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Today's Top Stories
GA emissions nearly imperceptible, AOPA tells EPA
AOPA filed formal comments in response to an Environmental Protection Agency notice concerning greenhouse gas emissions, pointing out that piston powered aircraft account for approximately one-tenth of 1 percent of total emissions. AOPA added that the figure could fall further as technological changes make GA increasingly environmentally friendly. Read more >>
Against the backdrop of an official declaration that the U.S economy has been in recession since 2007, state and local officials are calling on Congress and President-elect Barack Obama for an economic stimulus plan that includes extensive infrastructure investment. AOPA is making the case that aviation should not be forgotten in this effort. Read more >>
New DHS secretary named
President-elect Barack Obama has nominated Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as the new secretary of homeland security. "We look forward to working with Gov. Napolitano in her new role as the secretary of homeland security," said AOPA President-elect Craig Fuller. "From our perspective, GA has taken significant steps to improve security. We hope that under this new administration any proposal regarding general aviation will be based on intelligence rather than perceived threats." Learn more about the nominations Obama has made and what cabinet positions are important to GA.
Pilot vigilance needed during presidential transition
The recent tragic events in India (where local citizens noted suspicious activity) and a reported subway threat to New York underscore the possibility of a terrorist attack on the United States. Both terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the attacks on the bus and subway system in London happened shortly after new administrations came into power. "This is a time for all Americans to exercise heightened vigilance," said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of security. "General aviation pilots already have a program in place that they can follow— AOPA's Airport Watch." Read more >>
AOPA offers guidance for international GA flights
New flight and passenger information requirements for international general aviation flights are scheduled to go into effect on May 18, 2009, as part of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) final rule issued in November. AOPA is offering guidance on how to comply with the new procedures. "While AOPA helped to mitigate the impact this rule will have on pilots, there are some new procedures that pilots need to be aware of before flying internationally," said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of security. "We are continuing our work with the CBP to streamline the process, but in the meantime, we've developed this guide." Read more >>
Boyer explains impact of presidential TFRs
Chicago residents are just beginning to come to grips with what it means to them to have the President of the United States living in their hometown. Local reporters are exploring the impact of presidential security arrangements. One reporter, WMAQ-TV's Phil Rogers, looked into what having a presidential vacation home in a major metropolitan area would mean to aviation. Rogers is himself a pilot and well versed in general aviation issues. Read more >>
AOPA honors dedication of key FAA employee
If you require a special issuance medical, there's a good chance Dr. Warren Silberman, manager of the FAA's aerospace medical certification division in Oklahoma City, Okla., will be involved at some level. To thank Silberman for his hard work in ensuring that medically qualified pilots get their medical certificates and his dedication to aviation safety, AOPA presented him with a citation Dec. 2. Read more >>
Cirrus Design could start deliveries of the Cirrus Vision SJ50 single-engine personal jet as soon as 2010 but no later than 2012, company officials said during a live Internet press conference Dec. 3. Asked if the price of the jet will remain at approximately $1.3 million, company officials said recalculations are in progress, but no details were released. The final cost depends on what happens to the economy during the approximately two years remaining before deliveries begin. Before the end of 2008 Cirrus is expected to file papers with the FAA to begin the certification process. Read more >>
No arms, no problem
Tucson-based motivational speaker Jessica Cox, 25, knew once she started flying lessons in a Cessna that she never would be able to finish. The Cessna wasn't designed for someone born without arms. Cox had a valid and unrestricted driver's license, however, and that meant she qualified medically to fly in the light sport aircraft category. And that opened the door to earning her pilot certificate. Read more in the December 2008 edition of AOPA Pilot.
