Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

Pilot BriefingPilot Briefing

Oldest Boeing returns to the air Scud running in 1928 was no safer than it is now, but a pilot tried it in a monster biplane called a Boeing 40C that flew passengers in an enclosed cabin and the mail. The pilot sat in the breeze of an open cockpit.

Oldest Boeing returns to the air

Scud running in 1928 was no safer than it is now, but a pilot tried it in a monster biplane called a Boeing 40C that flew passengers in an enclosed cabin and the mail. The pilot sat in the breeze of an open cockpit. The Pacific Air Transport airplane clipped trees for a mile, slicing one and then another, until a mountain got in the way near Canyonville, Oregon, killing the single passenger and scattering a cargo of diamonds.

There it sat for 70 years until it was recovered by the Oregon Aviation Historical Society and sold to Addison Pemberton. Now, eight years later and with the help of 61 volunteers who worked 18,000 hours, it is flying again. It will make appearances in Blakesburg, Iowa, and Oshkosh this year before retracing an original air mail route in September from New York to San Francisco. Back in 1928 a ticket just from San Francisco to Chicago cost $250, the equivalent of $12,000 today, so passengers were the elite of society and traveled in suits and dresses. The airplane would taxi into a hangar to unload and board.

Originally it cost $22,000 and had a 420-horsepower Pratt and Whitney 1340 engine with a TBO of 200 hours. Today it would cost $1 million, but its 525-horsepower Pratt and Whitney R-1340 now has a TBO of 1,600 hours. The engine and propeller today cost twice the original price of the aircraft.

Adam Aircraft files for Chapter 7

Adam Aircraft Industries on February 15 filed for Chapter 7 under the federal bankruptcy code.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver has appointed a trustee, Jeffrey Weinman of Denver, to oversee the case.

The company, based at Centennial Airport in Denver, suspended operations on February 11 after failing to secure up to $150 million in long-term financial commitments. It had some 800 employees.

Workers began attending job fairs with several companies, including Piper Aircraft, Honda Aircraft, Gulfstream Aerospace, Epic Aircraft, Cirrus Design, Bombardier Aerospace, and others.

Adam claimed a backlog of 400 orders for its two aircraft models, the A500 piston twin and the A700 jet. Adam has as yet been unable to clear FAA certification hurdles for its A700, and Adam officials had repeatedly assured investors the company was on track for A700 type certification this year.

The company planned to produce three A500s a month beginning this summer, and up to 15 A700s a month after it received FAA certification.

Member in the News

Ed Scott, AOPA 757810, is the new director of the 31,000-member U.S. Parachute Association headquartered in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He was previously the group’s director of government relations, and once served on the staff of AOPA.

Boeing chief buys Cub

Sure, Scott E. Carson’s day job puts him in charge of building and selling the world’s most technologically advanced passenger jets.

But the Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive officer went across the state to Cub Crafters in Yakima, Washington, for his personal aircraft—a Sport Cub S2 LSA that’s about as different from a 787 Dreamliner as anything that flies can possibly be.

While 787s are built from carbon fiber, weigh up to 540,000 pounds, and can carry about 300 people on globe-spanning trips up to 8,000 miles, Carson’s Sport Cub is covered with fabric, weighs up to 1,320 pounds at max gross, and carries up to two people on trips of 450 miles or less.

“Scott has a real passion for general aviation,” said Cub Crafters President and CEO Todd Simmons. “The Sport Cub is meant to take him back to the pure, grass roots joy of flight.”

It’s equipped with oversized tires, a Garmin 496 GPS, and Bose headsets-and it’s painted in the Cardinal red of his alma mater, Washington State University.

Cub Crafters has built and sold more than 75 Sport Cubs at an average price of about $145,000 including options, Simmons said.

That puts the modernized Cub far ahead of the 787 in terms of actual deliveries (the first 787 flight is scheduled to take place this year after several postponements). But 787 sales have topped 840 to date—and international demand remains strong.

A Sport Cub can land in 245 feet, or slightly more than the 787’s 208-foot wing span. It flies about 100 miles an hour compared to 561 for the Boeing, and carries 25 gallons of avgas compared to 37,693 gallons of jet fuel.

