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Today's Top Stories
If Congress were to include the aviation sector in its economic stimulus packages, more than 40,000 high-paying jobs would be created, aviation safety would be improved, and there would be positive effects for the environment, according to a coalition of aviation organizations. The group of 12, including AOPA, told Senate and House leaders that the industry's proposals would, "not only achieve short term economic stimulus goals, but would also lead to long-term efficiencies and economic growth." Read more >>
Aviation a critical element of infrastructure stimulus package
The National Journal asked, "How should the infrastructure stimulus be spent?" Journal contributor and AOPA President-elect Craig Fuller points out that aviation should be one critical element of President-elect Barack Obama's stimulus package. During an interview with Aero-News, Fuller gives a behind-the-scenes look at his conversations with Obama's Department of Transportation transition team, including getting aviation added into an economic stimulus package.
A midair on Dec. 6 over the Florida Everglades involved a Cessna 172 and Piper PA-44 Seminole on training flights. The student and instructor in each aircraft were killed. The accident occurred in visual meteorological conditions in a common training area. The NTSB has not yet issued its preliminary report on the accident. "Although midair collisions are extremely rare, the high-traffic airspace in this area requires all pilots to exercise extreme vigilance," said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Read more >>
Arctic rescue saves ferry pilots
A Cessna 337 Skymaster on a transatlantic ferry flight made a forced landing on an ice floe near remote Baffin Island on Dec. 7, and the two pilots survived 18 hours in sub-zero temperatures by walking. The twin-engine, centerline-thrust airplane reportedly lost power in both engines and went down on an ice floe. But the ice was less than a foot thick, and the plane broke through and sank, taking the pilots' life raft and survival gear with it. Read more >>
Summit highlights large aircraft security proposal
During a Dec. 10 aviation security summit in Washington, D.C., with airport officials and representatives from the Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security, AOPA expressed members' concerns about the proposed Large Aircraft Security Program. The rule represents an unprecedented intrusion on general aviation by applying commercial standards. Read more >>
Sandel wins patent infringement case
A jury in Delaware Federal Court has determined that Sandel Avionics did not infringe on Honeywell International patents for aircraft terrain warning systems. The Dec. 5 ruling followed a week-long trial and five hours of jury deliberations. A Honeywell Aerospace spokesman said Dec. 11 that the company is disappointed and believes the jury "erred in its findings." Read more >>
Chart availability could be compromised in '09
An FAA plan to cut costs could end up costing pilots. The agency wants to reduce the number of chart vendors to only those selling at least $5,000 worth of charts annually. Currently, businesses need to sell more than $500 worth each year to be a charting agent. The new threshold would take place Oct. 1, 2009. According to an AOPA survey of 30 randomly selected aviation businesses that sell charts, only six would be qualified to continue. Read more >>
Reservations required at N.Y. Class B airports
General aviation pilots flying into John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty International will have to reserve a slot when arriving or departing during certain times of the day, whether flying IFR or VFR. The slot reservation requirement for the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan airports went into effect Dec. 9. Read more >>
Redundant reporting requirements in NTSB proposal
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) wants to increase the number of events that require immediate notification, some of which are already reported by pilots to the FAA. In comments filed Dec. 8 with the agency, AOPA asked the NTSB to be more specific about its reporting requests to prevent confusion. AOPA also asked the agency to avoid creating duplicate reporting requirements. Read more >>
Cessna slows construction of new buildings
Cessna Aircraft Company has halted a $13 million expansion at its Pawnee, Kan., facility. A construction company filed a building permit for the project on Oct. 1 but was pulled off the job before major work could start. Read more >>
Phenom 100 to get FAA certification soon
Brazilian manufacturer Embraer on Dec. 9 announced that its Phenom 100 very light jet has earned type certification from Brazil's National Civil Aviation Authority. FAA certification is expected "soon," according to Embraer. In related news, the company on Dec. 4 began construction on what will be a 149,500-square-foot, $50 million assembly and completions plant. Located at Florida's Melbourne International Airport, the plant will serve as a U.S. final assembly, paint, and interior facility for new Phenom 100s and 300s. The plant should open for business in 2010. Read more >>
New amateur rocket rules won't lead to TFRs
The FAA has released new rules governing amateur rocket flights, and the agency responded directly to AOPA's concerns about temporary flight restrictions (TFRs). In comments filed with the FAA last year, AOPA had asked the agency to clarify language in a proposed update of the rules to ensure that TFRs would not be used to segregate amateur rockets from the national airspace system. In its final rule the FAA specifically noted that the only change is in the timeline for providing information to air traffic control, and not to notam requirements or TFR procedures.
Never Again Online: The missing link
A 17-year-old pilot and his buddies get more than they bargain for when they depart South Lake Tahoe later than planned after a short getaway. Read more in the latest installment of Never Again Online. Enjoy the lessons you learn from these pilots' first-hand accounts in Never Again? Listen to more stories in AOPA's Never Again Podcast directory.
