AV8RS Newsletter August 2013

August 2013 AV8R Newsletter
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Ask the Experts
AOPA AV8RS Andrew Taylor asks:

    Q: How much experience is needed to become an airline manager?
    A: Andrew, that really depends on what area of management you want to go into. Most airline management positions require a college education. After you have received the requisite education, you can expect to spend 3 to 5 years before your first promotion to a true management position. To reach senior level management can take between 10 and 30 years depending upon your ability, education, drive, desire and the airline's needs.

-Pete Arnold-Aviation Tech Specialist, AOPA's Pilot Information Center

AOPA AV8RS Billy Walsh asks:

    Q: How hard is it to be hired by an airline once you have enough hours?    

A: Billy – This can be a challenging question to answer. Many factors play into how, when, and how many pilots the airlines hire. The biggest factor is the economy. In a strong economy where people have more money to spend going on vacation or traveling for business, flying is in higher demand, so airlines need pilots and hiring increases. When the economy is slow, people spend less money on vacation, and the airlines hire fewer people and demand higher qualifications. Other big factors include FAA policy and corporate finances. A few years ago the FAA extended the age pilots were forced to retire at, allowing pilots to stay on the job longer, which resulted in the airlines hiring fewer pilots. The hiring process has caught up to that rule change, but the rules are always subject to change. The financial health of an airline plays a big role as well. An airline having a hard time earning a profit isn't likely to hire more pilots. In summary, how hard it is to get hired by an airline depends on how well you are prepared/ experienced/ educated and a combination of these other factors.

-Sarah Staudt, Aviation Tech Specialist-AOPA's Pilot Information Center

    Keep your questions coming!
Send to: [email protected] and include
"Ask the Experts" in the subject line.

    Helpful Links for Homework and Fun!

    Gravity Launch    
    Powers of Ten    
    Molecular Scramble    
    Park My Plane    
Helpful Resources
    Find a Flight School    
    Flight Planning Tools    
    Safety Quizzes and Courses    
    AOPA Pilot Information Center    

How did you learn about AOPA AV8RS?



Flight Instructor



By searching for aviation pages on Facebook



AOPA website



A friend or family member



AOPA member



AOPA Regional Manager



Presentation on Aviation



At an event



By friends sharing posts on Facebook


to the August issue of the AOPA AV8RS newsletter filled with information, expertise and hands-on resources to literally make your dreams take flight.

Career Profile

Working among the clouds
Aerial photography, video job is fun, fast-paced and challenging

Bobbi ZapkaBobbi Zapka isn't a pilot and isn't in the military. But she often spends her days working in the back seat of a F-16 or T-38 or in the back end of a C-17, often with the ramp and door open.

Zapka is chief of the aerial photography department at Edwards Air Force Base. She says every day on the job is different.

"We mainly use high-speed digital video, shooting 200 frames a second or more, of whatever test event is taking place so the engineers can analyze it and compare it with their data," she says.

Member Profile

Meet AOPA AV8R, Spencer Anderson

Spencer AndersonSpencer Anderson's parents knew he was interested in aviation, but they didn't know how their son would feel about actually flying. So shortly after his 11th birthday, they treated him to a glider flight.

"I stayed up for 45 minutes," he recalls. His dad tried to pay for the flight in advance so they could leave as soon as he was done. But the managers told his dad they didn't have to pay if he didn't come back."

You guessed it – they had to pay.


Want to be featured in the AOPA AV8RS Member Profile Column? Email [email protected] for an application!

Famous Pilots

'Girls need flight plans, not fairy tales'
Girls with Wings encourages girls to reach for the stars

Lynda MeeksLynda Meeks struggled to find her nieces clothes with airplane pictures in pink, instead of the usual boy colors.

"There was never anything that appealed to girls, " she says. "So I decided to start embroidering airplane outfits for girls, and selling those to family, friends and strangers."

As she sold her clothes, women began telling her stories about how they wanted to be a pilot when they were small, but someone told them that girls weren't pilots.

That's all it took for Meeks to take action. She started speaking at career days, to Girl Scout troops and in schools, with a message that girls can be pilots and good ones at that. Her interactive presentation was so successful that it morphed into Girls With Wings, which officially began in 2005.

Cool Stuff

Branson, family first to experience space in Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo in 2013

SpaceShip TwoVirgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson and his family will be the first tourists to blast into sub-orbital space on the maiden voyage of SpaceShipTwo in December.

According to CNN, Branson's adult children, Holly and Sam, will accompany him on the two-hour voyage, blazing a trail for other space tourists to follow.

"It'll certainly be the most momentous moment of my life and my children's lives," Branson told CNN. "It'll be very difficult to ever cap it. Anyone who has ever been into space says the same thing."

Flugtag makes for fun "flights" at first national Red Bull contest

A flying fuel pump nozzle. A fairy atop a speeding tooth. A soaring pirate ship. A pizza that you can really toss. Or a stone pyramid that converts into an alien spaceship.

No, you're not imagining things. Hundreds of thousands of people will get to see "aircraft" like that and more at the first national Red Bull Flugtag taking place in five cities across the nation on Sept. 21.

"One day. Five cities. Hundreds of flying ... or not ... machines. Be part of the biggest splash in aviation history," promotes the Red Bull website.

Women make up half of 2013 astronaut candidates

Want to be an astronaut someday? The job requires you to pass a physical, be a U.S. citizen with a bachelor's degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics, and have 1,000 or more hours logged as a jet pilot.

Solar-powered plane flies across country; tear in wing fabric adds drama to flight

After a two-month journey powered only by solar power, Solar Impulse HB-SIA's last leg across the United States should have literally been a breeze.

Instead, the flight from Washington to New York on July 6 was filled with drama and tense moments after the plane was discovered to have an 8-foot long tear in the fabric of its left wing.

Historical Firsts
  • Aug. 1, 1971Apollo 15 mission commander David R. Scott relayed exciting news to Mission Control and the scientists in the back room. "Guess what we just found! I think we found what we came for." That sample, nicknamed the Genesis Rock, was a piece of the moon's primordial crust. Geologists, hoping to learn more about the moon and its origins, selected the Hadley-Apennines landing site for precisely this reason. While not the oldest lunar sample brought back from the moon, geologists at the Manned Spacecraft Center (now known as the Johnson Space Center) later concluded that this rock was about 4 billion years old.

  • Aug. 10, 1947 – A new world airspeed record of 640 mph is set in the Douglas Skystreak

  • Aug. 15, 1958 – Congress approves a bill creating the Federal Aviation Agency to regulate all U.S. commercial and military aviation.

  • Aug. 19National Aviation Day is observed in the United States each year to celebrate the history and development of aviation. It coincides with the birthday of Orville Wright who, together with his brother Wilbur, made significant contributions to powered flight.

  • August 24–25, 1931Amelia Earhart made the first solo, nonstop flight by a woman across the United States, from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., establishing a women's record of 19 hours and 5 minutes and setting a women's distance record of 2,447 miles.

  • August 1929 –First round-the-world airship flight.The LZ-127,known as the Graf Zeppelin, flew 21,300 miles in 20 days and 4 hours. It also set a distance record.


Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association ♦ 421 Aviation Way ♦ Frederick, MD 21701-4708 ♦ (800) 872-2672 www.aopa.org/av8rs

Questions? Comments? Send them to [email protected]

Contributing Writer: Barbara A. Schmitz


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