In fact, a new Sport Cub’s base price of $119,500 is well below the cost of topping off the fuel tanks just once in a 787.— Dave Hirschman

AOPA Pilot 2008 General Aviation Photography Contest: ‘Champ in the Snow’ is January winner

This Aeronca Champ on skis is calling it a day after frolicking in the snow at Millers Field in Newburgh, Maine (left). John Miller, owner of the private-use 2,400-foot grass strip, picked a perfect opportunity to snap the Champ as Allan Tubbs taxied it toward the hangar for the evening. January runner-ups: “Vulcanair Viator over Palm Island, Dubai,” by Larry Tague (below left), and “Ag Cat at Western Nebraska Regional Airport, Scottsbluff,” by Tyler Sandberg (below right). Go online to see a full-size version of the photographs, and to find out how you too can become a contender for cash prizes totaling $5,000, including the grand prize of $1,000. Submit your own general aviation snapshots online for a chance to win in AOPA Pilot’s 2008 General Aviation Photography Contest, which runs through September 2.— Machteld A. Smith

'See and Avoid' military aircraft

After you’ve planned your VFR flight, check online to see if your flight path intrudes on Special-Use Airspace (SUA) such as restricted areas, military operations areas (MOAs), and military training routes (MTRs).

A run-in with a military aircraft can be fatal or, at least, terrifying. A military pilot in the midst of a training exercise is likely concentrating on other things than looking for light aircraft. And radar units in military airplanes are not set to find targets as slow as most light aircraft. In other words, military pilots are likely not looking for you. With their high speeds, quick maneuvers, and camouflage paint, it’s unlikely that pilots of light aircraft will see military jets. So you should know where there’s a chance of encountering military aircraft and take steps to avoid it.

See and Avoid’s Web site allows users to graphically locate military bases (including helicopter landing sites), MOAs, and MTRs. Click on the type of airspace you want to display and it will overlay on Google Maps. If you discover MTRs or other SUA along your route you can check with a sectional chart or a flight service briefer about applicable times and altitudes. The site also shows the locations of previous midair collisions and near midairs.

AOPA ePilot Headlines

Recent news from AOPA’s weekly e-mail newsletter

Court declares Steve Fossett dead
A Chicago court declared 63-year-old adventurer Steve Fossett dead in February, following failed efforts to find him and his borrowed Super Decathlon in the Nevada desert.

GA deliveries broke records in 2007
General aviation industry billings reached a record high of nearly $22 billion in 2007, a 16.5-percent increase over the previous year.

Cessna launches largest-ever Citation
Cessna has unveiled plans to develop the $27-million Citation 850 Columbus, an eight-seat twinjet slated to fly 4,000 nautical miles at Mach 0.80.

Robinson shatters industry helicopter record
Robinson Helicopter manufactured 823 new helicopters in 2007, the most civil helicopters ever produced in a single year by one company.

U.S. pilot jailed after aircraft accident
In February 2008, Mark Strub, 45, of Wisconsin became the first U.S. pilot jailed for a domestic aircraft accident after pleading guilty to negligent operation of a motor vehicle and disorderly conduct following a 2004 crash that claimed the life of his passenger.

Now you can receive a customized version of the free AOPA ePilot e-mail newsletter tailored to your interests. To customize your weekly newsletter, see AOPA Online.

Tempelhof set to close

In a situation reminiscent of Mayor Richard Daley’s closure of Chicago’s Meigs Field, the city government of Berlin, Germany, has moved forward with plans to close Tempelhof, the city’s historic downtown airport, which was the site of the Berlin Airlift in 1948 and 1949. The airport could close as early as October 31.

Tempelhof serves as a major business aviation airport, and is minutes from the city center. Brussels Airlines, Cirrus Airlines, Intersky Airlines, and numerous air taxi firms also use Tempelhof. So does Tempelhof Aviators, an FBO specializing in flight training. The Berlin government, under Mayor Klaus Wowereit, has secured court approval to move forward with a plan to do away with Tempelhof and consolidate all airline operations at Berlin’s Schönefeld Airport. Berlin’s other airport, Tegel, is also slated for closure. Schönefeld, which is 13 miles from Berlin, would be enlarged under the plan, and renamed the Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport.

AOPA-Germany and a coalition of Tempelhof supporters have mobilized to help reverse the court decision and save the airport. A referendum was conducted to petition for a reversal; 170,000 votes were needed, and 177,952 were recorded. Some of the most enthusiastic support comes from those living near the airport.

In June 2007, AOPA-Germany organized a 180-airplane fly-in to Tempelhof to draw attention to the battle. Another such fly-in is scheduled for April.

The next step in the legal process is a binding referendum to reverse the court decision.

Investors at one point offered to take over Tempelhof’s buildings and create a hospital and spa center, but the proposal was rejected. The buildings’ office space—the world’s second largest, after the Pentagon—would remain intact under the government plan, owing to its historical significance. But the runways and airfield itself would presumably be replaced by apartment and commercial buildings. Other plans would either flood the airport and turn it into a lake, or make it into a park.

Built in 1923 and enlarged during the 1930s under the Hitler regime, Tempelhof is best known as the terminal that saved West Berlin from a Soviet blockade during the Berlin Airlift. After the blockade, Tempelhof continued to serve as a U.S. Air Force base until 1993. The first flights of the airlift began on June 26, 1948, making this year its sixtieth anniversary.

