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SENATE COMMITTEE AGREES WITH AOPA'S ADS-B OBJECTIONS
AOPA has been harshly critical of the FAA's ADS-B implementation plan. Now a key committee in Congress agrees with the association's concerns. The FAA's plan to mandate ADS-B "out" equipage by 2020 "provides no significant benefit for general aviation, just another box that the aircraft owner will have to buy and install as the 'price of admission' to Class A, B, and C airspace," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. The Senate Appropriations Committee, in its report to accompany the fiscal year 2009 Department of Transportation appropriations bill, came to a similar conclusion. Read more on AOPA Online.
YOUNG PILOTS GIVE NEW MEDICAL DURATION A POSITIVE DIAGNOSIS
The FAA's recent move to extend third class medicals from three to five years and first class medicals from six months to one year for pilots under 40 was met with mixed emotions from the aviation community. "Not surprisingly, pilots under 40 loved the move, while those over the age limit were upset to miss out on fewer trips to the AME," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. "AOPA will continue to work to make medical standards better reflect today's environment." Read more on AOPA Online.
HUSKY PILOT HELPS RESCUE MAN DYING IN DESERT
John Morgan and his wife Jan were flying their 2005 Husky A1-B low over the Black Rock Desert in Nevada on July 23 when they stumbled across what could have been a scene straight from the TV show CSI—a person lying face down in the sand with tire tracks all around. "I told my wife, 'That's a body.'" Morgan ought to know. He's a former police officer. "People die out there every year," he said. Although he was initially hesitant to approach the person in case it was someone pulling a prank, Morgan circled and marked the spot as a waypoint on his Garmin 396. Read more on AOPA Online.
AOPA INTRODUCES LAWMAKERS NATIONWIDE TO GA
When the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) held its legislative summit in New Orleans last week, AOPA was there to educate lawmakers and key staff members about what matters most to pilots, including protecting airports and keeping down the cost of flying. "Lawmakers have to understand the needs of general aviation as well as the real economic value it generates," said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of legislative affairs. Read more on AOPA Online.
PIPERJET FLIES FOR THE FIRST TIME
The PiperJet made its maiden flight shortly after 11 a.m. on July 30 at the Piper Aircraft plant in Vero Beach, Fla. This is the aircraft manufacturer's first jet in its 71-year history. The jet took off to the cheers of company employees and flew for nearly an hour, reaching 10,000 feet and a speed of 160 KTAS with pilots Dave Schwartz and Buddy Sessoms at the controls. The next 50 hours of testing will be devoted to proving what Piper promised to its customers, that the jet is capable of going 360 KTAS (it is redlined at 250 KIAS) and cruising at 35,000 feet. Its range is promised to be 1,300 nm. Read more on AOPA Online.
AROUND THE WORLD—JOB DONE!
AirJourney LLC's first annual around-the-world, guided general aviation trip finished successfully on July 20. The two-month-long odyssey began May 14 in Quebec City, Canada, and the 10-person, six-airplane group made 31 stops along the way. Read more about the trip in AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne's blog. Horne accompanied the group for part of the trip, from Canada to France.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Oshkosh News |
CIRRUS VISION SJ50 QUIETLY GREETS PUBLIC
The big thing about the first public flyby of the Cirrus Vision was the noise; there wasn't any. "The V-tail deflects the noise upward," said Kent Vandergrift, the Cirrus pilot who flew the jet to its world debut. The SJ50 flew from a staging location in Wisconsin to Oshkosh at 200 KIAS and 11,500 feet, since it is limited in performance during early testing. Read more on AOPA Online.
DIAMOND PROMISES PRESSURIZED DA50
Diamond Aircraft is proposing to build the first new pressurized piston single in decades. The company said this week that it will offer two versions of the DA50, the SuperStar and the Magnum. The Continental-powered, full-featured SuperStar will be pressurized to provide about a 12,000-foot cabin at 25,000 feet. Meanwhile, the Magnum will be powered by Diamond's new 170-hp Austro Engine AE 300, a jet-fuel burning engine. Read more on AOPA Online.
