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AOPA ePilot - Volume 10, Issue 27AOPA ePilot - Volume 10, Issue 27

Volume 10, Issue 27 • July 4, 2008
In this issue:
AOPA President Phil Boyer to retire
Cirrus eyes maiden jet flight
Blinded by the light: Fireworks disorient pilot

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GA News

AOPA PRESIDENT PHIL BOYER TO RETIRE
Phil Boyer will step down as AOPA president at the end of the year. When Boyer took the controls in 1991 (only the third president in AOPA's 69-year history), the GA industry was in crisis, beaten down by product liability lawsuits. He helped pass the General Aviation Revitalization Act, which turned around aircraft manufacturing. He also championed civilian use of GPS and WAAS, and later ADS-B, to benefit general aviation. Boyer upgraded AOPA management and member service resulting in 40-percent membership growth, despite declining pilot numbers. His new ventures funded novel GA advocacy and member benefits, while holding AOPA dues to $39. "I've made no secret in the aviation community that I had a retirement plan. But before stepping down, I wanted to make sure I was leaving the world-class AOPA organization run by the best management team to continue our leadership in GA advocacy, information, and education," said Boyer. "At the end of this year, I will be able to 'get my life back' and fully enjoy the GA flying that AOPA fights so hard to preserve." Read more on AOPA Online.

AOPA TRUSTEES SELECT CRAIG FULLER TO SUCCEED BOYER
The chairman of the AOPA Board of Trustees, William C. Trimble III, announced June 30 that AOPA member and 40-year pilot Craig L. Fuller had been selected to succeed Phil Boyer as AOPA president, effective Jan. 1, 2009. Fuller has headed a national trade association and held top positions in the White House, global consulting and public affairs firms, and a Fortune 50 corporation. A pilot since age 17, he currently owns an A36 Bonanza, which he flies some 200 hours a year for business and pleasure. "After hundreds of interviews and a painstaking review of 100 potential candidates, it was clear that Craig Fuller, a recognized leader in business, public affairs, and association management, would be ideally suited to carry on Phil's tremendous legacy," said Trimble.

CANADA WANTS TAXES ON TOP OF AVIATION USER FEES
U.S. pilots who have flown in Canada are now being told they have to pay taxes retroactively on the Nav Canada user fees they've already paid over the past five years. "We have always opposed user fees, and this latest insult shows just how flawed and inefficient the system is," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "How much is Nav Canada now going to spend to attempt to track down the pilot of the aircraft to collect this tax? A simple fuel tax makes so much more sense. And the very idea of a tax on top of a fee. AOPA will continue to fight to make sure the United States never tries to go down that airway." Read more on AOPA Online.

FIRES AFFECT DOZENS OF CALIFORNIA AIRPORTS
With approximately 1,000 separate fires burning in Northern California, dozens of airports and hundreds of miles of airspace have been affected. Pilots who don't need to traverse the affected areas are urged to avoid them, leaving airspace, air traffic controllers, and radio frequencies available for fire-related operations. U.S. Forest Service officials report that extremely smoky conditions have kept many aircraft on the ground, but large numbers of aircraft have been assembled at airports near the fires, ready to fly as soon as conditions permit. Read more on AOPA Online.

NTSB SEEKS TO COLLECT UAV ACCIDENT/INCIDENT DATA
AOPA is supporting an NTSB proposal that would allow the investigative body to collect unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) accident/incident data. "The FAA is working on developing regulations that would allow UAVs to operate seamlessly in the National Airspace System," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "This step proposed by the NTSB would help the industry better understand how UAVs operate and what goes wrong in an accident or incident." AOPA is a part of the FAA's rulemaking committee that is making recommendations for UAVs' seamless access to the National Airspace System. Once regulations have been established for UAVs operating in U.S. airspace, AOPA suggests that the NTSB revisit its proposal to ensure it is still up to date.

