AOPA Pilot Magazine August 2013

Pilot August 2013

August 2013 Volume 56 / Number 8

Dawn of a New Diamond
Cover Story | August 2013

Not your father's airplane

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Featured

Pilot Magazine

Not your father's airplane

Forget everything you know about operating an airplane. Forget about engine management, rough takeoffs and landings, inherent safety risks, and twin-engine operations—oh, and half of the performance charts. The swashbuckling image of the pilot barely surviving as he wrestles the airplane to the ground is gone.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Truth in animation

Tucked away in a grove of evergreen trees, the rust-lined fuel truck had fallen into disuse. A visit from Disney filmmakers gave the vehicle new life, in a way, as a star in the animated film Planes.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Will we all be flying diesels?

Does the rise of the Jet A-burning diesel aircraft engine signal an evolution or a revolution for today’s avgas-powered airplanes? Neither, according to a series of interviews with diesel-engine manufacturers and experts.

Aug 01, 2013

Commentary

Pilot Magazine

Waypoints: Diversity

We are a diverse lot, we AOPA members. From student pilots to astronauts, our skills, interests, and political leanings are all over the map. Two recent trends involving the federal government highlight how philosophically diverse we are. Unable to make the hard decisions necessary to reduce an out-of-control federal budget deficit, Congress and the White House crafted, approved, and ultimately allowed to go live sequestration legislation that forced small to sometimes dramatic cuts to the budgets of various agencies.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Pilot Counsel: Safety pilot

It is FAR 91.109(c) that specifically imposes the requirement that a safety pilot be on board an aircraft being operated in simulated instrument flight. This regulation is really a supplement to the see-and-avoid responsibility imposed by FAR 91.113(b). “When weather conditions permit, regardless of whether an operation is conducted under instrument flight rules or visual flight rules, vigilance shall be maintained by each person operating the aircraft so as to see and avoid other aircraft.”

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

License to Learn: Turbulence—yuck!

I don’t like clear air turbulence, and my passengers like it even less. It’s one of those things that saps the fun from flying, because it affects the neural nooks that are the primitive levels of our biology. It’s unlikely that you or your passengers will learn to like turbulence, but by understanding and sharing with your passengers what it can and can’t do to your mind and airplane, you can make turbulence tolerable.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

President’s Position: Your AOPA Summit

During the course of the year, AOPA creates and participates in gatherings across the country where we interact with our members, share flying stories, and talk about the issues that affect our general aviation community. There is one gathering that, for us, represents the pinnacle of our annual outreach activity—the AOPA Aviation Summit.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Fly Well: Playing the numbers

Eight: Hours, bottle to throttle. Eighteen: Army recruitment age; constitutional amendment initiating prohibition. Twenty-one: Legal drinking age; constitutional amendment overturning prohibition. Summer is here, and barbecues and beer beckon, so let’s consider a substance capable of causing headaches—alcohol.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Safety Pilot: Set-up stall

Distraction is almost always a factor during an accident sequence. Nowhere is there likely to be more distraction than when arriving at a fly-in where there are many more aircraft than usual to avoid. Pilots need to be on their game and recognize that even though special ATC procedures are in effect, standard aerodynamic rules still apply. In this loss-of-control accident, the NTSB’s determination was predictable. But there was also a systemic flaw, in my view, and the arrival procedure in use was the precipitating event.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Proficient Pilot: Interruption of routine

Prior to taking off from the dirt “airstrip” serving the Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, the manager there had requested that I treat the guests to a low pass over the lodge, which was nestled in a ravine near the departure end of the runway. Not one to pass up such an invitation, I enthusiastically agreed.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Never Again: Tumble in the desert

My private pilot training took place nearly 36 years ago in a Cessna 150 at Ryan Field near Tucson, Arizona. No one can exaggerate the benefits of training as a student pilot in the Arizona desert’s persistent severe-clear conditions. However, even the perfect training environment could not prevent a nearly disastrous event that occurred during one of my solo cross-country flights.

Aug 01, 2013

Departments

Pilot Magazine

Letters: The Unlikeliest Astronaut

Our June issue highlighted two aviation legends with a profile on test pilot Mike Melvill and reflections of columnist Barry Schiff, who celebrated 50 years with AOPA Pilot.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Pilot Briefing: One fast cat

On a recent visit to Spokane, Washington’s Felts Field, AOPA Pilot got a first look at Northwest Turbine’s latest conversion undergoing certification. The Cougar Baron is a Beechcraft 58P outfitted with a pair of 500-shaft-horsepower Pratt & Whitney PT6A-21 turboprops. Rocket Engineering is doing the certification legwork for partner company Northwest Turbine LLC, which also markets the Royal Turbine conversion of the Beechcraft Duke.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Pilots: Fran Bera

It was June 23, 1955, my seventeenth birthday, as I nervously began taxiing the Aeronca Champ in which I was taking my private pilot checkride. Fran Bera, the designated examiner, sat in the rear of the tandem cockpit, observing my every move. Mine was only one of more than 3,000 flight tests she would conduct, and my examiner was to become one of the most successful woman racing pilots of all time (if not the most successful).

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Avionics: ADS-B strategies emerge

Not long after the FAA took a giant step toward Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) implementation in late May 2010, when it issued a final rule requiring many aircraft to equip with ADS-B Out capability by 2020, we said the smart move was to do nothing right away (“Next Step Toward NextGen,” August 2010 AOPA Pilot).

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Efficiency: Perfect pitch

Unmanned aircraft and airboats would seem to have little to offer general aviation, but growth in the two industries is spurring advancements in propeller design and other technologies—with positive implications for aircraft owners and pilots.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

News and Notes: All in one place

The countdown is on: less than three months until AOPA Aviation Summit 2013, October 10 through 12 in Fort Worth, Texas. “The exhibit hall is filling up fast and we are adding new exhibitors daily,” says Liz Tarver, AOPA exhibit sales manager.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Technique: Riding the wave

Some years back while flying over the Appalachians, I heard a pilot on the frequency commenting to air traffic control that she thought her airspeed indicator was malfunctioning since it was wandering up and down by 20 knots.

Aug 01, 2013

Pilot Magazine

Ownership: You are not alone

Buying piston aircraft by the slice remains a boutique option available in a limited number of locations, although that may change with new players jumping into the market. Some are downright evangelical about leveraging the buying power of many pilots to refresh an aging general aviation fleet with brand-new aircraft, or expanding—dramatically—access to aircraft at the lowest possible cost.

Aug 01, 2013

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