This ePilot is sponsored by
Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].
421 Aviation Way
Frederick, MD 21701
Tel: 800/USA-AOPA or
Copyright Â© 2008 AOPA.
| Click here to view this week's custom content online. |
SENATE MAY VOTE ON FAA FUNDING BILL SOON
AOPA is in high gear as the Senate makes progress on its long-anticipated FAA funding bill. The bill could come up for first consideration in the next 24 hours, with a floor vote sometime next week. Any bill has to make its way through a labyrinth of procedural rules. "This is priority No. 1 for the association," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We're in constant communication and attending meetings with key senators and their staff members. Our goal is to eliminate user fees in favor of fuel taxes to fund air traffic control modernization." Members should be on alert for a possible e-mail request from Boyer about contacting senators and defeating user fees. Read more on AOPA Online.
NO DEAL ON MAINE TAX ISSUE
You could get slapped with a steep tax bill if you fly into Maine within the first year after buying your aircraft. The Maine legislature gutted a bill that AOPA had helped develop to exempt out-of-state aircraft owners from the 6-percent use tax. The last-minute change to the bill exempts charity and compassion flights from the 20-day limit a new aircraft can be in Maine without being taxed, but it does not exempt an aircraft's time spent in the state because of poor weather or business or pleasure trips. Time spent in the state for maintenance already is exempt. Read more on AOPA Online.
GERMAN DIESEL ENGINE FOUNDER OUSTED FROM COMPANY
The supervisory board of Thielert AG said on April 23 that it has found the company’s financial statements for 2003 through 2005 to be incorrect, and has dismissed management board members Frank Thielert and financial chief Roswitha Grosser. A statement posted on the company’s Web site said investors have discontinued support for the company's restructuring package. On April 24 the company was forced to file for insolvency, the term used in Europe for bankruptcy. Read more on AOPA Online.
GREEN IDEA: OYSTERS HELP FIGHT AIRCRAFT CORROSION
Scientists are once again turning to the ocean to find solutions for aerospace. This time they're irritating oysters and not feeling the slightest bit bad about it. The University of Dayton Research Institute is conducting experiments in which they prompt oysters to produce pearl-like metal coatings. The coatings could be used to protect aircraft from corrosion. Read more on AOPA Online.
ENTREPRENEUR'S ROUND-THE-WORLD FLIGHT WINS FOR CHARITY
When Jared Isaacman lifted off, he intended to set a round-the-world speed record to raise money and awareness for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey, a charity that grants wishes to critically ill children. Although he returned home this month without the desired record, the $50,000 his effort raised will make dreams come true. Isaacman, the 25-year-old founder and CEO of United Bank Card Inc., a major credit card transaction processor, launched March 28 in a Cessna Mustang from New Jersey's Morristown Municipal Airport. But he had to abandon the record attempt when he was denied permission to fly over or land in India. Read more on AOPA Online.
STRANGE BREW: BUSINESSMAN COMBINES AVIATION, BEER MAKING
Sometimes things in life come together in mysterious ways. Ben Cook of Redlands, Calif., managed to capitalize on flying and beer drinking, two typically incompatible endeavors, at least when done less than eight hours apart. Lately he's been working ridiculous hours, toiling away in a warehouse building near Redlands Municipal Airport. With all the plumbing, chemicals, and strange noises emanating from the 4,640-square-foot facility, you'd think he was building a spacecraft. Instead, welcome to the Hangar 24 Craft Brewery. Read more on AOPA Online.
JOY OF FLIGHT: ICE CREAM WITH CHARLES LINDBERGH
Go behind the scenes of the building of the Spirit of St. Louis and go for a ride in its sister ship in Guss Eoff's article, "Ice cream with Charles Lindbergh," the latest installment in the "Joy of Flight" series. To submit a story about general aviation adventures, send us an e-mail. Past articles are available online.
MENTOR HELPS STUDENT OVERCOME TWISTS AND TURNS OF TRAINING
Life's twists and turns can make flight training a challenge to complete. And that's why having a mentor—someone to provide encouragement—makes all the difference in seeing it through to the end. For Greg Martin, it's all about perseverance. Like a lot of flight students, he wasn't completely comfortable with his instructor, so he found a new one. "If you're not connecting with your instructor, then you need to find another," said Martin, who won an AOPA flight training scholarship in 2007. He did find another and will be ready to solo in the next few weeks. Flying three days a week, he's on track to earn his certificate by June. Read more on AOPA Online.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Safety & Proficiency |
NEW WEATHER COURSE FOCUSES ON BIG PICTURE
Before you can make wise go/no-go weather decisions, you need to understand the big picture. Weather Wise: Air Masses and Fronts is a new interactive online course from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation that focuses on the forces that drive weather—air mass characteristics, high- and low-pressure systems, and fronts. The free course also offers a season-by-season overview of regional weather and information about online weather sources. Air Masses and Fronts is the third course in the "Weather Wise" series. It takes about an hour to complete and qualifies for AOPA Accident Forgiveness and the FAA Wings program.
STUDY STALLS AND SPINS TO STAY SAFE
If you want to keep the blue side up, you need to know more than the stall speed of the airplane you fly. Do you know what really causes an aircraft to stall and spin, or the difference between a spin and a spiral? Test your knowledge with the newest Safety Quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Then learn the truth behind common myths about stalls and spins in the foundation's special report on stall/spin accidents. If you need another challenge, check out other Safety Quizzes.
