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AIRPORTS A TOP PRIORITY, BOYER TELLS EXECS
General aviation has come a long way, but the journey will never end, AOPA President Phil Boyer told members of the southwest chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives July 14 in Mesa, Ariz. “While the threat of user fees remains the most critical near-term issue, the environment and security are clearly the next big challenges for both general aviation pilots and for airports,” Boyer said during his keynote speech. He cited leaded avgas as an environmental issue that will have to be resolved soon. Read more on AOPA Online.
AIRCRAFT VANDALISM HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR AIRPORT WATCH
AOPA has received several reports from members and the media regarding security issues at general aviation airports. While the incidents are not terrorist related, they underscore the importance of using AOPA’s Airport Watch. During the night on July 13, 10 single- and multiengine aircraft and a Cessna Citation 550 were damaged at Monmouth Executive in New Jersey. Many of the instrument panels were damaged, tires deflated, and fuselages graffitied. A detective investigating the incident told the Ashbury Park Press that a vehicle and cable were likely involved in tearing the tail from a twin-engine airplane and nearly severing one of its wings. Read more on AOPA Online.
MISSOURI GATHERING LEARNS GA IS CRITICAL TO AGRICULTURE
It may have been a dreary, rainy day, but that didn't stop a throng of pilots and aviation enthusiasts or Rep. Sam Graves, a Piper J-3 Cub owner and AOPA and EAA member, from turning out for the Fifth Annual Wing Nuts Flying Circus and Fly-In at Gould Memorial Airport in Tarkio, Mo. Besides a spectacular airshow featuring both vintage and contemporary civilian and military aircraft, coordinated by air traffic controllers from the Missouri Air National Guard, the event also included an aviation town hall meeting. AOPA President Phil Boyer and National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen were among the featured speakers. Read more on AOPA Online.
PRIVATE PLANE SEIZED, PILOT FINED FOR CROSSING BORDER
With reports of large hail, 60-mph gusts, and possible tornadoes crossing Robert Alexander's flight path and intended destination near the U.S.-Canada border, he made an in-flight decision that would take him out of the storm system's path. But that decision cost him: His aircraft was seized, he was arrested, and he was fined $1,000 to get the aircraft back. Read more on AOPA Online.
PILOT GETS SECOND CHANCE AFTER HEART TRANSPLANT
Forty-seven-year-old Malvern "Skip" Monaghan Jr. had logged around 630 hours by August 2001. The last time he went up was when he flew a Cessna 182 from St. Simons Island, Ga., back home to Suwanee, Ga., three weeks before he visited the doctor. Then his life changed. He needed bypass surgery. During the operation, he died on the table once and was brought back. A year later, he was put on the waiting list for a heart transplant. Now with a new heart, Monaghan is back in the air with a new medical. Read about his journey and watch a video of the lengths the medical team went to in order to prove pilots with a heart transplant are safe to fly.
COUNTY TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS CONSIDER AIRPORT LAND USE
Cities and counties own most of the nation's public-use airports, and they are on the front lines when it comes to ensuring the viability of airports through good land use planning. That's why AOPA representatives made a presentation July 12 before the Transportation Steering Committee of the National Association of Counties. Read more on AOPA Online.
FAA POLICY CHANGES ADD CONGESTION PRICING, OFFSET GA COSTS
The FAA has amended its 1996 Rates and Charges Policy to create a so-called “congestion pricing” scheme over the objections of AOPA and the aviation industry. But there is some good news for GA. A related policy change will allow the owner of a congested airport to use fees to offset the cost of operating any affiliated reliever airports that it also owns. AOPA has consistently objected to congestion pricing because it uses fees as a penalty to limit airport access. In comments filed in April, AOPA argued that the FAA and airport owners should be working to improve efficiency and increase capacity instead of restricting access. Read more on AOPA Online.
WORK-STUDY VISAS FOR FLIGHT STUDENTS SET TO END
The U.S. Department of State has issued a statement of policy announcing its intent to end a program that allows foreign flight students to work while they study in the United States. The J-1 visa program, which is slated to end in June 2010, offers foreign students a two-year visa to go through flight training and work as flight instructors to build flying time. Other training options will still exist, such as the F-1 student and M-1 vocational student visa, although neither allows the student to work. Read more on AOPA Online.
GARMIN'S G600 NEARS CERTIFICATION
Garmin's long-awaited G600, a retrofit glass panel made for the general aviation fleet, is nearing certification. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman got to see the G600 up close during a demo flight in Garmin's Mooney M20J and will have a full report in the magazine. The G600 has two 6.5-inch display screens (a primary flight display and a multifunction display) that are meant to replace the standard "six-pack" electromechanical flight instruments and greatly enhance reliability and situational awareness. Read more on AOPA Online.
