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AOPA ePilot - Volume 10, Issue 24AOPA ePilot - Volume 10, Issue 24

Volume 10, Issue 24 • June 13, 2008
In this issue:
Can GA get the lead out?
New LSA: It's ambitious and amphibious
Pilots getting special-issuance medicals sooner

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GA News

CAN GA GET THE LEAD OUT?
AOPA is telling the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that any immediate changes to current aviation fuel standards to remove lead would have a "direct impact on the safety of flight and the very future of light aircraft in this country." Testifying on June 12 in Baltimore before an EPA hearing on air quality standards for lead, AOPA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Andy Cebula said, "The aviation industry shares the concern about lead in the environment. The general aviation community is actively researching alternative fuels, and we're developing certification standards for new fuels and engines. But despite a decade of research and trials, there is currently no unleaded alternative for 100LL avgas that can be used safely by all piston-powered aircraft flying today." Read more on AOPA Online.

AOPA FLY-IN BRINGS THE JOY OF FLIGHT TO LOCAL COMMUNITY
With more than 5,000 attending the AOPA Fly-In on June 7, mostly pilots with friends and family tagging along, the event proved to be the perfect breeding ground for potential new-pilot starts. "Having a community event like this is the perfect opportunity to introduce others to the wonders of aviation," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. In addition to checking out nearly 50 aircraft on display, attendees got a taste of what those aircraft could do in the air by watching the intricate lineup of nearly 500 aircraft arriving and departing the show. Plus, pilots did so well planning their flights around the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone and Prohibited Area P-40 (the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md.) that AOPA is donating $5,000 to the Civil Air Patrol for their support during the event. See our complete AOPA Fly-In coverage.

REGIONAL REPS TAKE THE FIGHT FOR GA TO THE STATES
AOPA knows that all politics is local. That's why your association has regional representatives nationwide who act as our eyes, ears, and voice at the state and local level. Each year, those representatives gather at AOPA headquarters to hone their advocacy skills, share what they've learned in the field, and make plans to tackle issues affecting aviation in their jurisdictions. Last week, 12 representatives spent time with AOPA President Phil Boyer and Government Affairs staff learning about issues affecting AOPA members. They also met with Pennsylvania's top aviation official, the head of the National Association of State Aviation Officials, a professional state-level lobbyist who offered tips on maximizing their effectiveness as aviation advocates, and a group of AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers.

MILITARY SHOULD RELEASE UNUSED RESTRICTED AIRSPACE
If the military isn't using its special-use airspace, AOPA is quick to request that it be returned to civilian use. Thanks to member input, AOPA researched R-6413 located in eastern Utah and discovered that the airspace has remained unused for the majority of two decades. The airspace, associated with a missile launch test site that apparently is not used, is a 30-mile-long, eight-mile-wide corridor encompassing part of a Victor airway. AOPA has requested that the Air Force reevaluate the need for R-6413 and release it to the National Airspace System (NAS) if it is not needed. If the military determines that it will use the airspace, AOPA has asked that an environmental study be conducted to see how it impacts the NAS. The restricted area was created before requirements for environmental studies were implemented.

FLYING TO MEXICO? CHECK YOUR ELT
In a letter to the DGAC, Mexico's equivalent of the FAA, AOPA is asking that U.S.-registered aircraft flying in Mexico be exempted from a requirement to use a 406-MHz ELT (emergency locator transmitter), a requirement set to take effect July 1. The letter notes that U.S. regulations do not require general aviation aircraft to carry a 406-MHz ELT. "In light of the increased challenges involved in making an international flight to Mexico, along with increased fuel costs, implementing this requirement will have a significant negative impact on general aviation traffic to Mexico with a corresponding negative impact on tourism revenue," the letter warns. Read more on AOPA Online.

AOPA WANTS FAA TO REEVALUATE SUPERIOR INSPECTION INTERVAL
AOPA has formally requested that the FAA evaluate operational data regarding Superior Air Parts cylinder assemblies and consider extending the inspection interval in the proposed airworthiness directive (AD) to lessen the burden on pilots. The AD would require initial and repetitive inspection and compression tests to detect cracks in certain cylinders with more than 750 flight hours. The inspections would need to occur within 25 flight hours after the AD's effective date and need to be repeated every 50 flight hours. AOPA has asked the FAA to consider if it would be appropriate to make the repetitive inspections due every 100 hours time in service or every annual, whichever comes first.