LYCOMING TO OFFER LSA ENGINE
Lycoming is entering the light sport aircraft (LSA) arena. At Oshkosh the company unveiled a new fuel-injected engine, derived from a model well known to general aviation. Dubbed the IO-233-LSA, the four-cylinder engine produces 100 hp at 2,400 rpm and has a 2,400-hour TBO. The engine is rooted in the familiar 235-model line, but the company took several steps to save weight with lighter parts. The engine has a dry weight of 200 to 210 pounds and burns 5.25 gph at 75 percent power. It comes standard with dual electronic spark ignition, throttle body fuel injection, and a lightweight starter and alternator. It can run on ethanol-free unleaded fuel. Lycoming expects to bring the engine to market next year under the ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) standards that govern the LSA industry. It did not announce a firm price.
A DREAM OF A FLYING MACHINE TAKES OFF
For 27 years Glenn Martin, 48, of Christchurch, New Zealand, has dreamed of lifting into the air on ducted fans of his own design. With the help of his family, his dream has come true: The Martin Jetpack flew publicly at Oshkosh on July 29. Martin's 16-year-old son Harrison lifted off and stayed aloft for 40 seconds in front of nearly 2,000 spectators. Read more on AOPA Online and watch a video of the Jetpack in flight.
SKYCATCHER CATCHING ON WITH CESSNA VISITORS
Oshkosh visitors breezed right by sleek Citations and rugged Stationairs at the Cessna booth, beating feet to get a look at the first production SkyCatcher light sport airplane. The Model 162 SkyCatcher includes a production interior. Since the launch of the perky LSA last year, Cessna has taken orders for more than 1,000 SkyCatchers and completed three airframes for the program's development. The 162 prototype and the first production aircraft have accumulated more than 90 hours for ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) flight testing, which will be completed later this year. Read more on AOPA Online.
AVIDYNE UNVEILS SMALLER RETROFIT GLASS
Avidyne on July 28 announced a new 8-inch primary flight display meant to fit in most common general aviation airplanes. The new PFD4000, a six-pack replacement, is the smallest of Avidyne’s Entegra line, and will now make it possible for more owners to retrofit with the company’s glass display offerings. “It will help us get into airplanes where our 10.4-inch product wouldn’t fit,” said Tom Harper, marketing director. Read more on AOPA Online.
BUILD A PLANE BUILDS ON EARLY SUCCESS
Build A Plane and Cessna Aircraft have teamed to bring an aviation-themed national build challenge to schools across the country. As part of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) initiative to get children more interested in math, science, and technology, Build A Plane, Cessna, and Parametric Technology Corporation will be supplying computer-aided design software to schools for kids to design new aircraft. The program allows students to collaborate via the Web with engineers from the DOE and Cessna. Read more on AOPA Online.
GLASS SWEEPS DRAWS THE CROWDS
AOPA's Big Yellow Tent was a beacon, drawing thousands of visitors at Oshkosh. While many came for the giveaways, the real draw was AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Archer. The fully glass-equipped airplane is almost finished, and members loved the beautiful metallic paint, black leather seats, avionics, and engine work so much they were asking who did the work. Here's a hint: All three of the shops are listed on the airplane somewhere, but you can also find them on our sweeps page. The Archer has Aspen Avionics EFD1000 serial No. 1, and it is running like a top. Read more about the Archer at Oshkosh in AOPA Pilot Associate Editor Ian Twombly's blog.
PILOTS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AOPA'S FREE LEGAL ADVICE AT OSHKOSH
Forget to close a flight plan after landing? Have a barrier preventing you from getting your medical certificate? Ever receive an FAA letter of investigation? If so, you're like the many AOPA members who discussed these topics with AOPA's Legal Services Plan panel attorneys on July 29 at Oshkosh. Pilots could talk to AOPA panel attorneys and receive free legal advice based on their individual case. This was the first time AOPA has offered the service on-site. If you couldn't make it to Oshkosh, you'll have another chance for free in-person legal advice. More panel attorneys will be available on-site at AOPA Expo in San Jose, Calif., from Nov. 6 through 8.
