and out of battles, evacuating the wounded to field hospitals, and delivering supplies. Now, a Huey that saw combat in Vietnam is offering rides at events across the country. Read more >>
Learning from the success of the Evolution, Lancair officials have begun to offer completed kit prices for the piston-powered Legacy models. Read more >>
Did you know that aircraft tires are hand-made? Every tire is carefully constructed and inspected to ensure it meets the FAA's stringent requirements. Find out how to get the right tires for your aircraft and whether you should consider retreaded tires. Read more >>
Sun 'n Fun President John "Lites" Leenhouts announced April 12 that show attendance was up 5 percent over the past two years. “The camping area is packed, vendors tell me merchandise is selling, and we’ve got lots of airplanes,” he said. The splash-in at nearby Lake Agnes drew some 35 varieties of seaplanes for grapefruit bomb drop and spot landing contests, although wind curtailed some activities. Campers on the Sun 'n Fun grounds may have spotted a specially equipped Cessna 172 displaying lighted messages under the wings and on the fuselage. Roger Caram-Andruet with Skyspot Advertising generously donated a portion of his aerial advertising to AOPA each night of Sun 'n Fun.
As the AOPA Flying Club Network's Facebook group celebrates its six-month anniversary, members explain why they joined the group and why it has become a vital resource for new and existing clubs. The group's membership went from zero to 644 in the first week it started, and currently has 1,820 members. Read more >>
If the three most important things in real estate are "location, location, location," what priorities top the list for purchasing an aircraft? Mission, mission, mission, AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines explained in a webinar on aircraft purchasing. Haines and others discussed how to get the mission right and choose which aircraft is right for you, along with the purchase process, including information on financing and insurance, in this recorded webinar. View the webinar >>
You can't fly anywhere without proper flight planning. Smartphone and tablet apps have simplified the process, covering everything from flight calculators to wind computers. Check out five apps that help pilots with flight planning. Read more >>
In the April 12 AOPA ePilot, we asked pilots to share why they love their Cessna 172 in 100 words or fewer—and include a photograph of them with their aircraft. Because of an error in the email address provided, many were unable to share their submissions. Please share your responses here, and we will collect them and share them with other 172 owners in an online page and an upcoming issue of AOPA Pilot. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Reciprocating an emergency airworthiness directive by the European Aviation Safety Agency, the FAA has issued an airworthiness directive (AD) requiring inspection and possible repair of a variety of engines made by BRP-Powertrain GmbH & Co. KG Rotax, including various editions of the 912 and 914 engines. A manufacturing defect may lead to excessive oil consumption and possible shutdown in flight, and a visual inspection for excessive oil or carbon deposits on the No. 2 and No. 3 spark plug center and grounding electrodes is required. If a buildup is present, the cylinder heads must be replaced. The AD is effective April 30, though comments will be accepted through May 30.
The FAA has finalized an airworthiness directive requiring inspection and possible replacement of landing gear parts on various models of Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH DA42 twins. A shock absorber defect can allow overextension of the gear, and prevented deployment of the main gear on at least one DA42, prompting the mandatory service bulletin previously issued. The final AD takes effect May 20, with an estimated cost of $285 per aircraft. The cost may be covered by warranty for some of the 175 DA42 models in the U.S. registry. The FAA issued an AD for landing gear problems with DA42 models in 2011, though different parts were involved.
A miracle landing, a pair of amazing helicopter rescues, and a new use for drones. Read more >>
After a three-ship, nine-hour flight from Santa Fe, N.M., the Debonair Sweepstakes airplane made its way to the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo. Find out what aspect of the aircraft elicited the most comments—and what visitors really meant when they said, "How old is it?" Read more >>
All helicopters have an inherent vibration. Understanding basic vibration levels and being alert to changes can be important for preventing fatal accidents. Difficulty with tracking and balancing the main rotor system should raise concern with pilots and mechanics. Two accidents involving Robinson R22 helicopters involved increasing vibration levels in the main rotor system. Read more >>
If you weren't able to make it to the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-in & Expo, find out what you missed. AOPA President Craig Fuller explains how a proposal that could keep pilots flying longer is losing traction at the FAA. Find out how changes to the special issuance process could benefit pilots with medical conditions such as arthritis, asthma, hypertension, migraines, and renal cancer. Plus, learn tips from Rod Machado on how to master high-density-altitude takeoffs in the License to Learn series. AOPA Live This Week, April 18.
Want to get a pilot off his high horse? Ask him to tell you about Class E airspace. Not just to change the mood during a hangar session. Nowadays the topic is fair game for instrument proficiency work when you consider that Class E airspace may become anchored to substantially more real estate if the announced closure of 149 contract control towers moves forward on June 15. Read more >>
Once in a while, someone does so many things wrong on a single flight that even the clinical description in the NTSB's official report leaves readers open-mouthed with amazement. Read along as the events in the accident chain of an amateur-built Safari helicopter stack up. Could anything else be left to chance? Read more in this special report from the Air Safety Institute.
In rugged, remote country, harsh weather can be more life-threatening than an aircraft crash itself. That message was driven home in March by an accident in which the pilot reportedly survived the initial impact but died of hypothermia while waiting for rescue. Read more >>
Flying bigger and faster aircraft comes with the cost of having to master more systems. From retractable landing gear nuances to turbochargers, these systems require more attention to manage as pilot in command, and can increase your workload. And with these systems come the understanding of not only what they do, but why they are needed. If it's been a while since you've had to look at a manifold pressure gauge or remember to use cowl flaps, refresh your memory with the Air Safety Institute's Transitioning to High Performance/Complex Aircraft safety quiz.