NEW LSA: IT'S AMBITIOUS AND AMPHIBIOUS
The newest light sport aircraft to make its debut, the ICON A5, is amphibious and eager to please. The airplane was designed and developed to "put the fun back into flying," said Kirk Hawkins, CEO of ICON Aircraft, as he spoke to a large crowd at the airplane's official unveiling in Los Angeles on May 11. Read more on AOPA Online.

FLYING CLUB MEMBERS ENJOY CROSS-COUNTRY ODYSSEY
What started with hangar talk and a flight plan drawn on a napkin ended with half a dozen flying club members in three club aircraft traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast and back again on a four-week cross-country adventure. Read about their odyssey on AOPA Online.

NEVER AGAIN ONLINE: CANYON LANDING
The pilot of a Vultee BT-13A found himself low on fuel and stuck on top of a stratus layer with a lowering overcast above Southern California. Find out how he got out of the situation and the lessons he learned in the latest installment of Never Again Online.

SWEARINGEN SJ30-2 GETS ANOTHER CHANCE
The Swearingen SJ30-2 business jet has yet another reprieve in its many-year quest to fill the skies. A Dubai-based investment firm, Emirates Investment and Development Corporation (Emivest), is purchasing 80 percent of Texas-based Sino Swearingen for $150 million. The deal is scheduled to be completed by the end of June. A spokesman for Emivest had no details on whether the company name will continue to reflect Taiwan's investment or when production will ramp up. Two of the jets are in customers' hands now, but one belongs to an investor in Sino Swearingen and the other to a distributor in Europe. Among those awaiting deliveries is actor Morgan Freeman.

NEW BUILDING GIVES AVIATION PROGRAM ROOM TO GROW
While some schools are seeing money for aviation programs dry up, LeTourneau University's aeronautical program has been expanding fast. To continue that growth, the school has purchased a 50,000-square-foot building at East Texas Regional Airport. The school plans to spend about $6 million to renovate the facility to include classrooms, laboratories, offices, and meeting spaces before moving some 250 students in next year. The new building, which also includes a 10,000-square-foot hangar, ultimately will accommodate as many as 500 aviation students. LeTourneau plans to sell its existing 7,600-square-foot building at the airport. AOPA's 2007 Catch-A-Cardinal Sweepstakes winner, Bruce Chase, teaches in LeTourneau's aviation program. As part of his sweepstakes prize, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation provided a grant to assist Chase's research into how pilots transition between glass cockpits and more traditional instrumentation.

JOY OF FLIGHT: FATHER'S DAY FORAY
Think of that one person you've always wanted to take flying—that person who politely declines each time you ask. For Jose Gibert, that person was his father. But on Father's Day last year, his father acquiesced and went for a short flight around the Tampa, Fla., skyline. Read about their adventure in " Father's Day foray," the latest installment of the Joy of Flight. To submit a story about GA adventures, please send us an e-mail. Past articles are available online.

CHASING EFFICIENCY
With high avgas prices, fuel efficiency is quickly becoming a hot topic among pilots. What's the best fuel burn you've achieved in your aircraft? And if you're in the market for a new aircraft, is its fuel efficiency one of your considerations? Share your thoughts in AOPA Pilot Associate Editor Ian Twombly's latest blog, " Chasing efficiency." 

 For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.

Safety & Proficiency

WHAT DO YOU DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
Pilots continually train for the possibility of an in-flight emergency, but what happens in the event of an off-airport landing? Test your knowledge about whom to call and what not to do with the latest AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Quiz. Then test your knowledge with quizzes on other topics. 

PILOTS GETTING SPECIAL ISSUANCE MEDICALS SOONER
The medical certificate is one of the most important pieces of paper a pilot can have. And when there's a delay getting that piece of paper, it can cause some anxiety. The good news is that as of the end of May, the backlog for special issuance and deferred medicals in Oklahoma City, Okla., was down to only 600—a significant improvement from several years ago when the backlog reached into the tens of thousands. Read more on AOPA Online.

FSS TIP OF THE WEEK: ABBREVIATED BRIEFINGS
Abbreviated briefings are a great way to request specific information from flight service and shorten briefings. Just ask for an abbreviated briefing, provide basic background information about your previous standard briefing, if applicable (and at what time you received it), and then request the information you want. Only requested items will be provided. For example, "I need an abbreviated briefing. I received a standard briefing for a flight in the Flagstaff area two hours ago. I just need the TAF for FLG and any new TFRs within 20 miles of the airport." For more FSS tips, download AOPA's quick reference card and take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's A Pilot's Guide to Flight Service online minicourse.