AIRCRAFT ABOUND AT AEROSHELL SQUARE
Couldn't make it to Oshkosh? Browse the aircraft at the center of the show—Aeroshell Square—in our online slide show. Check out slide shows of warbirds and AOPA events at the Big Yellow Tent, along with videos on our multimedia page.
For more industry news, AOPA happenings, and photo galleries, see our Oshkosh News page.
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| Safety & Proficiency |
ENGINE FAILURE ON CLIMBOUT LEADS TO IMPOSSIBLE TURN
It's the stuff of nightmares. You launch uneventfully, engine roaring at full power until about 500 feet agl, and then—silence. The engine dies. As you pitch down to avoid a stall, the windscreen fills with rapidly approaching terrain. Behind you lies a mile of smooth, level pavement, but getting there requires one of aviation's most notorious maneuvers: the "impossible turn." What would you do? On Oct. 28, 2006, a Vans RV-6 experienced a loss of engine power on climbout from Turlock Municipal Airport in Turlock, Calif. While the pilot was maneuvering to return to the runway, the aircraft stalled and struck the ground. Miraculously, the pilot survived. Read what the experience taught him in this special report prepared by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
SAFETY OUTREACH TARGETS NEW PRIVATE, INSTRUMENT PILOTS
Sound aeronautical decision making is a hallmark of safe flying, and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation recently impressed this fact upon more than 8,800 new private and instrument-rated pilots. Supported in part by an FAA grant, the project involved sending free copies of a DVD containing interactive scenarios to all pilots who had earned their private certificate or instrument rating between November 2007 and May 2008. The program now moves to a monthly cycle, ensuring timely recognition of pilot achievement while putting valuable safety resources directly into the hands of those who are beginning new adventures in aviation. For tips on how to make consistently good decisions about flying, see the foundation's safety advisor.
FSS TIP OF THE WEEK: GET A SPEEDY BRIEFING
When a pilot calls for a preflight briefing, the specialists are tasked with making sure they provide the pilot with very specific information, including current adverse conditions such as icing and thunderstorms. If you just want certain information for flight planning purposes, explain that you do not need adverse conditions and then state the information you would like. Doing this allows the briefer to give you the information you need right away. For more flight service tips, download AOPA's quick reference card and take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online minicourse.
WHEN GLASS COCKPITS GO BLACK
Last week the NTSB announced massive display failures on Airbus aircraft. There were 49 failures on Airbus 319 and 320 aircraft, including seven incidents in which all six screens failed simultaneously. Didn't think that was possible? Neither did the manufacturer, the FAA, or the NTSB. As light GA manufacturers rush into glass cockpits, is it unseemly to ask what assurance we have that there will not be a catastrophic failure or at least a significant failure in our less robust systems? Read more in AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg's latest blog.
| 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 allowed to receive flight instruction in my homebuilt airplane during the flight-test period?
Answer: No. Advisory Circular 20-27F (page 13) states that you may not receive flight instruction or carry passengers in your homebuilt airplane during the flight-test phase. Interested in learning more about homebuilt aircraft? View our subject report.
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. Call 800/872-2672, or e-mail to [email protected]. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to [email protected].
| 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.
| Aviation Events & Weather |
Looking for something to do this weekend? Want to plan an aviation getaway? See our online calendar of events. We've enhanced our calendar so that with one click, you can see all of the events listed in the calendar regions you selected when personalizing ePilot. Now you can browse events listed two weeks to a few months out to make your planning easier. Before you take off on an adventure, make sure you check our current aviation weather provided by Jeppesen.
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 Champaign, Ill., and Fort Worth, Texas, Aug. 2 and 3; Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 9 and 10; Long Beach, Calif., Reno, Nev., and Allentown, Pa., Aug. 16 and 17. 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 Wichita, Kan.; Ypsilanti, Mich.; and Germantown, Tenn., on Sept. 8. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.