ICON AMPHIBIAN MAKES FIRST FLIGHT
The Icon A5, a light sport amphibian, has completed its first flight at an undisclosed lake in California. The prototype model flew on July 9, but the event wasn't reported by the company until July 15. The A5's airframe is constructed of carbon fiber, and it is powered by a 100-horsepower Rotax 912S that can operate on either auto gas or avgas. It will come with an emergency airframe parachute. The airplane also has folding wings for easy storage and trailering. The $139,000 aircraft now begins a year of flight testing followed by the construction of a pre-production model to be used for light sport aircraft certification. Production is expected to begin in late 2010.
PRATT & WHITNEY CANADA RESEARCHING TURBINE BIOFUELS
At England's Farnborough Airshow, engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada announced that it is leading an industry-university research effort to investigate the potential use of biofuels in small- and medium-sized turbine engines. The fuels would not compete with human food sources and could include jatropha (a succulent plant) and algae-derived biofuels, as well as biobutanol, which is derived from the fermentation of livestock feeds. "We aim to have a fuel-flexible engine and develop technologies that will allow us to offer aircraft manufacturers an innovative and green power solution," said Walter Di Bartolomeo, Pratt & Whitney Canada's vice president of engineering. The green fuels project will last four years and is sponsored by the governments of Canada and India.
PROPOSED JET RISES FROM DRAWING BOARD
On paper it looks great, and principals of Stratos Aircraft Inc. are confident their calculations for a new single-engine Stratos 714 very light jet can be met. Performance promises include: 410 knots true airspeed on a single jet engine, four people and their baggage and an NBAA IFR range of 1,500 nautical miles. The cost is to be $2 million. Read more on AOPA Online.
THE ROLE OF GPS IN OUR LIVES
One standout team at this year's Tour de France has a name familiar to aviation emblazoned on its jerseys: Garmin. The aviation segment at Garmin represents only a small part of the company's overall business. Satellites in space are now governing all aspects of life from extreme exploration to day-to-day package delivery. How dependent are you on GPS in the air and on the ground? Read more in AOPA Online Managing Editor Nate Ferguson's latest blog entry.
| Squawk Sheet |
FAA EXPANDS LIST OF LYCOMING ENGINES AFFECTED BY AD
The FAA is expanding an existing airworthiness directive (AD) to cover more fuel-injected Lycoming engines. The original AD, issued in 2002, affected 2,496 engines. By adding eight more models and counting continued production of the existing covered models, the number of impacted engines has risen to 17,740. The AD requires an initial and repetitive visual inspection of the fuel-injector system on aircraft with externally mounted fuel-injector lines and subsequent replacement if problems such as crimps or loose brackets are found. The AD was crafted so that the visual inspections could coincide with oil changes, 100-hour inspections, or annuals. The AD becomes effective Aug. 14.
AOPA ASKS FOR RELIEF ON ECi CYLINDER AD
AOPA is urging the FAA to extend the repetitive inspection interval for certain Lycoming 320-, 360-, and 540-series engines with ECi replacement cylinders. Under a proposed airworthiness directive (AD), the FAA has categorized the affected cylinders into two groups. Airplane cylinders in Group A would have their time in service (TIS) reduced to 2,000 hours, while helicopter cylinders would be reduced to 1,500 hours TIS. Aircraft cylinders in Group B would have a TIS of 350 hours and need to be replaced after that point. AOPA has filed comments, asking the FAA to extend the currently proposed repetitive inspection interval for Group A cylinders from 50 to 100 hours.
FAA REDUCES AIRWORTHINESS BURDEN ON NAVION OWNERS
Heeding AOPA's comments, the FAA has approved an alternate means of compliance (AMOC) for owners of various Navion aircraft. The FAA had adopted a new airworthiness directive, requiring a one-time inspection of the entire fuel system and repetitive inspections of certain fuel valves until the valves are replaced. A field service bulletin put out by the American Navion Society was used for the basis of the AMOC. The AD affected some 1,500 Navions in the U.S. aircraft registry.
| Safety & Proficiency |
NEW COURSE ADDRESSES STALLS, SPINS
Just how much do you know about stalls and spins? A basic understanding of how wings work can help you avoid the maneuvering mistakes that cause so many accidents. That's why the AOPA Air Safety Foundation has developed a new interactive course, Essential Aerodynamics: Stalls, Spins, and Safety . It covers the basics of why airplanes fly, how weight and G forces affect the wing, why stalls and spins happen, and how to recover from them, among other topics. The course also qualifies for AOPA Accident Forgiveness and the FAA Wings program.