Regardless of how you feel about the regulations, they are not just a good idea or a suggestion. They are the law. Take, for example, instrument flight rules, better known as IFR. Brush up on your regulatory knowledge by taking the Air Safety Institute's IFR Insights: Regulations online course. Take the course >>
A flight to Sun 'n Fun International Fly-in & Expo left AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg contemplating two kinds of towers. The absence of a control tower at one airport drove home the importance of proficiency at nontowered airport operations, and the presence of an uncharted tower held lessons in obstacle avoidance. Read more >>
San Diego, Calif.
Kansas City, Mo.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
San Jose, Calif.
For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Can’t make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Reporting on a recent meeting with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, AOPA President Craig Fuller said support in the agency for the third-class medical certificate exemption seemed to be waning. “High-level FAA staffers told us the exemption was not a priority for the agency,” Fuller said, referring to a meeting earlier between FAA executives and leadership teams from AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association. The two associations jointly petitioned the FAA last year to allow pilots of four-place, 180-horsepower fixed-gear aircraft and smaller to fly in day VFR conditions using only a driver’s license as a medical certificate. Read more >>
Despite an announcement by the FAA that will delay the closing of 149 federal air traffic control towers under automatic sequestration cuts until June 15, Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have introduced the Protect Our Skies Act and Reps. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), and Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) have introduced the Air Traffic Control Tower Funding Restoration Act to protect and preserve the contract tower program. Read more >>
Top transportation leaders in the House and Senate continue to question the Department of Transportation and the FAA over the reasoning used to close 149 air traffic control towers under automatic budget cuts required by sequestration. Read more >>
Pleased with the success of a House of Representatives campaign to garner support opposing a federal $100-per-flight user fee for certain general aviation operations, House GA Caucus Co-chair Sam Graves (R-Mo.) encouraged Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo attendees to assure that their representative and senators are members of the respective GA caucuses. "Call your member of Congress and ask if they are a member of the GA Caucus. If not, have them call my office for details," Graves said at a Sun 'n Fun Town Hall meeting. Read more >>
When the National Transportation Safety Board invited industry groups and government agencies to discuss areas the NTSB should better document in general aviation accident investigations, AOPA and the AOPA Foundation's Air Safety Institute responded with suggestions based on years of research and experience producing safety-focused training materials for pilots. Read more >>
Find out how National Transportation Safety Board discussions with AOPA could help "move the needle" to improve general aviation safety, how AOPA is working with U.S. Customs in Florida to ease the burden on pilots from federal budget cuts, what the association is doing in 34 states to protect GA, and more. Catch up at a glance in AOPA advocacy in brief >>
More than 50 Airport Support Network volunteers joined AOPA staff at the annual breakfast at the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo recognizing the volunteer efforts at local airports. The Airport Support Network represents more than half of the public-use airports across the country. Read more >>
Ensuring the health and vitality of your airport is up to you—incompatible development and economic and political pressures can restrict your flying. Every day, close to 2,500 Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers work with AOPA headquarters to help save their airports, but we need more. Below is a link to a list of the airports where an ASN volunteer could make a difference. To nominate yourself or an associate to be a volunteer, visit AOPA Online. To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit ASN Online.
Pilots who have had heart valve replacements or had a pacemaker inserted, there's good news. The FAA is allowing pilots with these conditions to apply for higher medical certification. Read more >>
Reducing your insurance rates could be easier than you think. You can help to reduce your rates by obtaining an instrument rating, keeping your aircraft in a hangar, participating in a pilot proficiency program like the FAA Wings program, increasing your flight time, and maintaining a claim-free status for a certain period of time. Not all carriers have the same guidelines for when they will offer a premium reduction. AOPA Insurance Services can help you identify the best policy for your specific needs. Call 800/622-AOPA (2672) to find out how much you can save.
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an advertising marketing manager, mid-level gift specialist, network support engineer, aviation technical specialist, staff assistant/PAC coordinator, president of AOPA Insurance Services, office services supervisor, major gifts officer, and director of outreach and events. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
AOPA’s 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!
How is gross weight determined? Weigh in >>
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Check out user-submitted events from your region. To include an event or to search all events in the calendar, visit AOPA Online. AOPA does not endorse the events listed below, nor have ePilot editors edited the submissions. AOPA assumes no responsibility for events listed.
Here's an edited question asked by an AOPA member who contacted our aviation services staff through the AOPA Pilot Information Center. Test your knowledge.
Question: I am considering purchasing an airplane in Europe and then importing it to the United States. How do I know if it will be eligible for a U.S. Standard Airworthiness Certificate?
Answer: The United States has entered into Bilateral Airworthiness Agreements (BAA) with several European nations. Aircraft inspected and issued airworthiness certificates by the BAA countries are also considered to comply with U.S. standards and vice versa (this does not mean that an airworthiness certificate from a BAA country can substitute for a U.S. airworthiness certificate). Otherwise, an airplane will have to undergo an airworthiness conformity inspection. To have a conformity inspection performed, contact an FAA-certified mechanic, preferably one who has had experience in the process of import aircraft certification. You and your mechanic should complete FAA Form 8130-6, Application for Airworthiness Certificate. Your mechanic will then contact either an FAA airworthiness inspector or a designated airworthiness representative (DAR). For more on this topic, see this AOPA subject report.
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/USA-AOPA (800/872-2672), or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Pilots have formed a user group and launched a petition drive to save Runway 5/23 at Joplin Regional Airport in Joplin, Mo.
A House bill that would force FAA to go through the rulemaking process before imposing new policies for sleep disorders has passed a key committee.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.