June 20, 2014
JUNE 20, 2014 - VOL 16, ISSUE 25
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A USA Today story, "Unfit for flight" published June 18, "gets the general aviation safety record wrong, it ignores efforts by the industry to make general aviation safer, and it violates basic tenets of fairness and accuracy when it comes to good journalism," AOPA said in response to the article.
USA Today reporter Thomas Frank in a recent article interviewed families of general aviation aircraft accident victims and took carefully edited video clips to create a narrative that GA is unsafe. AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg highlights some salient facts that were excluded from the piece.
Many pilots fly entire careers without having to manage a life-threatening emergency. Shawn Kinmartin, 21, is not one of them. The commercial pilot with airline aspirations was forced to give skydiving a try on June 14, an unplanned solo jump made necessary by damage done when a customer's parachute snagged the right stabilizer on the way down.
AOPA Live This Week
AOPA President Mark Baker testified before the House Aviation Subcommittee June 18 about the importance of Airport Improvement Program funding. Plus, take part in a special mission: flying athletes to compete in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey. And, get a look at the AOPA Sweepstakes Debonair's new makeover.
AOPA Live This Week®, June 19...
From fresh, succulent lobster served up dockside to golf, history, and gorgeous beaches, Plymouth, Mass., is a destination worthy of a long weekend, or more. Chart a course for the AOPA Fly-In July 12 at a decidedly GA-friendly airport, and give yourself some time to sample America’s Hometown.
Join the excitement that's growing about AOPA's third regional fly-in—Plymouth, Mass.—on July 12. RSVP to let AOPA know you are attending and reserve your free AOPA-member lunch ticket. Leading up to and during the fly-in, spread the enthusiasm on social media. Follow @AOPA on Twitter and use the hashtag #AOPAPYM and like our Facebook page.
You've heard it's safer than most other aspects of general aviation, but how much safer? The Air Safety Institute's first analysis of instructional accidents in a decade found that in both airplanes and helicopters, the fatal accident rate during training was less than half that on noninstructional flights. The record also shows unexpected differences between types and phases of training as well as between fixed-wing and rotorcraft.
Download the report...
Quiz: After a pilot decreases his airspeed in a standard-rate turn, is more or less bank needed to maintain the turn?
With the convective season in full swing in most parts of the United States, the Air Safety Institute held its annual Storm Week at the beginning of June. If you missed it, here's your opportunity to visit the highlights of the week, including a new "Flying the Weather" safety video, thunderstorm safety quiz, and recorded version of the "Datalink: Cockpit Weather Do's and Don'ts" webinar.
Fly like a fighter
Could the time-tested fighter pilot saying, "lose sight, lose the fight," have misled a pilot to strap in an RF-4 improperly and contributed to his drowning after a successful ejection over the ocean?
The idea of building and flying your own aircraft can be daunting to the average pilot. But many things in aviation are a continuum: student to pilot, pilot to aircraft owner, owner to mechanic or builder.
Third class medical reform is critical to growing general aviation, AOPA President Mark Baker told the House General Aviation Caucus during a briefing June 17.
General aviation airports rely on federal money, making it vitally important that Congress maintain Airport Improvement Program funding at least at current levels, AOPA President Mark Baker testified before the House Aviation Subcommittee.
AOPA is asking the FAA to use an open, competitive process to determine the future of flight services. The first of two flight service contracts expires in September, and the current system should be maintained until the FAA has completed a competitive bid process, AOPA said in a letter to the FAA administrator.
How do pilots help the nonflying public understand the importance of aviation? Many in the aviation community are familiar with statewide aviation appreciation proclamations. Even more notable, writes Northwest Mountain Regional Manager Dave Ulane, is the proliferation of such proclamations and resolutions at the local level.
Is a high-stress lifestyle turning your hair gray? Maybe not.
Helicopter engineers are developing new systems with promise to significantly reduce or eliminate rotor vibration. Lord Corp. has been working with several major manufacturers on the technology, and Sikorsky Aircraft expects to demonstrate the virtual elimination of main rotor vibration this year. Others are also seizing on the promise of smoother rides for occupants and reduced wear and tear on components.
With much publicity the past several months focusing on hacking and security breaches—in the media, TV shows, and movies—Garmin is setting the record straight on the myths around one such possible breach: hacking aircraft avionics.
Pilots fly so much that sometime routine flights can become mundane. A video of two women in their 70s taking their first flight may help you remember the magic of flight the next time you take the to skies, writes Opinion Leaders blogger Martin Rottler.
Read more and watch the video...
Reverting back to the 1930s era of aviation when only movie stars and industry titans flew would be a bad idea, writes Opinion Leaders blogger Rod Rakic. He says trends indicate that's the path aviation is going down, but points out that there are rays of hope for a brighter future, too.