FSS TIP OF THE WEEK: EXPEDITE YOUR IFR CLEARANCE
Waiting a long time for your IFR departure clearance can be frustrating—especially when you remember the Hobbs meter is ticking and the avgas is burning. AOPA wants to help you get the most from your flying dollar and flight service, so follow this helpful FSS tip. If you're trying to depart from a nontowered airport without a remote communications frequency, call flight service's dedicated IFR clearance delivery telephone number (888/766-8267) to expedite your clearance. For more flight service tips, see AOPA's AFSS Telephone Briefing Tips and Techniques card, and take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online minicourse A Pilot's Guide to Flight Service . To help FSS run smoothly, call 888/358-7782 to report what worked and what didn't.
| Inside AOPA |
PHILANTHROPY REPORT RECOGNIZES DONORS, SUCCESSES
For the first time, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has produced an interactive electronic edition of its annual Safety and Philanthropy Report recognizing the past year's successes and the donors who made them possible. Among the foundation's top achievements in 2007 were a 39-percent increase in the use of online safety courses and an 11-percent increase in attendance at live safety seminars. Read more on AOPA Online.
GETTING YOUR REWARDS IS EASY WITH AOPA CREDIT CARD
You know that you automatically earn reward points every time you use your AOPA WorldPoints credit card from Bank of America. But do you know how easy it is redeem those rewards? You can do it in five minutes or less with a phone call to 800/434-8313 or a visit to the WorldPoints Web site. In fact, many rewards, including cash, can be redeemed 24/7. Read more on AOPA Online.
| Quiz Me |
Here's a question asked by an AOPA member who contacted our aviation services staff through the AOPA Pilot Information Center. Test your knowledge.
Question: Am I required to have a current medical to act as a safety pilot while my friend (who has a current medical) practices instrument approaches?
Answer: Yes, a safety pilot is always required to have a current medical. When operating an aircraft under simulated instrument conditions, FAR 91.109(b) requires a qualified safety pilot be in the other control seat. The safety pilot is considered a "required pilot flight crewmember" and is therefore required to hold at least a current third class medical certificate per FAR 61.3(c)(1), even if that person is not acting as the PIC. For more information, view our subject report.
Got a question for our aviation services staff? The AOPA Pilot Information Center is is at your service. Call toll-free 800/872-2672 to speak to a specialist about any general aviation topic. Or e-mail to [email protected]. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to [email protected].
| Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Update |
THOSE BURNING QUESTIONS
N208GG is resting comfortably in the hangar this week, undergoing additional work on the glass panel. While the work continues, we thought we would take a short break to answer your questions. When will the flight simulator download be released? What is the airplane's useful load? What's it like flying the Aspen Avionics EFD1000 primary flight display? Learn the answers to these and more questions in this week's update.
| Coming up in 'AOPA Pilot' |
Check out the TBM850 with the Garmin G1000, see how a new wing package elevates the Cirrus SR20-G3, and read the AOPA and AOPA Air Safety Foundation's annual reports. It's all in the May issue of AOPA Pilot, which will be in your mailbox shortly. Or, view it online.
| Picture Perfect |
The AOPA Online Gallery allows you to download your favorite aviation images to use for wallpaper or send a personalized e-card. Search the hundreds of fabulous images in our archives and select your favorites today! For more details, see AOPA Online.
| Weekend Weather |
| ePilot Calendar |
UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS:
Cincinnati, Ohio. Lunken Airport Days and Warbird Fly-In takes place April 26 and 27 at Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Field (LUK). For more information, contact Cheryl Popp, 513/489-2022, or visit the Web site.
Jackson, Miss. An airfest and airshow takes place April 26 at Hawkins Field (HKS). For more information, call 601/939-5631 or visit the Web site.
Galveston, Texas. The eighteenth annual Spirit of Flight Airshow takes place April 26 and 27 at Scholes International at Galveston (GLS). For more information, contact Elizabeth Smith, 409/740/7722, or visit the Web site.
Burlington, N.C. A spring vintage aircraft fly-in takes place May 2 through 4 at Burlington-Alamance Regional (BUY). For more information, contact Jim Wilson, 843/753-7138.
East Gull Lake, Minn. The Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association annual spring fly-in and safety seminar takes place May 2 through 4 at East Gull Lake (9Y2). For more information, contact the Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association, 651/210-1220, or visit the Web site.
Abilene, Texas. A Dyess Big Country Airfest takes place May 3 at Dyess AFB (DYS). For more information, contact 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs, 325/696-2863, or visit the Web site.
San Diego, Calif. The Fleet Week San Diego Sea and Air Parade takes place May 3 at San Diego Bay. For more information, visit the Web site.
Anchorage, Alaska. The Alaska State Aviation Trade Show and Conference takes place May 3 and 4 at Ted Stevens Anchorage International (ANC). For more information, contact Dee Hanson, 907/245-1251, or visit the Web site.
To submit an event to the calendar or to search all events visit AOPA Online. For airport details, including FBO fuel prices, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online.
FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Pensacola, Fla., Kansas City, Mo., and Houston, May 3 and 4; and Sacramento, Calif., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Albany, N.Y., May 17 and 18. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online. Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
AOPA AIR SAFETY FOUNDATION SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in Boise, Idaho, and Cheswick, Pa., April 28; New Cumberland, Pa., and Salt Lake City, April 29; Towson, Md., and Bethlehem, Pa., April 30; Plymouth Meeting, Pa., May 1; Poughkeepsie, N.Y., May 5; Cohoes, N.Y., May 6; Syracuse, N.Y., May 7; and Rochester, N.Y., May 8. The topic is "Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make." For details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.