Those wishing to express their opinions can contact the mayor: Klaus Wowereit, Regierender Bürgermeister, Berliner Rathaus, 10871 Berlin, Germany.— Thomas A. Horne

New editors for AOPA's publications

Three new editors have joined the talented and aviation-knowledge-rich staff of AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training magazines. New Senior Editor Dave Hirschman has more than 1,000 hours as an aerobatic instructor. Formerly a reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he holds a master’s degree in journalism and is the author of two non-fiction books: Hijacked, published in 1998; and She’s Just Another Navy Pilot, published in 2000. Hirschman won AOPA’s 2007 Max Karant Award for his newspaper story about serving as flight instructor on a cross-country trip with his mother. He is an ATP and CFII specializing in aerobatic and tailwheel training with 5,000 total hours in aircraft ranging from J-3 Cubs to North American Texan. He owns a Vans RV-3.

Senior Editor Paul Richfield has more than 6,300 flight hours and qualifications that include ATP, CFI, and A&P. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and has been a writer and editor for numerous aviation-related publications. In 2002, he received an Aviation Journalist of the Year award from Britain’s Royal Aeronautical Society. Richfield owns an Aviat Husky.

Associate Editor Ian J. Twombly is new to the Publications department; however, he has a long association with AOPA. He worked in AOPA’s Pilot Information Center and the Government Affairs Division before pursuing an aviation-writing career. He has been flying for almost a decade, holds commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates, and is an aerobatic instructor.

What's in AOPA Flight Training this month?

  • Making Order from Chaos: How to play nicely with all the different airspace users you’re likely to encounter.
  • Bad Instructor or Bad Match? The decision to fire a flight instructor should not be taken lightly.
  • Basic VFR: Brush up on your understanding of airspace, visibility, and cloud clearance requirements.

Current AOPA members can add a subscription to AOPA Flight Training for $18 per year. For more information call 800-872-2672.

This month in aviation history

Compiled by Kate Opalewski

April 21, 1958 | An Air Force F100F jet fighter, from Nellis Air Force base, collides with a United Air Lines DC-7 near Las Vegas, killing both occupants of the fighter and all 47 persons aboard the passenger jet.

April 1, 1960 | The United States launches Tiros I, the first of a successful series of weather satellites.

April 1, 1960 | The Soviet Union informs Washington that it is ready to negotiate for regular airline flights between the two countries.

April 27, 1960 | The FAA announces a contract with the General Instrument Corporation for 38 radar bright display systems for air route traffic control centers.

April 26, 1963 | A split within the Air Line Pilots Association results in the formation of the Allied Pilots Association, representing American Airlines pilots.

April 17, 1964 | Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock finishes a 29-day flight in her Cessna 180, Spirit of Columbus. She is the first woman pilot to fly solo around the world.

April 1, 1967 | The Federal Aviation Agency becomes an organization within the Department of Transportation and receives a new name, the Federal Aviation Administration.

April 10, 1967 | Bill Lear sells controlling interest in Lear Jet Industries to Gates Rubber Company. The name is changed to Gates Learjet Corporation.

April 1972 | AOPA moves into new offices in the Air Rights Building at 7315 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, Maryland.

April 17, 1973 | Federal Express begins overnight air cargo operations.

April 4, 1975 | A regulation governing the installation of X-ray devices for screening carry-on luggage at airports becomes effective.

April 1, 1976 | Piper’s 100,000th airplane, a PA-31T Cheyenne II, is rolled out.

April 5, 1976 | Howard Hughes dies.

April 12, 1981 | Space shuttle Columbia launches from Cape Canaveral for its first mission.

April 1982 | AOPA forms an ultralight division and begins to provide a bimonthly magazine, Ultralight Pilot, to more than 11,000 members.

April 28, 1988 | An 18-foot gap tears open the fuselage of an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 in flight. Rapid decompression sweeps a flight attendant to her death, and eight people are seriously injured.

April 25, 1990 | The Hubble Space Telescope is launched aboard space shuttle Discovery.

April 30, 1992 | President George Bush signs an order authorizing the privatization of airports and other public assets built with federal assistance.

April 7, 1993 | President Clinton signs legislation creating the National Commission to Ensure a Strong, Competitive Airline Industry.

April 21, 1994 | Maj. Jacquelyn Susan “Jackie” Parker is the first female pilot assigned to an F-16 fighter squadron.

April 6, 1995 | Mooney produces its 10,000th aircraft.

April 11, 1996 | AOPA supports the Child Pilot Safety Act after Jessica Dubroff, a seven-year-old pilot in training, dies in an attempt to become the youngest student pilot to fly across the United States.

April 4, 2006 | The Cessna 172 Skyhawk turns 50.

Related Articles