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.

PATTERN ENTRY
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg started a great debate last week in his blog asking for pilots' input about the best way to enter the traffic pattern. He received more than 120 comments. In his latest update, see what most pilots had in common and what Landsberg means when he says, "Think like ATC."

Inside AOPA

DE HAVILLAND BEAVER FLIES INTO A WINNING SUNSET
Brothers Colin and Ghyrn Loveness perfectly photographed their de Havilland Beaver flying into the sunset near Seattle. While Ghyrn flew the subject airplane, Colin took the winning shot from a Cessna 172. The brothers have been flying since they were kids—both soloed in a J-3 Cub at age 16. It seems aviation is a family affair: Their father used to fly, and their mother and sister are pilots. Submit your photo online for a chance at cash prizes and to be published in AOPA Pilot. See previous photo contest winners online. This year's contest runs through Sept. 2.

IS IT TIME FOR AN UPGRADE?
If you are thinking about upgrading your certificate or adding a new rating, a variety of AOPA Member Products are available to help you every step of the way. You can leave the details to us so that you can keep your focus where it belongs—on your training and testing. Read more on AOPA Online.

GET THE MOST FROM YOUR AOPA WORLDPOINTS CREDIT CARD
If you already have an AOPA WorldPoints credit card from Bank of America, you know that you're automatically earning points for every dollar you spend and double points for most aviation purchases. But are you getting the most from your card? Find out on 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: Does a flight instructor need to hold a second class medical certificate when providing flight instruction?

  Answer: A flight instructor does not need a second class medical to provide dual instruction. If the CFI must act as pilot in command (PIC) for the flight, he or she is required to hold a valid third class medical certificate. While a commercial pilot certificate or airline transport pilot certificate is required to become a CFI, the FAA has determined that when providing instruction, a flight instructor is simply receiving compensation for his or her instruction and, therefore, exercising the privileges of a private pilot certificate. If the CFI is not required to act as PIC and is not performing the duties of a required crewmember (i.e., safety pilot), he or she does not need a valid medical certificate. Additionally, a medical certificate is not required when performing the duties of a flight instructor with a glider rating or sport pilot rating. This information is discussed in FAR 61.23(3)(iv). Test your knowledge of medical certification with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's Safety Quiz.

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 APPEARANCE OF GLASS
Visitors to AOPA's annual Fly-In and Open House got to see something pretty special last Saturday—a new glass panel-equipped Piper Archer. But this Archer didn't come from the factory. It was the (almost) completed sweepstakes bird. After an hour flying the new panel, we can tell you it's one of the best available anywhere. Learn how it all came together 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:
South Lake Tahoe, Calif. A Vintage Mooney Group fly-in takes place June 14 through 15 at Lake Tahoe (TVL). For more information, contact Phil Corman.

Chantilly, Va.  Become a Pilot Family Day will be held June 14 at the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center adjacent to Dulles (IAD). For more information, contact Doug Baldwin, 703/572-4061, or visit the Web site.

Hinesville/Fort Stewart, Ga. A Salute the Troops event takes place June 14 and 15 at Midcoast Regional at Wright Army Airfield (LHW). For more information, contact Cindy Jones, 912/368-3471, or visit the Web site.

St. Francis, Kan. The twenty-sixth annual Stearman fly-in takes place June 14 and 15 at Cheyenne County Municipal (SYF). For more information, contact Robert Grace, 785/332-2251, or visit the Web site.

Lock Haven, Pa. A Sentimental Journey Fly-In takes place June 17 through 21 at William T. Piper Memorial (LHV). For more information, contact Carmen, 570/893-420, or visit the Web site.

Naples, Maine. The Annual New England Seaplane Safety Expo takes place June 21 at Brandy Pond Seaplane Base (5ME). For more information, contact Mary Build, 207/838-3548, or visit the Web site.

Palm Springs, Calif. A Wright Brothers educational series event takes place June 20 at Palm Springs Air Museum. For more information, contact Sheilah Reed, 760/778-6262 ext. 235, or visit the Web site.

Klamath Falls, Ore.  Flying displays featuring Thunderbirds take place June 21 at Kingsley Field (LMT). For more information, contact David Junker, 541/331-7290, 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 Phoenix, Minneapolis, and Columbus, Ohio, June 21 and 22, and in San Jose, Calif., June 28 and 29. 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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