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Today's Top Stories
Ill. Rep. LaHood expected to be nominated as DOT Secretary
As of AOPA ePilot’s publication deadline, President-elect Barack Obama was expected to nominate retiring Illinois Rep. Ray LaHood as Secretary of Transportation on Dec. 19. The seven-term congressman has served on the House aviation subcommittee and had earned AOPA’s endorsement for election. LaHood is a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “The Appropriations Committee has adamantly opposed aviation user fees, and with that experience, his input at the White House should be helpful to GA. His past efforts in supporting GA airports indicate that he understands the importance of general aviation to the national transportation infrastructure," said incoming AOPA President Craig Fuller. Read more >>
TSA needs to re-examine security directive
AOPA has requested that the Transportation Security Administration re-evaluate a recent security directive that could affect tens of thousands of general aviation pilots who are based at air carrier airports. The directive expands the requirement for background checks and security badges to more pilots based at airports served by airlines. In 2009, pilots based at air carrier airports must undergo a background check and receive a security badge, if they haven’t done so already, in order to continue to have access to the airport. Transient pilots will continue to be subject to the current escorting and monitoring requirements. Read more >>
Klapmeier brothers out of day-to-day management at Cirrus
Cirrus Design President and Chief Operating Officer Brent Wouters is now the company’s chief executive officer, replacing Alan Klapmeier who remains chairman of the board. Klapmeier’s brother, Dale, remains vice chairman of the board. Both are founders of the company. Klapmeier said he will focus on overall strategic goals for the company, something he wanted to do in 2008, and on the way general aviation is perceived by the public. Read more >>
Despite congressional inquiries, economic studies, pilot opposition, and AOPA’s all-out effort to convince officials that the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) was an unreasonable, burdensome security restriction, the FAA on Dec. 15 announced its permanence as a special flight rules area (SFRA). The government created the SFRA despite overwhelming opposition from general aviation pilots. “It’s extremely disappointing that the ADIZ—something that was hastily implemented as a temporary measure—has become federal regulation,” said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. Read more >>
A pilot first
Although he has had a fascinating career in public policy, Craig Fuller’s passion is flying. As with so many other AOPA members, the new AOPA president seems to work to support his flying endeavors. Meet Fuller and learn more about his plans for the association, in this exclusive video and AOPA Pilot article. Then, hear from Fuller directly in his first “President’s Position” column.
TSA to listen to pilot concerns on proposed security program
The Transportation Security Administration has granted AOPA’s request for public meetings on the agency’s proposed Large Aircraft Security Program. “It is important that the TSA hear directly from pilots how this proposal would impact general aviation flight operations,” said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of security. Read more >>
Eclipse customers organize
Eclipse owners and position holders have formed what they’re calling an ad hoc customers committee. The committee “will act for the common interests of all owners and position holders of Eclipse 500 and 400 aircraft,” a press release stated. Eclipse is obligated to provide warranty coverage, upgrades, uninstalled equipment, maintenance coverage, and subscription services during ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. Read more >>
AOPA talks GA with state lawmakers
It’s not often that you have the chance to meet with lawmakers from all across the country, all in one place. But that’s what the National Conference of State Legislatures Fall Forum is all about, and AOPA was on hand last week to talk to lawmakers about issues facing general aviation. Read more >>
FAA to reinstate testing centers
Some 60 testing centers will once again be allowed to administer written pilot knowledge exams after AOPA called on the FAA to reverse a policy change that revoked testing privileges from roughly 160 testing centers nationwide. The FAA has said it will reinstate testing privileges at all centers that applied for reconsideration earlier this year. The centers had lost the right to administer FAA knowledge tests because they gave fewer than 25 tests in a 12-month period. Read more >>
Tuskegee Airmen invited to inauguration
First, they fought discrimination that nearly prevented them from serving in World War II, then they continued to fight it when they came home. The Tuskegee Airmen have been invited to watch the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. Many told the New York Times in interviews that they never expected to live to see the day when the nation would elect a black president. For them, the election was the culmination of a lifelong battle against discrimination. Read more >>
Phenom 100 earns FAA certification
Embraer announced on Dec. 15 that its Phenom 100 very light jet has earned FAA type certification. This follows its award of Brazilian certification last week. Read more >>
Boyer honored for safety efforts, boosting pilot population
AOPA President Phil Boyer recently received two honors from the FAA, both recognizing AOPA and the Air Safety Foundation’s support for general aviation safety. On Dec. 11, he was honored as the first recipient of a perpetual award named in his honor, the “Phil Boyer Let’s Go Flying Award” by Bill Trimble, Chairman of the AOPA Board of Trustees. Read more >>
GA brings a lift to troops in Iraq
Imagine doing your very first preflight walkaround as a student pilot on an Army C-23 Sherpa aircraft, incoming mortars and rockets disrupting your private pilot ground school, or scheduling your knowledge test around deployment times. That’s business as usual for soldiers deployed to Iraq. Some troops used what little free time they had to take a private pilot ground school class and even complete the written while overseas. Read more >>
Four to enter the Hall of Fame in 2009
Actor Jimmy Stewart, who accepted the toughest of bombing assignments in World War II, astronaut Eileen Collins, former Cessna CEO Russ Meyer, and astronaut Ed White will be inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame on July 18. Read more >>
Plane Fun: Where are you flying this weekend?