FAA ISSUES FINAL AD ON BONANZA CIRCUIT BREAKER SWITCHES
Owners of some 11,000 Bonanzas and Barons will have to replace circuit breaker toggle switches with redesigned switches under a final FAA airworthiness directive (AD) issued July 2. The AD follows reports of some toggle-style circuit breakers overheating, which could lead to smoke in the cockpit and the inability to turn off the switch. AOPA and the American Bonanza Society had objected to the draft AD, arguing that the replacement requirement should apply only to circuit breakers attached to high-draw electrical equipment that actually overheated in testing or in use. But the FAA disagreed, issuing a final AD that requires the replacement of all such circuit breakers at an estimated cost of $2 million to $30 million for the affected fleet. The final rule is available online.

CIRRUS JET MAKES MAIDEN FLIGHT
The-Jet, Cirrus Design’s single-engine, V-tail airplane, made its first flight on Thursday, July 3, from Duluth International Airport in Minnesota. The first test version, V1, “performed flawlessly” during its 45-minute flight, the company announced. “This ‘first flight’ is a historically significant moment for Cirrus and the opening of a new chapter for all of aviation,” said Advanced Development Group Vice President Steve Serfling. “With this successful flight today, we initiate the next program phase that will support the more rigorous certification program.” With its single engine and simplified operations, The-Jet is obviously a step-up airplane for owners of the piston-powered SR22 and SR20 models.

RESEARCHERS DEVELOP PORTABLE AIRPORT LIGHTING SYSTEM
College researchers are developing technology that should literally light the way to remote landing facilities. The low-cost, portable Remote Airport Light System (RALS) uses LED lights and retro-reflective markers. It can easily be transported to airfields that don't have electrical grids so that disaster relief and medical workers can land safely. The system is especially useful in Alaska. Read more on AOPA Online.

JETPACK TO BLAST OFF AT OSHKOSH
If you've ever dreamed about owning your own rocket ship that can be packed away in the trunk of a car, that day is apparently near. On Tuesday, July 29, at Oshkosh, a company will make its public debut of the Martin Jetpack. It's scheduled to launch at 9:30 a.m. out of AirVenture's Aeroshell Square. The creators are calling it "the most eagerly awaited personal aircraft man ever dreamed about," in a news release. Read more on AOPA Online.

COURTESY, CLEAR RULES KEY TO GOOD FLYING CLUB RELATIONS
When you're part of a flying club, it's a little like being part of a family-lots of individuals with unique personalities and varying needs living under one roof and sharing a bathroom, or in this case living at one airport and sharing aircraft. And, just as in a family, being courteous and establishing some simple house rules can go a long way to creating harmony. According to Joe Fox of the Inn Flying Club in Maryland, good relations between members and between the club and airport-based businesses "rely on courtesy, pure and simple." Read more on AOPA Online.

JUNEAU MOUNTAIN'S MAJESTY
Do you have a wish list of the places you'd like to fly? For AOPA Flight Training Associate Editor Jill Tallman, Alaska ranked high on her list. She was able to cross it off last week. Read about the flight in her latest "Reporting Points" blog entry.

For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT: FIREWORKS DISORIENT PILOT
Imagine being low on fuel, at dusk, in an airplane without a landing light. As you approach your destination, the sky suddenly explodes with Independence Day fireworks, robbing you of your night vision-and your ability to find the airport. On July 4, 2004, the pilot of an Aeronca Champ attempted an emergency nighttime landing under these conditions in a field near Fort Worth, Texas. Find out what happened in this special report prepared by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

EXPERIENCED PILOTS PRAISE 'IFR CHART CHALLENGE'
When you've got 10,000 hours of flying and 26 years experience, you've probably forgotten more than most pilots will ever know. In fact that's just what one high-time professional pilot discovered when he took AOPA's IFR Chart Challenge minicourses. "I just completed all three of the IFR Chart Challenges, they were very good. I (was) amazed at what I don't know or have forgotten," wrote Todd Tobiason, the safety officer and a line pilot for a company with six corporate aircraft. "I hope you will keep the minicourses coming." Tobiason was so impressed with what he learned that he promised to pass the courses along to the other six pilots in his company. Think you know it all when it comes to IFR charts? Find out. Take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's free ILS, RNAV, and VOR approach minicourses today.