DENSITY ALTITUDE SACKS LOST PILOT
The warm days of summer beckon many pilots skyward, but with that warmth comes the performance-robbing effect of high density altitude. On Aug. 7, 2006, the pilot of a Piper PA-28R-201 Arrow was returning to California after attending EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. While attempting to navigate through mountainous terrain northwest of Salida, Colo., the pilot made a wrong turn and flew into a box canyon. High density altitude made it impossible for the aircraft to climb above the terrain. Read more in this special report prepared by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.
FSS TIP OF THE WEEK: UNDERSTANDING THE 'FLIGHT PLAN MASK'
When you call flight service for a briefing, the specialist's computer system starts with a screen called the "flight plan mask," which should be filled in by the specialist before providing the briefing. To reduce briefing times—and potential errors—you need to correctly supply specific information at the beginning of each briefing. If filing a flight plan, follow the flight plan form. For pilots wanting only a briefing, just nine items are needed (first half of the flight plan form, excluding airspeed). Print this quick reference card for the specific order. For more tips take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's minicourse.
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg comments on the single-pilot workload of the Eclipse 500 in his latest blog entry. "It's good they don't give the type ratings away," he writes of the training process. For a thorough look at Eclipse's training program, see AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines' article in the August 2008 magazine.
| Inside AOPA |
GA INSPIRES PILOT TO BOUNCE BACK FROM WORK INJURY
After Joe Mullins, an electrician from Colorado, was injured on the job in 2003 and underwent multiple hip surgeries, everyday life became difficult. "About two weeks after my surgery, I was laying on the couch feeling sorry for myself," Mullins wrote to AOPA. "I finally realized and said, 'You know what, life is too short.' I got off the couch, grabbed my cane, and headed to the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport." Mullins enrolled in flight training and a ground-school course, and earned his private pilot certificate June 10, 2007. "Flying has inspired me to move forward and upward to bigger and better things," Mullins said. "I traded in my cane for an airplane and learned the sky is the limit." Show someone that the sky is the limit by enrolling him or her in AOPA Project Pilot.
PLAN A SAFE TRIP TO OSHKOSH
Planning to attend Oshkosh from July 28 through August 3? If you'll be flying in, take time to review the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's EAA AirVenture Fly-In Safety Tips. While you're at the show, stop by AOPA's Big Yellow Tent to join or renew your AOPA membership, talk with specialists from our Pilot Information Center, and see AOPA's 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes airplane.
AOPA OFFERS INSURANCE PRODUCTS FOR ALL YOUR NEEDS
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| Join the Airport Support Network Today |
JOIN THE AIRPORT SUPPORT NETWORK TODAY
Ensuring the health and vitality of your airport is up to you—residential development and economic and political pressures can restrict your flying. Every day more than 1,900 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 AOPA Online.
| 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: How old do I have to be to take the private pilot written test?
Answer: You must be at least 15 years old to take the recreational pilot or private pilot knowledge test (also known as the written test). If you want to pilot a balloon or glider, you must be at least 14 years old to take the test. This requirement is discussed in FAA Order 8080.6D, page 7-2.
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 |
BACK IN THE SHOP
Any major refurbishment, be it an instrument panel or paint and interior, is going to have a few bugs. With so many complex systems, there is just no way to ensure that everything is going to work exactly as advertised on the first try. With that being said, the good folks at Penn Avionics in West Chester, Pa., took temporary custody of N208GG last week for some touch-up work. Most of the work order is related to calibration. Read more 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.
| Coming Up in AOPA Pilot |
See what it's like to get type rated in the Eclipse 500, fly the Stearman 450, and hone your IFR approach skills in the August edition of AOPA Pilot. It'll be in your mailbox shortly.
| Weekend Weather |
| ePilot Calendar |
UPCOMING FLYING DESTINATIONS:
Denver, Colo. The Parade of Pistons takes place July 17 through 19 at Centennial (APA). For more information, contact Susan Bolinger, 218/525/6228, or visit the Web site.
Benson, Minn. A Benson Kid Day Weekend Fly-In takes place July 20 at Benson Municipal (BBB). For more information, contact Kent, 320/843-4432, 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, N.J., 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 Sept. 8. Topics vary—for details and a complete schedule, see AOPA Online.