New quiz covers cold hard facts of icing
For light GA aircraft, structural icing is one of the greatest hazards of winter flying, accounting for more than 150 accidents during a recent 10-year period. Ice can accumulate quickly, decreasing lift and increasing drag to the point where continued flight is impossible. Learn how to avoid icing conditions (and what to do if you fly into the unexpected) with the latest safety quiz from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Then expand your knowledge with the foundation's other cold-weather resources.
Don't get caught by treacherous terrain
When it comes to traveling for the holidays, there's no better means than GA. You get to avoid long car rides and security lines, and you can set your own schedule. But if your holiday flying takes you along routes you rarely travel—especially through the mountains—be sure you've done your homework before taking off. Read more >>
Improve your safety by learning from others
Gain invaluable knowledge about flying safely by learning from the mistakes of others. Using your ePilot personalization preferences, like "piston single-engine" or "turbine," the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Accident Database generates a list of accidents that have been added to the database in the past 30 days. If you haven't personalized your newsletter, select your aircraft preferences from the "types of aircraft" section on the ePilot personalization page.
Airport Support Network
Community, pilots, AOPA come together at North Las Vegas
A recent open house at North Las Vegas Airport in Clark County, Nevada, brought out hundreds of local community members for a chance to learn about the value of their airport even as county officials seek authority to restrict access to the field. The event was designed to help community members get to know their airport and understand its importance in the wake of high profile accidents that have generated opposition to the field. Read more >>
Florida airport earns good will through pilot outreach
The pilots who use Florida's Venice Municipal are excited about their airport, and they're hoping their enthusiasm is contagious. Using a local holiday parade and airport birthday celebration to reach out to the nonflying public, pilots helped engender good will for their airport despite long-running battles over noise and safety issues. More than 3,000 people attended the Dec. 6 birthday bash and airport open house for Venice Municipal, while thousands of others saw the airport in a new light after the Venice Aviation Society Inc. (VASI), a local pilots group, had a float in the community's holiday parade. Read more >>
On the heels of approving a major long-term development agreement for Oceanside Municipal Airport, the city is taking action to prevent the sale of airport land, asking a federal judge to sort out the controversy over nearly 15 acres of property. Read more >>
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit the ASN web site.
Business aircraft as scapegoats
Let's forgo the debate about what a bad PR move it was for the top executives of the Big Three automakers to each fly a business jet to Washington to plead for money from Congress. And for Ford and GM then to immediately cave in to the resulting media storm and vow to sell their business airplanes and close their flight departments. Chrysler charters business airplanes. The latest—and most disturbing—news is that the government's proposal for boot-strapping the manufacturers out of their financial quagmire requires them to sell their airplanes and to not use general aviation aircraft in conducting their business. Read more in AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Thomas B. Haines latest blog entry.
Aircraft placards: The good and the absurd
There's a lot of wisdom in cockpit placards. But there's plenty of absurdity, too. Take, for example, "Minimum Flight Crew: One," posted on a BE-36 Bonanza. Read more of the comical placards that AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirshman points out in his latest blog entry. Share some of the humorous ones you've seen in the aircraft you fly.
Confession is good for the soul, and it's good for aviation safety. Volunteering to the community that you screwed up gets the problem out where all can look at it and work on future prevention. Chime in on AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg's latest blog entry.
Safety endowment passes milestone
Along with a passion for one another that lasted more 56 years, Glenn and Erral Lea Plymate shared a love of flying. In an effort to keep Erral's memory alive and keep GA strong, Glenn and AOPA have built a meaningful safety endowment. Read more >>
Gift ideas for the pilot in your life
Looking for something useful to give your pilot friends and family members? Check out AOPA's 2008 Holiday Gift Guide. See products that include GPS receivers, leather flight jackets, a fingertip oximeter, sunglasses, headsets, flight simulators, flight bags, and battery caddies.
Support air safety with 2009 calendar
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation calendar program is a way to help support free aviation safety programs. Anyone wishing to receive the Air Safety Foundation calendar, which features a different airplane and safety tip each month, may do so by becoming a donor with a gift of $10 or more. For more information, call 800/USA-AOPA.
Changing mailing or e-mail addresses? Click here to update.
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: What is the air-to-air communication frequency I should use when trying to talk to another aircraft in flight?
Answer: Chapter 4-1-11 of the Aeronautical Information Manual lists 122.75 MHz as the air-to-air frequency for fixed-wing aircraft and 123.025 MHz for general aviation helicopters. Because they are needed for important information such as communicating intentions and traffic position reports, CTAF and unicom frequencies should not be used for nonessential conversations.
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
The work is never finished
While we like to say final work on the sweepstakes is done, the truth is it's an airplane and that means the work is never really complete. In the past few weeks we've tightened up some squawks in our quest to finish the perfect airplane. See this week's sweepstakes update to learn what's been done and what's left on the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer.
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!
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].
This issue of ePilot was created for &fname; &lname; at &*TO;
Editorial Team : ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller | Contributors: Warren Morningstar, Alton Marsh