Looking for a great place to fly this weekend? If you're on the East Coast, why not try Charleston, S.C.? There's nothing quite like the antebellum South at Christmastime to get you in the spirit. Check out our newest destination portal on AOPA Online—it's just Plane Fun.
No TFR for Santa
AOPA has learned that the FAA has no plans to issue a VIP temporary flight restriction for Santa. But you can track his progress on Christmas Eve, thanks to NORAD. Read more >>
As countless holiday songs will attest, there's a picturesque beauty to falling snow. But the fluffy white stuff of Bing Crosby's dreams can be downright nightmarish for a VFR-only pilot flying cross-country. On March 31, 2003, a Cessna 172P flew into an unforecast snowstorm near Shenandoah, Va. The noninstrument-rated pilot attempted to divert to a nearby airport but couldn't find it in the blinding squall. Lost and disoriented with visibility near zero, the pilot had run out of options—except one. Read more in this special report from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
Anatomy of a runway incursion
A runway incursion that occurred at Daytona Beach International Airport in 2007, involving a Cessna 182 and a Beech King Air 200, has been made a case study by the FAA and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The foundation's Web site offers an animated replay of the event, including air traffic control audio tapes. Runway incursions—where an aircraft, other vehicle, or person enters or crosses a runway without permission—continue to be a concern to all segments of aviation. After you view the scenario, supplement your knowledge by taking the foundation's interactive Runway Safety course.
Renovations lead to medical certification slowdowns
After a year largely without processing delays, the FAA’s Aerospace Medical Certification Division is beginning to experience slowdowns resulting from office renovations. Special issuance medical certificates and other renewals are now averaging 60 to 90 days to process as a multi-year building renovation project nears completion and staff members relocate from the temporary work spaces they have occupied for the past two years. The number of staff available to work cases has been temporarily reduced until everyone can be relocated to their permanent offices and work stations. The move should be complete by the end of 2008, with staffing levels returning to normal early in 2009. Pilots who do not receive their medicals within 45 days are encouraged to call AOPA's medical staff (800/USA-AOPA).
When the city of Festus hired a real estate company to sell Festus Memorial in Missouri, area pilots knew they would have to act swiftly to save the only public-use airport in Jefferson County. But when a series of more traditional attempts to save the airport failed, the pilots, under the banner of Citizens for Airport Economic Expansion (CAEE), decided to purchase the airport themselves. A group of investors, working with a major St. Louis bank, offered $2.275 million for the property. Read more >>
Join the Airport Support Network today
Ensuring the health and vitality of your airport is up to you—incompatible development and economic and political pressures can restrict your flying. Every day nearly 2,000 Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers are working with AOPA headquarters to help save their airports, but we need more. Below is a link to a list of the airports where an ASN volunteer could make a difference.
To nominate yourself or an associate to be a volunteer, visit the Airport Support Network web site.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit the ASN web site.
Ways to get your hands on a Cessna Mustang
There are two ways to experience flying a Cessna Mustang without forking over your millions. You do have millions, right? One way is to add a computer recreation of a Mustang to your existing Microsoft Flight Simulator 10. Flight1 Software and Cessna Aircraft Company teamed to bring you a $55 Cessna Mustang, complete with working Garmin G1000. Read more >>
By now we’ve all seen the horrific images from San Diego of the F/A-18 Hornet that crashed in a residential neighborhood. What you might not have seen is the generous reaction from Don Yun Yoon, a man who lost everything in the accident. Yoon reached out to the Hornet pilot in a way that makes Yoon, a struggling immigrant, a national treasure. Read more >>
Gas to go the distance
Why do pilots run out of fuel? We can all count the ways; and unlike in cars, where it is merely an inconvenience, we are almost guaranteed significant damage and occasionally, fatalities. Despite our disdain for the humble fuel gauges on aircraft, they tend to be pretty accurate toward "empty." Read more >>
AOPA logo merchandise a great gift for the holidays
At the holidays, don’t settle for just any watch or any wallet. The items that make up the AOPA Collection are a great way to show you’re proud to be a pilot and an AOPA member. The AOPA Collection has something for every taste and need: high-quality chronographs, leather jackets, wallets, and an array of items to be custom-embroidered. And don’t forget that every purchase made from the collection benefits AOPA and helps pay for protecting your privilege to fly. Check out the AOPA Collection today.
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: I am an instrument-rated private pilot. Is it true that I can get a ground instructor certificate without needing a commercial pilot certificate? If so, how do I apply?
Answer: Yes, you are eligible to apply for a ground instructor certificate. There is no minimum pilot certificate you must hold before you can apply. First, you will need to pass a knowledge test on the fundamentals of instructing (FOI) and pass a knowledge test specific to the ground instructor certificate you are applying for (i.e. basic ground instructor, advanced ground instructor, or instrument ground instructor). Once you meet these requirements, you can then visit your local flight standards district office to complete the application and receive your temporary certificate. If you apply for additional ground instructor ratings or for a flight instructor rating in the future, the FOI test will not be required again. For more information, read FAR 61.213.
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
An airplane with a past
N208GG, AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer, has a long history. It has been all over the country, owned by a number of different pilots, and refurbished twice. Now it’s time to give it away. Your chance to win the airplane expires with the year. If you’ve renewed your membership any time in 2008, you’re automatically entered to win. If not, renew now. Learn more about this wonderful airplane in this week’s sweepstakes update. Check back next week as ePilot subscribers get an exclusive first look at the exciting 2009 sweepstakes project we’ve been working on for weeks.
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 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