FSS TIP OF THE WEEK: WEIGHING A BRIEFER'S ADVICE
During preflight briefings, the flight service specialist may issue the caution "VFR not recommended." In this case, the professionally trained briefer believes that the flight cannot be conducted safely in visual meteorological conditions and that bad weather is present or may develop. This advisory does not mean you must cancel your flight, but it should prompt you to think carefully about the weather and your options. A briefer's advice or recommendation during a briefing is not regulatory. It is up to you, the pilot in command, to make the final go/no-go decision. For more information, take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's online minicourse, A Pilot's Guide to Flight Service , and download AOPA's quick reference card.

SUMMERTIME AND THE CRASHING IS EASY
"In the last few days we've had a couple of accidents that sure look like density altitude, although it's too soon to say for sure," writes AOPA Executive Director Bruce Landsberg in his latest blog entry. "Whenever I see high temperatures and high terrain, I'm suspicious. When a high-performance aircraft that is typically a strong performer at lower density altitudes is fully loaded, I'm almost ready to put money on it." Read about the accidents and Landsberg's comments about flying in high density altitudes online.

HAD A 'NEVER AGAIN' MOMENT?
Had a close call or learned a tough lesson on a night flight? Never Again wants to hear about it. Please send us your story.

Inside AOPA

PROUD PAPA WATCHES SON'S FIRST SOLO
Aviation seems to be in the blood. When one family member flies, the rest follow. Such is the case with AOPA member Mike Sanders of Kentucky. Read about his experience watching his son solo 26 years after his own first trip flying around the pattern alone. Maybe someone in your family has a spark for flying but hasn't started yet. Help him or her get started by signing the pair of you up for AOPA Project Pilot!

AOPA MEDICAL CERTIFICATION SERVICES GET YOU BACK IN THE AIR
AOPA is the only general aviation association that has a staff dedicated to providing medical certification assistance to members and that is positioned to advocate for reasonable, commonsense medical certification policies and procedures to keep pilots flying safer and longer. AOPA's medical certification department specializes in giving personalized advice and consultation to members based on their individual medical situation. The staff also can review medical records prior to a member applying for a medical and can follow up with the FAA to expedite action on a member's special-issuance case. If you have a question regarding your medical certification, call our staff weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern at 800/USA-AOPA.

AOPA GEARS UP FOR OSHKOSH
Stop by AOPA's Big Yellow tent this year at Oshkosh, July 28 through Aug. 3, to see our refurbished 1976 Piper Archer II, the grand prize in our 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes. Also, come into our air-conditioned tent to talk to our medical certification representatives and check out our other products and services. We're here for you!

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: When studying for my private pilot certificate, I memorized the required documents that must be on board the aircraft-airworthiness certificate, registration certificate, operator's handbook, and weight and balance (AROW).  Which regulation requires these documents?

Answer: The requirement for the AROW documents is found by referencing several FARs. FAR 91.203 requires two of the documents:  a valid registration certificate for the current owner and the airworthiness certificate (it must be displayed and legible to passengers and crew). FAR 91.9(b)(1) states that the flight manual must be available in the aircraft. FAR 23.23 requires ranges of weights and centers of gravity be established for all certificated aircraft, while FAR 23.1519 requires that information to be established as operating limitations. Finally, FAR 23.1583 says that the operating limitations must be placed in the aircraft flight manual, or equivalent.

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

POWER TO SPARE
AOPA's Get Your Glass Sweepstakes project is at the forefront of new avionics technology. By taking a 1976 Piper Archer and refitting it with a full glass cockpit, we brought on additional challenges and considerations not present when the airplane was built. One of the many issues was backup electrical power. Learn what we did, and didn't do, to beef up the aircraft's electrical system in this week's sweepstakes update.

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:
Basye, Va. A fly-in takes place July 5 at Sky Bryce (VG18). For more information, contact Kevin Brennan, 240/888-3603, or visit the Web site.

Burlington, Iowa. The American Yankee Association annual convention takes place July 7 through 10 at Southeast Iowa Regional (BRL). For more information, contact Don Cochran, 913/856-4075, or visit the Web site.

Arlington, Wash. A fly-in takes place July 9 through 13 at Arlington Municipal (AWO). For more information, contact 360/435-5857, 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 Newark and Pittsburgh, July 19 and 20. 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 September 8. Topics vary-for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.


Member Tools:

Editorial Team:

  • ePilot Editor: Alyssa Miller
  • Contributors: Nate Ferguson, Warren Morningstar, and Alton Marsh

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