What can we learn by applying a baseball fan's enthusiasm for statistics to aviation? A good estimate of how much flight training will cost, according to Opinion Leaders blogger Jamie Beckett.
Apps of the week
Five apps range from a timer to a wind component calculator.
Pilot Getaways feature
Martha's Vineyard, Mass., offers undeniable appeal—its villages hugging neat little harbors, farmland lined with rock-pile fences, and centuries-old lighthouses perched above the Atlantic. Take some time to explore Martha's Vineyard while you're in New England for AOPA's Plymouth Fly-In July 12.
Read more about exploring the area from a pilot's perspective…
Texas recently increased the speed limit on some stretches of interstate highway to 85 mph. Other states have increased speed limits to 75 mph. The higher the rate of speed you're traveling, the less time you have to react to anything happening around you. Consider these rules for the road, brought to you by AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus, before your next trip.
A trilingual pilot from Colorado who recently became a flight instructor will soon travel to France to fly in the Tour Aérien Des Jeunes Pilotes.
The East Hill Flying Club has created a foundation to help fund youth flight training scholarships and provide financial support for aviation projects that benefit the public.
More than 100 Cessna aircraft delivered hundreds of athletes to the start of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey on June 14.
Zac Davis' tattered shirttail June 13 marked a milestone for the student pilot, as well as for the program that helped him reach it. Davis, a student in the Montoursville, Pa., after-school aviation program, soloed three aircraft on his sixteenth birthday. His CFI was the first student to solo under the program.
Take a look at the Lake Amphibian, Hawker-Siddeley DH-125, and Evangel 4500; or enjoy scenic shots of a Beech Bonanza 36 over the Grand Canyon, Grumman Goose in the Virgin Islands, Twin Comanche in the Catskills, Cherokee Arrow with the Dodgers' Boeing 720B in the background, gliders on the high desert, or an aerial shot of aircraft at the 1971 Plantation Party and Industry Exhibit.
Pick your favorite cover from 1971...
Circling to climb in a thermal doesn't mean a "climbing turn" in the sense a powered pilot is used to. For one Cessna 172 pilot, climbing nose-down was quite the experience.
On June 18, 1914, Lawrence Sperry let go of the controls of a Curtiss C-2 biplane, stood up in the cockpit, and raised his hands high above his head, demonstrating the first aircraft autopilot.
Aviation job board
Help others realize the dream of owning their own aircraft as an aircraft finance analyst at AOPA. The ideal candidate will be a detail-oriented team player with excellent people, phone, and multitasking skills. A strong interest in finance and a background in general aviation is essential.
Learn more or apply today.
AOPA career opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an aviation technical specialist, Air Safety Institute intern, aircraft finance analyst I, member services representative, major gift officer, AOPA Live producer/videographer I, and account manager II. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities,
visit AOPA Online.
True or false: A pilot may fly through an alert area at any time.
True. Alert areas are shown on aeronautical charts so pilots are advised of a possible high volume of flight training or an unusual type of aerial activity. This may present increased risk to pilots of nonparticipating aircraft, but there are no additional flight restrictions in effect in an alert area. Test your knowledge of special-use airspace with this Air Safety Institute safety quiz.
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. Contact AOPA.
Should a pilot who just got a private pilot certificate go for an instrument rating?
June 21-22 - Charlotte, N.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Orlando, Fla.
June 28-29 - Columbus, Ohio; and Phoenix, Ariz.
July 12-13 - Memphis, Tenn.; and Pittsburgh, Pa.
July 19-20 - Jacksonville, Fla.; and Newark, N.J.
For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the Air Safety Institute's new Online eFIRC.
June 21 - Loveland, Colo.
June 28 - Groton, Conn.
July 31-Aug 2 - Oshkosh, Wis.
Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
June 20 - Lititz, Pa.
June 21 - Romeoville, Ill.; and San Jose, Calif.
June 28 - Carson City, Nev.; and West Bend, Wis.
For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
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.
AOPA's online photo gallery allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others' photos.
Take a look, and submit your own photos!
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AOPA President Mark Baker and AOPA Foundation Executive Director Jim Minow are challenging one another to see who can recruit the most Hat in the Ring Society members for the foundation before the end of the year.
Over the past several weeks, the Air Safety Institute has observed a cluster of general aviation accidents occurring in close succession. The Air Safety Institute recommends that GA pilots conduct a pre-holiday safety pause and risk review. See these safety steps to take before your next flight.
Patty Wagstaff is a patient teacher, with the skill and experience to get the most out of the Extra 300L—and her student.
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