Irving flies airplane built by teens
All of the hard work teenagers put into building an airplane this summer paid off when Barrington Irving recently flew it for the first time. Irving was the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world in 2007. Read more >>
Airlifts spread holiday cheer to children
Many children this holiday season will be looking to the skies—not for a sleigh with a man in a bright red suit and eight tiny reindeer, but for a pilot in a small airplane. Pilots nationwide are helping organizations collect and deliver presents that will find their way to grateful children. Efforts range from a dozen aircraft and pilots to hundreds of volunteers flying thousands of toys. Read more >>
Jeppesen honors Boyer
AOPA and chart-maker Jeppesen have enjoyed a special relationship over the last two decades. That relationship has benefited AOPA members in many ways, from the state-of-the-art AOPA Internet Flight Planner to the online Flight Instructor Renewal Course through the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. AOPA President Phil Boyer and Jeppesen President and CEO Mark Van Tine have had a close professional association even pre-dating Boyer's 18 years in AOPA's left seat. That association was fittingly celebrated Dec. 2 with a surprise visit by Jeppesen officials to AOPA's Washington, D.C., office and a special presentation to Boyer. Read more >>
AOPA Internet Flight Planner ready to fly
The next generation of flight planning is here with the official launch of the AOPA Internet Flight Planner (AIFP). The new flight planning tool concluded beta testing on Dec. 2, after receiving member input for more than one month. Testers have been amazed by the new flight planner's capabilities. Because AIFP is Internet-based, it will work on Macs as well as PCs and Linux-based systems, and it can be accessed from any computer, anywhere in the world with Internet access. It will replace AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner, which will retire from service on Jan. 16, 2009. Read more >>
Fake one-wing airplane video fools public
Some people will believe anything they see when it comes to aviation. An online video has many thinking that a pilot safely landed his aircraft after one wing came off in flight. Watch the video, and read commentary debunking the video on Examiner.com.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
Frost, snow, and ice accumulations no thicker or rougher than a piece of coarse sandpaper can reduce lift by 30 percent and increase drag up to 40 percent. Larger accretions can reduce lift even more, sometimes with tragic consequences. On Dec. 5, 2001, a Cessna 182 took off from Prescott, Ariz., with one-quarter to one-half inch of ice adhering to the tops of the wings. The pilot had assured the passengers that "once they got up in the air, the ice would melt at higher altitudes." The airplane never got higher than 300 feet agl. It stalled on climbout, crashed, and burned. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
Short runways have always posed a challenge to pilots. John Cutcher, a pilot examiner at the Baltimore Flight Standards District Office who is based at Lee Airport (ANP) in Annapolis, Md., came up with a clever idea that would mark the end of the first third of the runway. Find out more in AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg's latest blog entry.
ASRS could help save your certificate
AOPA Chief Legal Officer John Yodice talks about FAA enforcement actions and protecting your pilot certificate with NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) during a video interview with AeroNews. Learn more about the ASRS and download the form on AOPA Online.
The ultimate holiday gift
Want to put a little something special under the tree—or in the hangar—this holiday season? An airplane may be your idea of the perfect gift to give or to get, and there are some terrific bargains available right now. But before you make this major purchase, be sure you know what kind of airplane will really meet your needs. It's easy to make the mistake of buying too much, or too little, airplane for how you fly. To be sure you get the best plane for your purposes, and that you don't overlook any important considerations like insurance requirements or taxes, check out AOPA's online subject report "Tips on Buying Used Aircraft." Or call the experts in AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA.
Great deals today equal GA support for tomorrow
There's no argument these are challenging financial times, but for AOPA members looking for great values, now is the perfect time to find unheard of incentives and discounts on all types of aviation products and merchandise. If you are shopping around, we hope you'll give strong consideration to the products and services from the companies that support GA and your association by advertising in AOPA publications. Read more >>
Stretch your aviation dollar with the best information available
Getting the right answers to your aviation-related questions can save you time and money. Fortunately as an AOPA member you already have free access to the best information resource anywhere. The experts in AOPA's Pilot Information Center are available Monday through Friday to answer all your aviation questions. Whether you need to know more about ADS-B, new customs regulations, or changes to ELT requirements, our experts have the answers. When you call, you'll be connected to an active pilot who can answer your questions from the pilot's perspective. In 2008, our experts will answer more than 75,000 phone calls from members. The call is toll-free and so are the answers, so take advantage of this incomparable member benefit. Call today at 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672).
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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: Where in the Federal Aviation Regulations does it explain that a knowledge test is valid for only 24 calendar months?
Answer: FAR 61.39 lists the prerequisites for practical tests, and the first item listed states an applicant must, "pass the required knowledge test within the 24-calendar-month period preceding the month the applicant completes the practical test."
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].
Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Update
What would you do with the keys?
You've just been handed the keys to a completely refurbished 1976 Piper Archer II. It has a glass panel, new leather interior, an overhauled engine, and new paint. What would you do with the keys? We posed that question a few weeks ago on the sweepstakes homepage, and answers have been flooding in ever since. Learn what some members would do, and discover what sweepstakes winners have done in the past. To be entered for a chance to win the 2008 Get Your Glass Archer, join AOPA or renew your membership by Dec. 31.
AOPA's new online photo gallery allows you to upload your own aviation photography as well as view, rate, and comment on others' photos. Your favorite aviation images from AOPA Pilot are still available online through this new gallery. Take a look, and submit your own photos!
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We're looking for an Aviation Technical Specialist, a Senior Designer, a Graphic Designer, a Business Analyst, and a Marketing Manager. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
Aviation Events & Weather
Want something to do this weekend? Wanting 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.
Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Orlando, Fla., Dec. 13 and 14; and San Antonio, Portland, Ore., and Rochester, N.Y., Jan. 3 and 4. For a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.
Can't make it in person? Sign up for the CFI Refresher Online.
Got news? Contact ePilot. Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].
Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributors: Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh